The Magnificent Season of Fall on Lookout Mountain

The Magnificent Season of Fall on Lookout Mountain
By Patty Tucker

If one has never experienced autumn in the mountains of NE Alabama, they are missing the radiant splendor that is Mother Nature Herself. Those who know of these mountains, seek their solitude and beauty in all four seasons, especially autumn.

The magnificent season of fall, gets it start in early to mid September, beginning with a hint of a cooler breeze swaying through the trees and blowing up the side of the mountains. Then, ever so gradually, the leaves begin their subtle changes as the green of summer departs for varying shades of orange, yellow and reds. But in the mountains of NE Alabama, it isn’t just the trees that lend to the landscape. Here, there is so much more, as you travel from one mountain to another, our two bookends of Lookout and Sand Mountains. Waterfalls, rivers, streams, deep gorges, high lands and low lands weave together a plethora of things to see and do.

DeSoto Falls Autumn on Lookout Mountain
Little River Canyon National Preserve Overlook in Fall
Little River Canyon Creek in Fall.
Campsites during fall on Lookout Mountain.

Lookout Mountain is a range traveling through the 3 states of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama with the majority of the route snaking its way through Alabama. The road leads to Mentone, a charming village nestled among the forests and ridges of the mountain, a feast for the eyes in Autumn. Here one will find quaint Bed and Breakfast Inns and a wide array of cabin rentals offering seclusion, views of the forest, and edge of the mountain to lake and river views. Accommodations also provide amenities like fireplaces, outdoor fire pits, hot tubs and jacuzzis, as well as access to nearby hiking and biking trails and waterfalls.

Attractions on Lookout Mountain include DeSoto State Park and waterfalls, the Little River Canyon National Preserve and waterfalls, miles of hiking trails on paths well worn by generations of hikers, winding their way to tributaries and waterfalls. Waterfalls on Lookout Mountain range from small to tall and narrow to wide but no matter their size, they each have a distinctiveness all their own. Stand near one and gaze at its beauty and you will feel all tension wash away with only peace left in its wake.

The valley below, sandwiched between Lookout and Sand Mountains, runs from Collinsville to Fort Payne to Valley Head and affords travelers a gorgeous ride along U.S. Highway 11, taking in autumnal mountainous views and rolling landscape through farmland and historic communities with shops and eateries.

Sand Mountain, not to be ignored, begs you to visit the high peaks of Buck’s Pocket State Park and its majestic overlooks, to the river below with all its crannies and nooks, and High Falls Park with a roaring waterfall whose picture graces the current cover of the state’s vacation guide.

The Autumn season in the mountains of NE Alabama is always hard to predict when to visit for peak color. It might occur in late October or not until mid-November. Mother Nature is in charge and always decides when and how to set the stage for Her spectacular show. But she will leave you breathless from start to finish, whether it is the cool refreshing air, the gentle streams and waterfalls, a lush, forested nature hike, to that climatic unfurling of vibrant colors. You won’t want to miss a minute of what She has in store for you. Plan your visit now!

Fall Events include:

September 28 – October 2
The DeKalb County VFW Fair, voted often as the number 1 fair in the state!

Oct 8-9
Vintage Pickin’ Fall Market Event

October 16 – 17
Mentone Colorfest in the town of Mentone and Mentone Brow Park

October 23
8th Annual RTI 5K Fun Run – The Great Pumpkin Run in Rainsville

November 6
Canyon Fest: A Celebration of Arts and Nature at the Little River Canyon Field School and Interpretive Center in the Little River Canyon National Preserve

November 13 and 14
Creative Spirit Market in DeSoto State Park

Get details about these and many more events, to include renting kayaks at Miller’s Bend Paddle Shack at DeSoto Falls inside DeSoto State Park, to ziplining through splendid autumn foliage, to rock climbing and rappelling adjacent roaring waterfalls and to glass blowing and creating your own colorful tumbler, all on our calendar of events.

DeKalb County VFW Agricultural Fair in Fort Payne
Mentone Colorfest
Vintage Pickin' Shoppers

Places to stay:

DeSoto State Park
7104 DeSoto Pkwy. NE
Fort Payne, AL 35967

Mentone Cabins
Various locations across Lookout Mountain
706-413-0533 (Call or text)

Mentone Inn
6139 AL Hwy 117
Mentone, AL 34984

The Winston Place Bed and Breakfast
353 Railroad Ave.
Valley Head, AL 35989

Holiday Inn Express
112 Airport Rd. W
Fort Payne, AL 35968

Find many other places on the lodging page.

Cabin rentals on Lookout Mountain in Alabama.

Enjoy fine cuisine from one mountain range to another and all points in-between, to include:

Helena’s Deli
6010 Alabama Hwy. 117
Mentone, AL 35984

Rim of the Canyon Café
477 Alabama Hwy. 35
Fort Payne, AL 35967

Sand Mountain Bootleggers
18014 Alabama Hwy. 75
Henagar, AL 35978

Sally’s Smokin’ Butts BBQ
2904 Gault Ave. S
Fort Payne, AL 35967

Topher’s Wings
72 Roy Sanderson Ave.
Rainsville, AL 35967

For information on these and more wonderful dining establishments visit the dining page.

Mentone Colorfest