Camping in the Mountains of DeKalb County Alabama

Camping in the Mountains of DeKalb County, Alabama 
By Mark Ethan Ford

If you take a trip to DeKalb County, you’re sure to find charming scenery around every turn. You may find yourself wondering, “Where are the best places to camp here?” One of the best things about DeKalb is the many sites and activities from which to choose. Nature lovers can enjoy the fresh air, scenic mountain views, and picturesque streams and rivers during a weekend camping trip. Set up at one of these locations and I can assure you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Take a glimpse into our little mountain town and appreciate what we have to offer – and don’t forget to bring your camera!

Little River RV Park

Little River RV Park & Campground is located on the outskirts of historic Fort Payne just off Alabama Highway 35. This campground offers 42 campsites with fire rings and picnic tables, and 16 tent sites available with the option of power and water. Full hookup and pull through sites are also available upon request.  They also have a shower house and a laundry room on site.

What You’ll Love: Settled on beautiful Lookout Mountain, this site offers an array of experiences for nature lovers. It is positioned in an area that is perfect for recreational users of all ages. You can appreciate from afar as wildlife can frequently be seen throughout the park. Whether you enjoy pitching a game of horseshoes, taking a leisurely stroll through the on-site hiking trails, or just wetting a line in the fishing pond, there are amenities for you!

What To Do: Just two miles from Little River Canyon National Preserve, all the wonders of nature are at your doorstep when you visit Little River RV Park & Campground. Whether a thrill seeker or a nature enthusiast, there is plenty to keep you entertained. Little River Canyon is divided into two areas: the backcountry and the canyon. The avid outdoorsman’s paradise, the backcountry is ideal for horseback trail riding, Redeye bass fishing, kayaking, and swimming. For those who enjoy an adrenaline rush, you can brave the Class V whitewater rapids of the canyon’s “Viper” or take to the canyon’s craggy bluffs for some intense rock climbing – or maybe just descend the steep trails to the canyon floor along the sandy banks of the Little River. If you prefer the slower paced life, cruise the scenic rim of the canyon to Eberhart Point. Stop along the way at the various overlooks to admire the vast canopy below. At the end of the 23-mile drive, sit down for a picnic at the rest stop.

Where To Eat: Circle back to Adamsburger Grill for some well deserved grub. It’s locally owned and operated and has a great menu that will leave you full after a long day on the trail. The hand crafted burgers are made with home grown beef from The Market at Tennessee River Music, owned by hometown hero Randy Owen of the country music band Alabama and his daughter, Randa Starnes!

Little River Canyon
Little River Falls
Camping at Little River RV Park
Buck's Pocket Campground

The Bucks Pocket State Park Renovated Campground is all new construction featuring 23 campsites with a concrete pad, picnic table, firepit, and grill. There are also 11 primitive campsites located on the interior of the campground.

What You’ll Love: Located centrally in Buck’s Pocket State Park, plenty of adventures are right at your fingertips! The campground is nestled at the base of a natural pocket along the banks of the tranquil South Sauty Creek. The area affords a secluded experience that allows you to enjoy the serenity of the Appalachian Mountains. After a long day, you can sit in front of a warm campfire with the crisp evening air to your back while you enjoy the water’s melody as it rustles across the rock beds.

What To Do: The newly constructed ORV trail is adjacent to the campground and runs parallel to South Sauty Creek, offering a unique perspective of the beech tree forest and its rugged terrain. Two miles down trail, the creek empties into Lake Guntersville. The tranquil waters of Morgan’s Cove serve as an oasis for bird watching, bass fishing, and paddling. Hike up over 800 feet from the canyon floor to the Jim Lynn Overlook that spotlights the rich panoramic view from Point Rock.

Where To Eat: Just up the road in Rainsville, Topher’s Wings is a hidden gem serving up a loaded menu of some of the finest Southern cuisine on Sand Mountain. Check out the wide selection of wings, smoked to perfection every time! Anything on this menu is sure to leave you full and satisfied. It’ll have you planning your next visit before you finish your food!

Buck's Pocket Campground
ORV Trail
Bucks Pocket Overlook
Desoto State Park Campground

Desoto State Park Improved Campground is located within a 3500 acre state park that also provides lodging facilities including chalets, cabins, motels, and primitive campsites.  The campground itself boasts a whopping 94 full hookup tent and RV sites. There are 2 centrally located comfort stations that have restrooms, showers, and coin-laundry stations. No matter the preference, there are accommodations for all!

What You’ll Love: Tucked away in a beautiful corner of Lookout Mountain on the banks of Little River’s West Fork, Desoto State Park is a scenic mountain area accented by rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers that will take your breath away. Desoto State Park’s trail system contains 10 miles of mountain bike trails in addition to over 30 miles of hiking trails, ranging from relaxed to moderate hikes.  Although some trails lead to more remote sites, most are interconnecting, presenting plenty of opportunities to see some of the interesting rock formations, water features, and seasonal flora throughout the park. As part of the Alabama Birding Trail, the Talmadge Butler Boardwalk sets the stage for nature lovers and bird watchers alike, allowing a unique perspective for people of all abilities to admire the surrounding habitat. Other amenities include the newly constructed Screaming Eagle Zipline, a playground, a swimming pool, numerous pavilions, meeting rooms, and the historic Civilian Conservation Corps museum, detailing the park’s rich history.

What To Do: Just a few miles north of the park, marvel at the majestic Desoto Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the state of Alabama. Rent a few kayaks and paddle the gentle waters of Miller’s Bend just above the dam. When you’re done, saddle up and ride on over to Shady Grove Dude Ranch – take to the trails on horseback and admire some of the most pristine wilderness in North Alabama!

Where to Eat: Head on over to the Mountain Inn Restaurant, conveniently located within the Park on the canyon’s edge. Admire the view of the West Fork of Little River while you dine on some of the best comfort food around! If you’d prefer a quainter atmosphere, stop for a meal at the Elevation Bistro in Mentone. Their cozy restaurant offers an intimate dining experience showcasing regionally sourced ingredients and a wide selection of wines and craft beers.



DeSoto Falls
Wall tent camping at DeSoto State Park
Lost Falls in DeSoto State Park
horseback riding at Shady Grove Dude Ranch
Hiking DeSoto State Park
Elevation Bistro Shrimp and Grits