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Huntsville, AL: DeSoto Falls

This trio of trails tours the rim of a ravine down to a waterfall that plunges 104-feet into an aquamarine pool feeding DeSoto Falls Lake.

Trip Tools

Accessed by a variety of short trails, DeSoto Falls is actually a series of three small waterfalls named for the Spanish explorer who ‘discovered’ them. All three of the approaches (see map and descriptions below) offer a unique perspective on the falls and a different way to explore the area.

DeSoto Falls via the Canyon Floor

This 1.28-mile out-and-back along the canyon floor is normally traveled by fisherman and rock climbers, and it offers hikers seldom-seen views of DeSoto Falls.  The hike leads to the aquamarine plunge pools of DeSoto Falls, meandering through the lush, ecologically diverse environment of the canyon floor. Be ready to scramble over rocks and climb over fallen trees while exploring spectacular views of the canyon walls.

DeSoto Falls Canyon Rim Overlook

For a shorter hike (0.68 miles roundtrip) that offers its own panoramic views of the falls and pools, take the DeSoto Falls Canyon Rim trail. This lesser traveled route along the rim of the canyon, passes by lichen, moss, huge boulders, as well as views of the canyon and river below.

DeSoto Falls Overlook

For a quick jaunt to the falls overlook, take the paved walkway that begins near man made DeSoto Lake. This popular area offers a variety of picnic spots and canoeing on the lake.

–Mapped by Scott Sanders,

To Trailhead

From Mentone, AL head south on County Road 89 for 2.1 miles. Turn left onto Dekalb County Road 613 and continue for a half mile. Park in the small parking area on the side of the road. To reach DeSoto Lake, continue on the road for another half a mile.

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