DeSoto Falls, located between Mentone and Fort Payne, Alabama is a steep cascading waterfall that begins as a tranquil pond. The pond was dammed in 1925, creating the first hydro electric power source in Northern Alabama. As water streams over the A.A. Miller Dam, it creates a very nice curtain of water that lands in the first of a series of cascades. From here, the water quickly begins running into three ponds before the longest drop into a deep gorge.
The park provides very easy access to see the entire series of falls.
The parking area sits alongside the DeSoto Lake. On the right side of the lake is the dam, and a series of steps leading down to each of the water falls.
It is important to note that DeSoto Falls is not actually connected to the nearby DeSoto State Park. The two are actually about a 20 minute drive (in the mountains) away from each other.
After climbing down the steps, the hiker will arrive at the final, and tallest waterfall. Unfortunately, the park offers no access to the bottom of the falls. After visiting this park, I was later told that the base of the falls is accessible via a 2-mile trail that begins on private property. There were no rangers on hand when I visited the park, but I have been told that they can provide directions as to how to find this trail to the base of the falls.
Other than views of the falls, the park offers little else to do. It is a beautiful waterfall, worth stopping by if in the area, and a great place for a picnic, but don’t plan your whole day around this very small park. Instead, plan to spend some time here before or after moving on to the nearby DeSoto State Park.
1. Follow the Menlo, GA /Alabama stateline, take AL-117
2. Turn LEFT onto CR-89/ DESOTO PKWY/ LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN PKWY.
3. In 2.2 miles, turn left again onto CR-613.
4. CR-613 becomes DeSoto Falls Road.