Lookout Mountain Alabama – The Home of Adventure

Lookout Mountain Alabama: The Home of Adventure
By Emily Kirby

With the roaring waters of Little River, sandstone cliffs, and beautiful hiking trails, any beginner or experienced adventurer will find a challenge awaiting them on Lookout Mountain. These areas and parks are filled with beautiful views that give visitors plenty of opportunities to see it from new heights.

Located just 1.3 miles from Little River Canyon National Preserve, True Adventure Sports is a full-scale outfitter, offering adventures for individuals, families, and groups. TAS also provides safety training and certifications, team building, and hands-on education for companies and school groups. Online scheduling is perfect for travelers who are booking their trip to Lookout Mountain in advance.

DeSoto State Park is conveniently located only 8 miles northeast of Fort Payne, and DeSoto Falls is located about 7 miles north of the park heading towards Mentone. The park features a lodge with restaurant and hotel, a modern campground, miles of hiking and biking trails, cabins, chalets, waterfalls and tree canopy ziplines. The park’s trails and picnic areas are open each day from dawn to dusk.

The Basic Rappelling class from TAS lasts 4 hours and takes you down 85-foot cliffs. No experience is required and all gear and basic instruction is included. Advanced Rappelling, lasting from 3 to 5 hours, includes caves, waterfalls, and rock crevasses. Previous experience is required and all gear and basic instruction is included.

Basic Rock Climbing includes 4 hours on the unique sandstone cliffs in the Little River Canyon area. No experience is required and all gear and basic instruction are provided. Bouldering lasts 4 hours atop Lookout Mountain, with no experience required and all gear and basic instruction are provided.

Wild Cave Exploration is for adventurers ready to explore on their knees and belly, in the mud, and in tight spaces. The activity lasts 2.5 to 3 hours and includes gear and basic instruction. The Extended Wild Cave Exploration lasts up to 5 hours. 

Fly through the air on TAS’s 2-hour Zipline Adventure that whisks you over a ravine and through the woods. This basic package includes 2 zips on the 350+ foot lines. For an added thrill, choose the Night Zipline Adventure!  

DeSoto State Park also offers a sky trail among the trees, thanks to a partnership between the Park and Screaming Eagle Zip Lines and Aerial Adventures. Six zip lines range from 100 feet to 350 feet in length, along with six sky bridges that range from 50 feet to 150 feet in length offering another amazing aerial adventure. Whether a nature hobbyist, outdoor enthusiast, or sporting fanatic, DeSoto State Park has plenty to do to keep you pleasantly entertained.

For the fast-paced thrill seeker, TAS provides shuttle services for Whitewater Kayak Adventures to various Alabama rivers. This activity requires the completion of either a roll class or demonstration of prior experience.

Although TAS no longer offers recreational canoeing and kayaking, there are other options in the area. Check out DeSoto State Park’s kayak rentals at DeSoto Falls and travel up the West Fork of Little River and back. Rentals are by the hour. You can also launch your own kayak, canoe, paddleboard, jon boat, or similar watercraft at the boat ramp. 

TAS offers several hiking experiences, including the Hike of Seven Waterfalls, which lasts up to 7 hours and includes hiking, swimming, bouldering, sightseeing, survival training, team-building, waterfalls, and more. Hikers will need to bring a small backpack with a compass, flashlight, change of socks, change of clothes, camera, trail mix, water, small first aid kit, and a swimsuit. Different levels of this hike are available that determine the length and amount of time of the hike. For large groups looking for a team building exercise, the Extreme Night Hike has bouldering, some scrambling, spelunking, and more. Headlamps are provided, and groups need to consist of at least 6 people.

For the seasoned thrill seeker or those looking for a new challenge, the Mountaineering Adventure starts with a rappel into a canyon, then participants traverse to the other side and rock climb up the wall. This activity lasts from 4 to 6 hours, and is considered very extensive and difficult. Similar to Mountaineering, the Traverse Adventure starts on one side of the canyon and participants traverse, or travel across to the other side, by pulling themselves along the rope. This activity lasts approximately 4 hours, uses various types of gear, and is also considered very difficult.

To explore the trails around Little River Canyon in a fast-paced and exciting setting, consider Mountain Biking Adventures with TAS or DeSoto State Park, which has over 35 miles of hiking trails, including up to 11+ miles of mountain biking trails. The terrain on all trails varies from easy to strenuous. 

Come “hang” out on Lookout Mountain and see what this beautiful area has to offer!