DeSoto State Park - Plan for the Active Life

Our friend Paulette decorated our Easter table Sunday morning!
Growing up, Easter weekends were a flurry of activities.  My sister and I always donned new dresses at an early sunrise service.  Today, my own family has started to participate in Easter festivities at home leading up to and during Holy Week.  However, we have started to hit the campground on Good Friday.  Our less conventional Easter festivities of these past two years have been a welcome retreat as we celebrate life, rebirth and a new season in nature.
This year, we traveled to the place where my parents lived when they first married.  It is the place where I was born.  And strangely enough, the trip was the very weekend before my birthday. 

Desoto State Park is located in Northeast Alabama just outside of Fort Payne, Alabama.  Nestled on a mountaintop lookout, this park showcases the 1930's CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) work that remains there today.  With over 25 miles of biking and hiking trails, this charming area is rich with opportunities to enjoy the park's beauty at any pace.

After seeing the falls, we took a break in our hammocks.
We enjoyed a hike on the afternoon that we arrived.  The trails are well marked.  The lush, bright moss lining the trails is magical in the spring.  If you leave the park, there are scenic views at every turn.  We drove around to take in the waterfalls along winding roads.  Both DeSoto Falls and Little River Canyon are breathtaking and worth the drive.

Little River Canyon.  There is a beautiful picnic spot at the overlook here!

Knowing that there were many opportunities to hike and sightsee, we planned our Easter weekend to be a trip with less food prep and more time to enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Our meals for this trip included fruit and granola on our first morning there.  We enjoyed a bagel bar on Easter Sunday.  Evening meals were simplified with a crock pot, french dip sandwiches one night.  We also did a traditional burger night.  We had more time to be active and relax with less time spent on food.  If you would like a copy of our Active Weekend Meals Menu, I have them in a Google Drive folder than you can use.

French dip sandwiches cooked in the crock pot while we explored all day.

Homemade bagels that I made and froze ahead of time.  They toasted perfectly!
The main attraction of this trip were the views.  Desoto State Park is a gem.  The sites are large with plenty of space between neighbors.  There is a camp store at the entrance of the park that is well stocked with staples and basic needs including firewood.  There is a coded security gate at the entrance of the camping loops.  Bathhouses and facilities are immaculately cleaned.  The park even offers both cable and WiFi.  This state park is a winner.

Nearby the park, both the towns of Fort Payne and Mentone offer visitors shopping and restaurants.  These are two things that we didn't take in during our weekend trip.  However, we are planning to return to enjoy the local towns.  

Near Mentone, there are quite a number of cabins that are available to rent.  This area is popular during the fall of the year for its beautiful foliage.  I have traveled to this area for work during the fall and winter.  With bright autumn leaves covering the hills and mountains and spreading into the valleys, the colorful canvas on a sunny day is spectacular.  So, even if you are not a camper, it would be worth it to check into a cabin rental for a long weekend.  

The best part of a great weekend getaway is that it should leave you yearning for more.  We are always ready for more and new adventures.  When we find a place we like and want to return, we scope out what we want to do next and plan our trip around that.  I foresee a trip in our future that allows for time to explore the local towns and attractions. 

This group gave our trip to Desoto Falls a thumbs up!
If you are interested in visiting this state park and area of Alabama, pin this to one of your boards on Pinterest.  Or, share with other campers on social media.  I love sharing our adventures with you and hope it inspires you to get out and explore.  Until next time...