Little River Canyon National Preserve

Vacation Travel Guide
Little River Canyon National Preserve

Hike or drive through this canyon in the Southern Appalachians, admire striking geological formations, visit waterfalls and enjoy adventure sports.

Little River Canyon National Preserve is a recreational area set amid one of the most eye-catching canyons in the southeast of the USA. Its bluffs, boulders, cliffs, forests, pools and river provide the setting for myriad outdoor pursuits. Climb, hike, fish, kayak, picnic, raft on rapids and spot wildlife. Little River Canyon National Preserve spreads across an area of 14,000 acres (5,666 hectares) in the Southern Appalachians mountain range.

A great way to experience the canyon’s natural beauty is to bike or drive along the 11-mile (18-kilometer) long Scenic Drive. Stop at trails that lead to viewpoints, such as the Canyon View Overlook and Crow Point Overlook, and gaze in awe at soaring cliffs. Follow an easy walk to the 43-feet (15-meter) tall Little River Falls and swim in the pool at Martha’s Falls. Bring your own food and have lunch at designated picnic areas, including Canyon Mouth Picnic Area.

Come with your own kayak or rafting equipment and try the advanced to expert level rapids. The Backcountry Area, in the preserve’s northernmost section, is a paradise for adventure pursuits. Bike, hike and ride on horseback on 23 miles (37 kilometers) of dirt roads. Fish for bass, bream and carp on the pristine river water.

Spend some time appreciating the endemic and endangered flora. See the carnivorous green pitcher plant, which emerges in spring, and the harperella riverbed plant. Spot bald eagles, black bears and snakes. Remember to remain at a safe distance from the animals and do not provoke them.

Little River Canyon National Preserve is about a 20-minute drive from the towns of Cedar Bluff and Fort Payne. There’s no public transportation to the preserve so it’s advisable to rent a car. Free and paid parking is available at the main tourist areas.

Little River Canyon National Preserve is open year-round and during daylight hours. Admission is free, except for at Canyon Mouth Picnic Area. Plan your visit at Little River Canyon Center, where you can pick up maps and information brochures. Be cautious when using GPS units and map applications as they can often give inaccurate readings.

Top things to do in Little River Canyon National Preserve

Top Hotels Close to Little River Canyon National Preserve

DUNWURKIN'-Peaceful, Private, just 5 minutes to Little River Canyon
DUNWURKIN'-Peaceful, Private, just 5 minutes to Little River Canyon
Mentone, AL
This family-friendly Mentone cabin is located in the mountains, within 3 mi (5 km) of Little River Canyon National Preserve, Marthas Falls and Little River Canyon ...
5/5 Exceptional! (11 reviews)
Perfect place!
"We had an enjoyable stay in a great cabin. We loved the fireplace and had everything provided we could ever want. It was secluded which we loved yet close to all the outdoor attractions we wanted to visit as well as good places to eat. It could not have been better!"

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2022

DUNWURKIN'-Peaceful, Private, just 5 minutes to Little River Canyon
Hand Built Tiny Cabin with beautiful view.
Hand Built Tiny Cabin with beautiful view.
Fort Payne, AL
Situated in the mountains, this cabin is 2 mi (3.2 km) from Little River Canyon Center and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Little River Canyon National Preserve. Marthas ...
5/5 Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Great little getaway
"We enjoyed our stay. Owners were great at communicating. Cabin was clean and stocked with some drinks and snacks, which was a thoughtful bonus. The location was great we visited Georgia and Tennessee while we were there, which were pretty close by. Staircase was a little tight for my 6'2" and 240 ..."

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2022

Hand Built Tiny Cabin with beautiful view.
Mtn Abode w/ WiFi, 2 Mi to Little River Canyon!
Mtn Abode w/ WiFi, 2 Mi to Little River Canyon!
Fort Payne, AL
Situated in Fort Payne, this cottage is 2.2 mi (3.5 km) from Little River Canyon Center and 3 mi (4.9 km) from Little River Canyon National Preserve. Marthas ...
4.9/5 Exceptional! (15 reviews)
Girls weekend
"This cabin was perfect for a relaxing and fun girls weekend!"

Reviewed on Dec 27, 2021

Mtn Abode w/ WiFi, 2 Mi to Little River Canyon!
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Little River Canyon National Preserve

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Cullman, an IHG Hotel
Red Roof Inn PLUS+ Huntsville - Madison
Grand Palace Inn

Popular places to visit in Little River Canyon National Preserve

Little River Canyon National Preserve

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Best Lodging Options Near Little River Canyon National Preserve

DUNWURKIN'-Peaceful, Private, just 5 minutes to Little River Canyon
DUNWURKIN'-Peaceful, Private, just 5 minutes to Little River Canyon
Mentone, AL
DUNWURKIN'-Peaceful, Private, just 5 minutes to Little River Canyon
Hand Built Tiny Cabin with beautiful view.
Hand Built Tiny Cabin with beautiful view.
Fort Payne, AL
Hand Built Tiny Cabin with beautiful view.
Mtn Abode w/ WiFi, 2 Mi to Little River Canyon!
Mtn Abode w/ WiFi, 2 Mi to Little River Canyon!
Fort Payne, AL
Mtn Abode w/ WiFi, 2 Mi to Little River Canyon!
The Bird house
The Bird house
Fort Payne, AL
The Bird house
Faye's Retreat
Faye's Retreat
Fort Payne, AL
Faye's Retreat
Shelia's Chalet at Little River Canyon
Shelia's Chalet at Little River Canyon
Fort Payne, AL
Shelia's Chalet at Little River Canyon
Headline
Headline
Fort Payne, AL
Headline
Deer Run Cabin,  walking distance to the Little Canyon Rim
Deer Run Cabin, walking distance to the Little Canyon Rim
Fort Payne, AL
Deer Run Cabin, walking distance to the Little Canyon Rim
*Squirrel's Nest* New, private cabin near Desoto, Little River!
*Squirrel's Nest* New, private cabin near Desoto, Little River!
Fort Payne, AL
*Squirrel's Nest* New, private cabin near Desoto, Little River!
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.