DeSoto State Park hosts spring events

Above is the Screaming Eagle Zip Line at DeSoto State Park.

Whether a nature hobbyist, outdoor enthusiast or sporting fanatic, DeSoto State Park has plenty of activities to keep DeKalb County residents entertained.

DeSoto State Park and park partners like Little River Canyon National Preserve, Jacksonville State University Field School, Little River Arts Council and more, team up to bring many events throughout the year, including campfire talks, classes, demonstrations, guided interpretive or fitness hikes, tours, outdoor adventures, workshops and topics covering art, science, nature, history and much more.

DeSoto State Park also adds community events such as festivals, workshops and local craft shows to their calendar to help the guests and visitors make their visit to Lookout Mountain even more memorable. Most programs are free or charge a small supply fee.

Yoga on the Mountain: Neverland Trail Yoga Hike and Yoga Hike Along Little River

Destin Padgett will host strengthening yoga and hiking along beautiful trails. This hike will mix trail hiking with an outdoor yoga session.

Padgett is a certified personal trainer and specializes in teaching a fun yoga class that’s geared more toward a workout than a spiritual or slow paced practice.

“My yoga hikes are really chill, mostly standing poses. We worry more about having fun than being able to perfectly execute a pose,” said Padgett. “I hate that feeling when you go to a class and feel less than, you know? So I try to make my classes fun and I definitely don’t want people to worry about looking silly or worrying if they can’t do something.”

Combining hiking and yoga practice in the great outdoors confers benefits unmatched in any other setting. This hike is approximately three and a half miles round trip, moderate. The trail weaves through hardwood forest with sandstone outcroppings, streams, wetlands and an old home place along the trail.

Miller's Bend Paddle Shack

Miller's Bend Paddle Shack in DeSoto Falls Picnic Area will be open this weekend to help begin the scenic kayak trip up the West Fork of Little River. Rent sit-on-top kayaks to enjoy a peaceful flatwater paddle on Little River overlooking beautiful DeSoto Falls. The adventure can be up to four miles round trip. Paddle trips are perfect for individuals or groups. Life vests and paddles are provided.

Early Spring Hike in DeSoto State Park

Spring is one of the most beautiful times of the year at DeSoto State Park. On a moderate meandering hike along the Little River trail, join DSP Staff to see what plants' species are starting to grow and bloom after a long winter season. They will be teaching some natural history of the plants and some medicinal and historical uses. Beautiful views of the West Fork of Little River, Indian Falls and Lodge Falls along the route. This hike is approximately two miles round trip, moderate along rocky terrain.

Trail Trekker Hike Series: DeSoto Scout Trail Section

Hike the designated 22 miles of trails in DeSoto with no time limit, and collect a prize (Trail Trekkers Patch). Just log the hikes in the Trail Trekker log and record the date for each trail listed. Sign the completed form and turn it into the DeSoto State Park Country Store or Lodge to receive a patch.

This hiking series is designed for those that prefer some company out on the trails with experienced park staff or volunteers. Each month there will be a different hike. The hike is approximately five miles round trip, moderate to strenuous, along rocky mountainous terrain.

Adventure Hike-DeSoto Falls Basin

Set out on an adventure hike to the bottom of one of Alabama's tallest waterfalls, DeSoto Falls. Learn about Little River, an outstanding water source with its clear water, plant and animal life. Discover the history of the area around DeSoto Falls in Dekalb County. This hike is approximately one and a half miles total but considered moderate to strenuous due to the mountainous terrain and elevation. They will be hiking on rocky terrain down to the West Fork of Little River and walking upstream to the view of DeSoto Falls.

Serious Skills Series: Art of Woodburning-Country Magnets

The Serious Skills series is a variety of classes and workshops that provide opportunities to discover a hidden talent or learn a new skill for personal enrichment. Classes are open to local residents, overnight guests and park visitors.

Pyrography or wood burning is the art of decorating wood or other materials. According to DeSoto State Park the term means "writing with fire" dating back to the 17th century. Participants in this class will learn the basic techniques of decorative wood burning and painting designs from artist April Blanks, and will work on their choice of designs for three magnets to take home. This class is for ages 14 to adult.

Night Zip line Tour

Taking the fun to a whole new level, guest can soar through the tree canopy in DeSoto State Park with moonlight guiding the way. Guests can enjoy six zip lines that range from 100 ft. to 350 ft. in length and six sky bridges that range from 50 ft. to 150 ft. in length. A spiral staircase tower begins the trek and allows for a bird's eye view from up to 55 ft. in the air. The full moon is sure to make the tour even more exciting, with suspension bridges and zip lines to discover as guests traverse the tree canopy and explore with their guide. Tickets are $49 per person and spaces are limited.

29th Annual Wildflower Saturday 2021

Weekend of Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1, 2021

Wildflower Saturday is an annual event held in DeSoto State Park. Springtime at DeSoto State Park is beautiful, with wildflowers and trees blooming around every corner. Guests can join DSP staff and guest speakers for a wonderful weekend of learning about the many species of blooming plants found on Lookout Mountain. Guests can choose to stay the whole weekend, or just come for the day to enjoy the hikes and programs.

The weekend starts off with a welcome social and guest speaker program on Friday night, a day full of hikes to choose from, and a guest speaker on Saturday night.

• Miller's Bend Paddle Shack

April 3, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. until April 4, 2021 - 6:00 p.m.

• Early Spring Hike

April 3, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. until April 3, 2021 - 12:30 p.m.

• Miller's Bend Paddle Shack

April 10, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. until April 11, 2021 - 6:00 p.m.

• Trail Trekker Hike: DeSoto Scout Trail

April 14, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. until April 14, 2021 - 3:00 p.m.

• Neverland Trail Yoga Hike

April 14, 2021 - 4:00 p.m. until April 14, 2021 - 6:30 p.m.

• Adventure Hike-DeSoto Falls Basin

April 17, 2021 - 9:00 a.m. until April 17, 2021 - 11:30 a.m.

• Art of Woodburning-Country Magnets

April 17, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. until April 17, 2021 - 3:00 p.m.

• Miller's Bend Paddle Shack

April 17, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. until April 18, 2021 - 6:00 p.m.

• Yoga Hike Along Little River

April 21, 2021 - 4:00 p.m. until April 21, 2021 - 6:00 p.m.

• Daybreak Yoga Class

April 24, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. until April 24, 2021 - 9:00 a.m.

• Miller's Bend Paddle Shack

April 24, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. until April 25, 2021 - 6:00 p.m.

• Night Zipline Tour

April 24, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. until April 24, 2021 - 10:00 p.m.

• Wildflower Saturday

April 30, 2021 - 6:00 p.m. until May 1, 2021 - 8:00 p.m.

You can contact DeSoto State Park for any information you may need.

Brittney M. Hughes

Park Naturalist at DeSoto State Park

7104 DeSoto Parkway NE Fort Payne, AL. 35967

Office: 256.997.5025 OR Fax: 256.845.8286

Volunteer Opportunity: DeSoto State Park is needing and welcoming volunteers to assist their staff with nature hikes, campfire programs, help prepare interpretive trail guides, publications, interpretive signs, exhibits and Junior Ranger programs. The volunteers have a great time and provide critical assistance during interpretive programs.

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