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DeSoto Falls Hiking Trails

This weekend was filled with football, food, and outdoor fun. This area of the state is filled with all kinds of beauty for you to explore. We wanted to share with you some of the beauty found just steps from Lazy River Cottage at the three hiking trails found at the DeSoto Falls Trailhead.

From Lazy River Cottage, it is a short walk on County Road 613 (DeSoto Falls Road) to the parking area at the DeSoto Falls Trailhead. There are three trails at this location and they are considered an easy hike by All Trails, but I’d rate it more easy/moderate as there is an incline and lots of rocks to climb up and over throughout the hike. It is a very popular trailhead and many weekends the parking area is full early in the day. It’s a good thing this trailhead is just a short walk from Lazy River Cottage.

The blue dot on the map above is Lazy River Cottage. You can see just how close this beautiful adventure is to the cottage and how close DeSoto Falls State Park is as well. We’ll do a blog on DeSoto Falls State Park at a later date to share. Today, it’s all about the hiking.

DeSoto Falls Overlook

DeSoto Falls Overlook is a 0.45 mile one way hike with moderate terrain. So, almost a mile in and out. This is the easiest of the 3 trails, but still has beautiful views at its end. The DeSoto Falls Overlook trail is well marked so keep your eye out for the pink and blue marks on the trees to make sure you are staying on the correct path.

Most of the path is dirt and roots, but there are a number of rocks to climb up and over as you make your way down this path. We highly recommended closed toed shoes with good gripping soles for the uneven terrain. Should you need to take a break, there is a bench part of the way down the trail for you to stop and rest.

At the end of the 0.45 mile hike, you come to a beautiful overlook of DeSoto Falls. It is well worth the short hike!

DeSoto Falls Basin

There are two trails that take you to the DeSoto Falls Basin, the River Trail & Bluff Trail. These trails are labeled Moderate to Strenuous Terrain. Both trails start at the same place, following the pink trail markers on the trees. Just a short distance down the path, the trail splits into two different trails. Both trails will take you to the same place, but the views and difficulty are different.

The River Trail is more straight forward with less views to see on the way down the incline, while the Bluff Trail is a little steeper and has a small wet weather waterfall and Icebox Cave to enjoy on your way to or from the DeSoto Falls Basin.

One of our favorite things about this area of the state is all of the beautiful rock formations. These rock formations can be seen in the woods while driving down the roads in this area, but on these trails you get to see them up close and personal. They are huge and each beautiful in its own way.

Bluff Trail

When the trails split off, we chose to take the Bluff Trail on the way down to the DeSoto Falls Basin. The Bluff Trail is marked with pink and white trail markers on the trees. This quickly became a favorite for our family.

The picture below doesn’t show it well, but there was a small wet weather waterfall coming off the bluff above. The sound of the falling water created a tranquil feel as we navigated our way down this path.

Icebox Cave was a treat to come upon on this portion of the trail as well. We walked deep into this rock feature and enjoyed the cooler air inside. Its not considered a true cave, but rather a rock formation, but what a cool rock formation to explore and enjoy.

The descent from Icebox Cave to the connection to the River Trail was steep and filled with rocks and roots, but worth it for the extra beauty this trail provides.

River Trail

At the bottom of the descent, the Bluff Trail merged into the River Trail leading us to follow the pink trail markers once again to get to the DeSoto Falls Basin.

As we approached the DeSoto Falls Basin, the trail got more rocky and difficult to navigate, but still very doable. Just take your time and choose your footing wisely.

The hike was well worth the sure footed effort to get there. The view of the falls from the basin was spectacular!!

Surprise Views

On our way back to the top of the trailhead, we chose to follow the River Trail path all the way back. The sound of the rushing water of Little River drew us slightly off path across some large rocks to a few surprise adventures to see some additional spectacular views of Little River.

You can see why the sound of the river drew us to explore a little further. What a blessing to get to experience such beautiful scenery!

After our little off path rock adventure, the remainder of the path to the top of the trailhead was pretty easy with the exception of the steep incline. There is a bench for a break on the River Trail, just in case you need to stop for a break on your way back to the top. I didn’t take pictures of the steep part going up as I was taking it one step at a time myself. It’s a pretty good incline, but our family made it just fine.

Hiking Fun

It took us about 1.5 hours to hike through all 3 trails. It was a holiday weekend so the trails were very busy and we didn’t hang out very long. We plan to go back this fall when the colors are changing to take more pictures to share with you and hope to be able to take a little more time next time to soak in all of the beauty for a little longer.

If you are able, we highly recommend going on a short adventure on these trails one day while you are staying at Lazy River Cottage. If you like photography, pack your camera because, there are treasures at every turn to capture. I’m taking mine next time for sure!

Follow Us

Follow us on our Facebook and Instagram social media pages @littlerivervacay for more updates and pictures.

Stay With Us

We would love to host your next mountain getaway to Mentone, AL! Located on Little River by DeSoto Falls, kayak beautiful Little River during your stay at Lazy River Cottage with kayaks provided for guest use. Check out our website at for more information about Lazy River Cottage in Mentone, AL, just steps from DeSoto Falls and DeSoto Falls Trailheads.

You can find us on VRBO and Airbnb.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

We happened upon this best-kept secret in North Alabama in 2017 when looking for a place to spend quality time with family.  The serene beauty of Mentone, AL along with its close proximity to Chattanooga, Huntsville, Birmingham, and Atlanta drew us in. 


Our family has spent as much time as possible on Little River by Desoto Falls ever since.  It has become a place of refuge and rest for our family and we have been blessed to have the opportunity to make countless memories in this extraordinary area of the state. 

We hope you and your family and friends will make as many wonderful memories here as we have.

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