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Little River Canyon National Preserve Guide - OutdoorPlaces.Com

 Little River Canyon National Preserve Guide

The Little River flows for most of its length atop Lookout Mountain in northeastern Alabama, making it the longest mountain top river in the United States.  Carving itís way down the mountain, Little River Canyon is also home to the deepest canyon in the southeastern United States, and is a major draw for rock climbers and white water paddlers throughout the southeast.  With an annual visitation of only 300,000, Little River Canyon National Preserve is arguably one of the most under appreciated parks in the United States National Park system.  A visit to this park feels more like Tennessee than Alabama, with it's cliffs and scenic views.

Little River Falls - Picture Provided By The US National Park ServiceApproximately 14,000 acres, Little River Canyon National Preserve was created on October 21, 1992 to protect this spectacular system of rivers, canyons and plateaus of the lower Appalachian Mountains.  Accessible any season of the year, spring blooms give way to humid wet summers with dense forest.  Spectacular color sets in for the fall and winter can bring an occasional snow to the area.

Crashing down the side of Lookout Mountain, the Little River features a number of waterfalls and pools as it cuts through the parks.  Because the Little River does not have any dams and does not pass through many man made or impacted areas, it is one of the wildest cleanest rivers in the southeast.  Sandstone and boulder cliffs rise up over 600 feet in some places from the river base.  This diverse area is home to a number of wild animals, fish and plants, including the Kral's Water Plantain A 23-mile road cuts through the park and passes a number of these attractions.

The park has three main units.  Little River Falls is located on State Highway 35 and is located at the base of a waterfall and has a moderately sized parking lot.  This scenic area is best visited after recent rainfall.  Canyon Mouth Park is a day use facility with picnicking, hiking and wading with a sandy beach.  Picnic tables, grills, toilet facilities, and fishing are all available.  Eberhart Point has a 3/4 mile hiking trail that leads down into the scenic canyon.  All three features are connected by the 23 mile long Canyon Rim Parkway that begins at Canyon Mouth Park.

Located in the northeastern part of Alabama, Little River Canyon National Preserve is adjacent to DeSoto state park and is close to Russell Cave National Monument, Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia, the Cloudmont Ski Resort, and the eastern unit of Talladega National Forest.  Famous for itís southern hospitality, you will find the people of Alabama as warm and friendly as a late spring day.  Located off of Interstate 59, the park is close to both Gadsden, Alabama and Chattanooga, Tennessee.