Falling for Lookout Mountain Alabama

Falling for Lookout Mountain

It’s hard to pick a favorite season on Lookout Mountain: winter brings cozy fires and the chance of skiing at the southeasternmost ski resort in North America, spring’s rains make the ground giggle in flowers and waterfalls, and summer sees the mountain’s population surge with camp-goers and families who’ve visited our little slice of heaven on Earth for generations. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: there’s no better time of year to visit Lookout Mountain than autumn. The cooler temps make enjoying the outdoors a (mountain) breeze, and the flashy foliage will have you falling for fall before you can say “pumpkin spice latte.” 

Here are three ways to spend an autumnal afternoon atop Lookout Mountain:

Adventure abounds at DeSoto State Park! Follow in the footsteps of the park’s namesake, famed explorer Hernando DeSoto, and soak up the fall colors along the more than 30 miles of hiking trails, or cruise the bike trails—with rides rated from easy to strenuous, there’s something for riders of all speeds. If your sense of adventure is pushing you to new heights, you’re in luck: the park is also home to a zipline course, where you can get a bird’s eye view of the changing leaves from six high-flying ziplines of varying lengths and seven sky bridges!

DeSoto State Park is also home to DeSoto Falls, although it’s a little ways up the scenic Lookout Mountain Parkway from the rest of the park. While DeKalb County is famous for our many waterfalls, DeSoto Falls, where the Little River drops an astonishing 104 feet, is far and away the most iconic. And when the changing leaves frame the falls? Adventurers can experience the falls from railed overlook, head down a few flights of stairs to another overlook, or even journey to the bottom of the basin…as long as they’re careful going over the slippery rocks on the way down! Pro tip: the changing leaves against the sheer rock face of the falls make for the autumnal background of our Instagram dreams. Be sure to use #VisitLookoutMountain to share your shots!

You can also experience the beauty of Lookout Mountain by water with a personal or group cruise courtesy of Mentone Scenic Boat Cruises. For just $25 per person, you’ll embark on an hour-long boat tour to behold the mesmerizing autumnal bursts of crimson and gold while meandering down the river. These relaxing, educational tours must be scheduled in advance and leave right from DeSoto Falls.

If your visit to Lookout Mountain feels incomplete without saying hey hay to some local four-legged friends, mosey over to Shady Grove Dude Ranch for a trail ride. Nestled in among 800 acres, the dude ranch and the adjoining Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort are home to miles of trails through some of the mountain’s most pristine wilderness, making the backs of their noble steeds prime spots for leaf peeping. Some trails will even take you to DeSoto Falls! Think your trailmate’s up for a selfie?

However you choose to spend your time here, there’s nowhere better to fall for fall than Lookout Mountain. Click here to plan your own autumnal adventure, and check out #VisitLookoutMountain on your favorite social media feed for some travel inspo.