Eberhart Trail is a 1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gaylesville, AL that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
This is quite a workout! We look forward to going back after the drought. Even with the river being almost completely dry it is still a beautiful place.
This is a 1 mile round trip hike that is steep. It was quite a challenge to walk back up without stopping for rest, it is that steep. Most of it appears to be an old gravel roadbed. At the bottom of the trail are the ruins from what used to be a picnic area that the NPS has chosen to let rot. This trail is one of few places to go from the rim to the river, so if you are in the area it is worth checking out. There was a drought going on when we visited, so river not flowing. None of the waterfalls were running.
That said the overarching theme at Little River Canyon Preserve was lack of maintenance of trails, poorly or non-maintained decrepit picnic facilities, and lookouts that were overgrown with weeds. Kind of a disappointment.
Edit: I gave this three stars, not sure why it is showing five.
Very nice trail, very steep gravel road about all the way to the water. Sandy beach near the water, very cleared out trail easy to find easy hike.
I hike this trail frequently, heading upstream to explore. If you head down, please bring a bag for trash - many "locals" come down regularly and seem to "forget" to take their trash with them. There used to be trash cans at the bottom of the trail, but those have been removed (not that they were used). there is a trashcan about 3/4 of the way up. In warm months, great swimming holes!
This trail is steep but it's very short. Near the start/top part are several side trails to the rim that have great views/photo ops. At the bottom in the river we saw several banded water snakes that are not afraid of humans at all. They followed us up stream. Plenty of small mouth bass to enjoy as well. Trail is washed out a tad but overall is a good heart pounder albeit a short one. The bench seats alone the trail would certainly be helpful if you need a break.
Great hike, though the climb back up is a gasser! The "ruins" at the bottom of the trail are what's left of an old amusement park, "Canyonland". There are big concrete blocks turned at about 45-degree angle, these are part of the base of a cable car that used to run from the bottom of the canyon on the west side to the top on the east side. There's the stone foundation of the old concession stand, and overgrown concrete picnic tables scattered about. The river here is quite nice, clear enough to see large fish swimming around, very rocky. DO USE BUGJUICE! The redbugs are voracious here.
As I said, the trip up is strenuous, but I made it! Had a heart attack in October, but no chest pain on trail; told my cardiologist I won't need a stress test any time soon! Recommend this hike to all.
We jogged/hiked the trail in late May after stopping at many of the overlooks along Little River Canyon. It was a beautiful day to be out enjoying nature. The jog to the bottom of the trail was steep. The surface was mainly dirt and there were man-made stair structures. Once at the bottom, you are able to walk along the river and enjoy the views to the top of the canyon. The return climb was a bit of a challenge but we did run much of it. Definitely worth the effort.
I completed this trail on a hot June day. The tree canopy kept it cool. Yes, the beginning of the trail is steep - please don't attempt in flip flops or Crocs. After the descent, you can hike along creek to look up at Eberhart Point (truly makes you realize how small we are), and past old picnic tables and some structure... There is a picnic table, fire ring & garbage cans (I'd hate to be the person in charge of dumping them). I found a more enjoyable path back up (no, not by escalator) - my blog has detailed review, pics, gpx route.
This trail STEEP, which is why it is rated strenuous. But don't let that scare you off. There are benches to rest on the way back up from the canyon floor back to the rim. about 500 feet. we enjoyed this hike. Start at the end off the parking lot and stay along the edge to check out the awesome views. You will soon join the main trail, which is an old road bed, just below the canyon rim. follow the road to the canyon floor. you will see interesting ruins of an abandoned picnic area. strange and eerie. great swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clean waters of Little River. the trail goes both upstream and downstream a short way. on the way back, follow the old road back to same parking lot.
This trail was a breeze at the beginning. My friend and I actually were joking about it on the way down but we were very surprised on how hard the climb up was. It certainly took its effect on us plus it was well over 90 degrees that day. This trail is not a must see but if your in this part of the country sometime then I would definitely recommend it.