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With a spectacular waterfall, thick woodland, and vibrant wildflowers, DeSoto State Park has plenty to offer to nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Found just eight miles northeast of Fort Payne, Alabama, this 3,502-acre park sits atop Lookout Mountain in the state's northeast.
From swimming, kayaking, and fly fishing to hiking, mountain biking, and wildflower watching, DeSoto State Park offers a huge range of recreational activities to choose from. And with 94 full-hookup campsites available, it's also a lovely spot to spend a few nights in a rental RV.
If this Alabama gem sounds like your ideal destination for a camping getaway, book an RV in Cherokee County and get ready to hit the road.
With more than 3,500 acres of territory to explore, you'll find plenty of activities to enjoy in the great outdoors of DeSoto State Park. But of all the recreational opportunities on offer, it's perhaps the park's spectacular waterfalls that draw more visitors to the park than any other feature.
The highlight is undoubtedly DeSoto Falls, which sees rushing water plummet some 107 feet into the deep pool below. It's the highest and most-visited waterfall in Alabama, and is accessed via a paved path of the Lookout Mountain Parkway.
The 25-foot-tall Indian Falls isn't quite as spectacular but is still well worth a visit, while the pretty Azalea Cascades (accessed via a short hike) will also have you reaching for your camera.
Speaking of hiking, DeSoto State Park has some 30 miles of hiking trails to explore. Walks vary in difficulty from easy to strenuous, so make sure you pick a route suited to your fitness level.
If you're looking for an easy stroll, the 360-yard Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail leads you through the surrounding forest to the Azalea Cascades overlook. If you want more of a physical challenge, six miles of the 16-mile DeSoto Scout Trail wind their way through the park, eventually leading south to Little River Canyon National Preserve.
The trail network in the park leads you past several waterfalls, while visiting any time between March and November should give you a chance to see spectacular wildflowers in bloom.
If you work up a sweat while hiking, you can always find a way to cool off. The west fork of Little River is open to swimming and wading, but please note that there are no lifeguards and you do so at your own risk. For something a little safer, the DeSoto State Park Olympic-sized swimming pool is open from late May until early September.
If you want to camp with an RV in DeSoto State Park, the good news is that there are 94 full-hookup sites available. The wooded, mountainous campground is clean and spacious, with all sites big enough to accommodate large RVs - average site measurements in the park are 16 feet wide by 60 feet deep.
Back-in and pull-through sites are available, cable TV is provided, and there are large offsets provided for those rigs that feature slide-outs. Each site also has its own picnic table and grill so you can have a cookout whenever you want.
Two centrally located comfort stations feature flushing toilets, showers, and coin-operated laundry facilities, along with free Wi-Fi if you need to get online. These comfort stations are clean and well maintained, and easily accessible from all sites.
For those campers who'd prefer to rough it in a tent for a night or two, the 16-site Primitive Campground is found approximately one mile away, while two backcountry campsites are provided for backpackers.
When you're ready to bring an end to your DeSoto State Park RV camping adventure, you can always move on to one of myriad other attractions nearby.
For example, you could drive your rental RV south for less than 15 minutes to check out Little River Canyon National Preserve and the spectacular Little River Falls, or head 25 miles east to enjoy the gorgeous green countryside of James H. Floyd State Park. If you'd rather head for a big city, Huntsville, which is home to the US Space & Rocket Center as well as a range of other historic and cultural attractions, is just a one-and-a-half-hour drive away.
Wherever you decide to take your rental RV next, make sure you take time to stop and smell the roses. There's no shortage of great experiences on offer in northeastern Alabama, so rent a camper near DeSoto State Park and start making a list of must-see destinations in the area.