Best Hiking Trails in DeSoto State Park
DeSoto State Park cabins are surrounded by all manner of hiking trails, several of which afford splendid views of the park's several waterfalls. In total, the park offers over 30mi. of hiking trails and another 11mi. of bike trails, meaning you can easily find a route suitable to your group's ages and abilities. Dogs are permitted on all the park's trails, so long as they are leashed at all times.
1. Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail
This short boardwalk trail is ideal for visitors of all ages and abilities, as it lets you see DeSoto State Park's natural habitat via the ease of a raised boardwalk. From March to November, enjoy the wildflowers blooming along this trail.
2. Scout Trail
A 3.1mi. trail rated as difficult, this loop path leads along the river and passes Indian Falls.
3. Paddling trail
In summer, rent a kayak or a canoe at the park's Boat Shack (reservations are encouraged), and paddle a two-mile, flat water section starting at the DeSoto Falls Picnic Area. The total route is four miles, should you do the return journey.
Great Places to Stay Near DeSoto State Park
Best Family Activities in DeSoto State Park
Considering one can horseback ride, hike, bike, swim, fly fish, golf, or enjoy the DeSoto State Park Mountain Inn Restaurant, you and your family will never be short on things to do at the park. Nearby DeSoto State Park hotels make it easy to access it all.
1. Horseback riding
Also located on Lookout Mountain, Shady Grove Dude Ranch is where to go to get on horseback, for a different view of the park's environs.
Open in summer, the park's Olympic-sized swimming pool has a lifeguard on duty and is a half-mile from the Country Store, where you can pick up supplies. Swimming is also permitted in the West Fork of Little River, but there is no lifeguard there.
3. Nature Center
Visit the park's Nature Center to learn more about local natural history, see exhibits featuring mounted and live animals, attend talks, or join guided hikes. Check the park's schedule of events on their website for a seasonal calendar of what's on!