Desoto State Park

Desoto State Park

7104 DeSoto Parkway Northeast Fort Payne, AL 35967 Phone Number: 256-845-5380

Official Website
Desoto State Park (Alabama Birding Trails) website

Birds of Interest

DeSoto State Park ‘s Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail (previous name-Azalea Cascades Trail) (Site #47, Northeast Loop) allows the birder to enjoy both woodland songsters-Kentucky and Hooded Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers and Yellow-throated Vireos and displays of native wildflowers and blooming shrubs. The boardwalk is 360 yards long through wooded slopes and moist forest floor. The Boardwalk ends with a 20’ octagon deck over the pool formed by Azalea Cascades, one of the many waterfalls in the Park. Overall, Desoto State Park offers an unequaled display of multiple woodland bird species found in the southeastern United States, as well as a staff naturalist and great trails to lead you to them.

Species to look for include Pileated, Red-headed, Red-bellied, Downy, and Hairy woodpeckers, as well as White-breasted and Brown-headed nuthatches. This mosaic of habitats is home to a great variety of warblers including Black-and-White, Blue-winged, and even Golden-winged on occasion. In spring and early summer, the forest resounds with the calls of Wood Thrushes and vireos, while winter brings flocks of American Goldfinches and Purple Finches from farther north. A clear view of the sky can reveal migrating raptors in spring and fall, such as Red-tailed and Broad-winged hawks, and perhaps Golden Eagles in winter.

About this Location

Desoto State Park is site #47 Northeast Loop on the Alabama Birding Trail.

Continuing in the rustic tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), mountainous Desoto State Park is nestled atop beautiful Lookout Mountain in scenic Northeast Alabama and accented by many rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers. Developed in the late 1930s, the hard-working and dedicated men of the CCC made many natural enhancements to the park that have withstood the test of time and will last for future generations. Come commune with Mother Nature as DeSoto State Park offers a family-friendly atmosphere that holds wonders for people of all ages!

DeSoto State Park is conveniently located only 8 miles northeast of Fort Payne, Alabama; and DeSoto Falls - also part of DeSoto State Park - is located about 7 miles north of the park heading towards Mentone, Alabama.

When traveling to the park, please be advised that GPS directions are NOT reliable (especially when pulling a large rig). Please see written driving directions on the official park webpage under Plan Your Trip. *Larger vehicles need to avoid Tutweiler Gap (off of Hwy 117), Wades Gap (Co. Rd. 604), Beasons Gap (off of Co. Rd. 89). Trailers or Rvs also need to avoid County Road 613(road to DeSoto Falls)

*If coming from I-59, we advise campers/larger vehicles to use Exits 218 or 222 and utilize AL Hwy 35.

Park amenities include: Parking, Restrooms, Handicap Access, Canoeing, Biking, Hiking, Camping, Fishing, Picnic Area, Boat Access, Food, Cabins/Lodge, and Swimming.


Lodge Front Desk: 24/7 All Year

Country Store: 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM

Park Trails/Picnic Areas are open dawn to dusk

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has descriptions and maps of several hikes at Desoto State Park.

The Alabama State Parks website has descriptions and maps of several hikes at Desoto State Park.

Desoto State Park has more than 30 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails; including an ADA-accessible boardwalk trail dedicated to Talmadge Butler, a former park superintendent.


  • Restrooms on site

Content from Official Website

Last updated September 25, 2023

Desoto Falls Area Map
Desoto Scout Trail
Trail Map Part 1
Trail Map Part 2