DeSoto Scout Trail

HARD 29 reviews
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DeSoto Scout Trail is a 3.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Fort Payne, Alabama that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
3.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
374 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

canoeing

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

whitewater kayaking

beach

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

The trail is open from DeSoto State Park(DSP) to the new "Backcountry Trailhead" on Backcountry Road 5, in Little River Canyon National Preserve (LRCNP). At that point the trail follows backcountry road 5 to Edna Hill Church. The entire trail is marked with "DST" signs, except within DSP, where it is marked with a yellow blaze. Approximately 300 more signs are to be added before November, so it will be easier to find your way. Within DSP, from the northern border going south, the DST has a great trailbed and travels along the bluff line. It meanders around a few creeks and waterfalls that flow into the River. Past Indian Falls, the DST descends to the riverside. The footbed is sand river rocks, and some huge sunken boulders as this area is in the floodplain.

hiking
23 days ago

Don't waste your time doing the trail from exit 2 to exit 3 along the river, unless you like boulder hopping through tick-infested, overgrown trails.

hiking
26 days ago

The app maps the Gillian trail not the DST, though the two are the same in many areas. Definitely some rocks and obstacles to deal with but that is what makes it fun. Saturday morning on Memorial Day weekend and we didn't see another human on the trail. Loved it!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great section of the trail to hike through Desoto State Park.

2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Really really tough trail. Very scenic but dangerous. Both times we've been, April 2016 and November 2016 the trail wasn't very well maintained. We tried to clear it as we went. In November we only did a short portion of the trail to show our friends we had brought on that trip the river, which was dry sadly. But in April when it was just me and my husband we went a LONG way. It was gorgeous but it was more like rock climbing that actual hiking. The river was flowing in April and if we had not had hiking poles we probably would have went swimming. Our legs were so sore the next day! We finally came to a point in the trail that we were crawling over monstrous rocks and had to turn around for fear of injury. It was beautiful but some of the switchbacks were very very nerve racking! Not for the faint of heart. And make sure you have long pants on and hiking shoes that support your ankles!

6 months ago

Horrible trail. Thorns scratched legs the whole time. Became so indistinguishable I had to turn around maybe a mile and a half to two miles in rather than wander uncertainly through the tangled woods. It was okay for the first mile. I started from the southern terminus.

hiking
7 months ago

This was our favorite trail in the Vicinity of Little River Canyon National Preserve. That isn't exactly saying a lot however, because the trails in the area are mostly short out and back jaunts to lookouts or waterfalls. We hiked this in early November, and saw no others on the trail, and there was scant evidence of recent human activity. The trail follows the Little River for the most part. There are several places that require crawling over boulders and such, so it is not a good hike for small or frail dogs. Our Vizsla did pretty well, but got a few cuts and bruises from thorny vines and boulder crawls. Beware there are a lot of ticks, we found them on ourselves and our dog. The river was not running due to severe drought, but on this section it is large clear pool after large clear pool and juvenile trout could be seen in the larger pools. It is a very pretty hike. The only steep climbs were into and out of the canyon, and should be manageable by anyone that is reasonably fit. There are a lot of swimming holes, and even in the drought conditions the water was clear and probably ok for swimming.

Edit: I gave the hike four stars, not sure why it is only showing two.

10 months ago

The trailhead isn't located where the app says it is

hiking
Thursday, April 07, 2016

trail running
Tuesday, March 01, 2016

hiking
Monday, September 21, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The backcountry camping at LRC has been closed since Oct 2014 - and, it does clearly state that. Other than that, there has always been NO camping in the canyon...

Drove into the upper section of DST - signs lead thru residential area, onto a gravel road (bear to the right) - 1st option is DST x4. I drove down quite a ways further just to explore - many do not offer parking options. And, the road was pretty rutted and went thru some BIG puddles - keep that in mind if you do not have a high clearance vehicle - had not had a significant rainfall in days prior to my visit.

In the past, I just entered trail at Desoto State Park and hiked up or down river. Had some nice encounters with some deer, and saved a toad from being eaten by a rat snake (who then went towards me).

walking
Monday, May 25, 2015

Good, did a short section from the park motel. Lots of mountain laurel in bloom but rhododendron mostly faded.

hiking
Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I just hiked all 14 miles this past weekend and I wish I had known a few things before going.

First- there is NO backcountry camping in Little River Canyon National Preserve. No matter what their website says to the contrary when we got there we were told in no uncertain terms that we could not camp (even though the map they gave us had marked campsites...) there were signs at the trailheads and at the former campsites reiterating that camping was not allowed. They said they did not know when/if backcountry camping would resume. This is particularly sad because we saw evidence on the trail that people are going back there and not respecting the environment and meanwhile people who would enjoy and take care of the area aren't allowed to pitch a tent.

Second, without camping the southern part of the trail is pretty much not worth doing. For most of it you are simply walking along backcountry road 5. There were some pretty parts but nothing compared to the northern section and there are other trails in Desoto State Park that are nicer than the lower section of the Scout trail.

Other than that the trail is beautiful but it either needs to be maintained and truly revitalized or it needs to not be billed as 16 miles (the northmost 2 miles are on private property, so now it is really 14 miles which the signs concurred). I am suspect even of the 14 miles because our GPS and energy was quite different from the posted mileage signs.

I'm giving it only three stars because the southern portion was poor. The northern section I would give five stars. Desoto State Park also has two backcountry sites that are VERY easy to get to (I think less than a mile in to each) which means if you want to camp away from others it's easy to do and you can still go on lots of fun day hikes with a lighter pack. The Never Never Land shelter is the nicer of the two sites alongside a seasonal spring.

hiking
Saturday, October 11, 2014

Desoto State park is a beautiful place to hike all of the trails were wonderful.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

There really are 2 DST trails hiked them both. The south section is really not revitalized and winds around a road bed with some primitive camping.
The north side is revitalized and is a great hike. Some nice ascents it follows the river. Beautiful scenery some swimming holes all round great hike. We followed the signs off the highway and cut into where the north section abs south section begin and end. He north section is by far the best hike.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Saw no parking. Private homes and a gated entrance.

hiking
Monday, September 02, 2013

Nice trail! But keep in mind a lot of slippery rocks to walk over, not for small children or beginners.

hiking
Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Great trail for being in the south. Waterfall and river are pretty with multiple areas to take your clothes off and jump in. Numerous half day and day hikes in desoto state park as well.