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Best things to do in Fort Payne

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Where in the world: USA  /  Alabama  /  Fort Payne

Top 15 things to do in Fort Payne

1. Little River Canyon National Preserve

Little River Canyon National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located on top of Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne, Alabama, and DeSoto State Park. Created by an Act of Congress in 1992, the 15,288-acre (6,187 ha) preserve protects what is sometimes said to be the nation's longest mountaintop river, the Little River. The canyon was historically called "May's Gulf", "gulf" being a common term throughout the Cumberland Plateau for this sort of feature. Prior to being assigned to the National Park Service, the canyon area formed the southmost unit of Alabama's DeSoto State Park.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Little River Canyon National Preserve:

2. DeSoto State Park

DeSoto State Park is a public recreation area located on Lookout Mountain 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Fort Payne, Alabama. The state park covers 3,502 acres (1,417 ha) of forest, rivers, waterfalls, and mountain terrain. It borders the Little River, which flows into the nearby Little River Canyon National Preserve. The 104-foot-tall (32 m) DeSoto Falls, the state's highest waterfall, is found in a separate part of the park 6 miles (9.7 km) north of the main park.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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3. Desoto Falls, Mentone

DeSoto Falls is a 104-foot (32 m) waterfall located on the West Fork of the Little River near Mentone, Alabama, in DeSoto State Park. The falls have carved their own small canyon. They are named after Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Desoto Falls
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4. Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn

Cloudland Canyon State Park is a 3,485 acres (14.10 km2) Georgia state park located near Trenton and Cooper Heights on the western edge of Lookout Mountain. One of the largest and most scenic parks in Georgia, it contains rugged geology, and offers visitors a range of vistas across the deep gorge cut through the mountain by Sitton Gulch Creek, where the elevation varies from 800 to over 1,800 feet. Views of the canyon can be seen from the picnic area parking lot, in addition to additional views located along the rim trail. At the bottom of the gorge, two waterfalls cascade across layers of sandstone and shale, ending in small pools below.

The park, previously known as Sitton Gulch (or Gulf) or Trenton Gulf, was purchased in stages by the state of Georgia beginning in 1938. Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a project of Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression built the first facilities and signs in the park, which opened the following year. Today the park features a variety of campsites, cabins, hiking and recreational activities.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Goose Pond Colony Resort, Scottsboro

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Cathedral Caverns State Park, Woodville

Cathedral Caverns State Park is a publicly owned recreation area and natural history preserve located in Kennamer Cove, Alabama, approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of Grant and 7 miles (11 km) southeast of Woodville in Marshall County. The park's main feature, first known as Bats Cave, was developed as a tourist attraction in the 1950s. Cathedral Caverns was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1972 and opened as a state park in 2000.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Little River Canyon Center

The concept for the Little River Canyon Center project began in 1992 when discussions first began a partnership between the National Park Service and JSU. Funded through NASA and private donations, the LRC Center is a LEED certified project, designed with assistance from the NPS. The 23,000 square foot building includes office space, a museum, HD theatre, classrooms, library, restrooms, education store, outdoor trails and other amenities. Additional funds are being sought for the project’s museum exhibits and outdoor amphitheater.

The National Park Service, Alabama Power Company, DeKalb County Commission and many others have played an active and integral role in the development of the Little River Canyon Center. All recognize that the facility serves as a valuable tool for visitors, students, teachers and others interested in environmental sciences and natural resource protection.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Unclaimed Baggage, Scottsboro

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. G3 Adventures, Rising Fawn

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Lake Guntersville State Park, Guntersville

The park has an 18-hole championship golf course, a full-service restaurant, a beach complex with a rental pavillion and ample parking, outdoor swimming pool for hotel, cabin, and chalet guests, fishing center, hiking trails, nature programs, and a day-use area.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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11. Lodge Factory Store, South Pittsburg

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Lake Guntersville, Guntersville

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Russell Cave National Monument, Bridgeport

Russell Cave National Monument is a U.S. National Monument in northeastern Alabama, United States, close to the town of Bridgeport. The monument was established on May 11, 1961, when 310 acres (1.3 km2) of land were donated by the National Geographic Society to the American people. It is now administered and maintained by the National Park Service. The National Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.

Russell Cave has an exceptionally large main entrance, which was used for thousands of years as a shelter by cultures of prehistoric Indians, from approximately 6500 BCE, the period of earliest-known human settlement in the southeastern United States, to 1650 CE and the period of European colonization. It is believed to have primarily served as a seasonal winter shelter. The people relied on the surrounding forest to gather produce and hunt for game and fish, stone and game for tools, and wood fuel for fires. Guided tours of the shelter area are available.
With a mapped length of 7.2 miles (11.6 km), Russell Cave is the third-longest mapped cave in Alabama. It is ranked 90th on the United States Long Cave List, and is listed as number 314 on the World Long Cave List. Caving is no longer allowed inside the cave. The grounds offer trails for walking, and the area is a station on the North Alabama Birding Trail.

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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14. Chief Ladiga Trail, Piedmont

Situated on 62 wooded acres in rural Cleburne County, Alabama between Piedmont, Alabama and Cedartown, Georgia with direct access to the Chief Ladiga Trail and the Pinhoti Trail and beautiful Terrapin Creek running through the property.

Activities currently available are hiking, biking, climbing, swimming, and fishing.

The Pinhoti Trail is a National Recreation Trail for hiking only. There are 150 miles of the trail in Alabama and 150 miles in Georgia and it connects to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia. 140 of the Alabama miles are in the Talladega National Forest which borders the camp property. You can view more information about the Pinhoti Trail at www.pinhotitrailalliance.org

The Chief Ladiga Trail is a paved converted railbed with 34 miles in Alabama (Anniston to the Georgia line). The trail allows use by hikers, bicyclists and skateboarders. It connects to the Silver Comet Trail in Georgia and continues over 60 miles to the outskirts of Atlanta. The most beautiful portion of this trail is in Cleburne County and it is the most recently completed portion of the trail as well. You can view more information about the Chief Ladiga Trail at www.chiefladiga.com/ and www.epic.jsu.edu/clt/

The Talladega National Forest borders the property on three sides. The Talladega National Forest consists of 392,567 acres of protected public wilderness in North and Central Alabama. You can view more information about the Talladega National Forest at www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talladega_National_Forest
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Tims Ford State Park, Winchester

Tims Ford State Park, also known as Tims Ford State Rustic Park, is a state park in Franklin County, in the U.S. state of Tennessee. The 3,546-acre (14.35 km2) state park is situated on the north shore of Tims Ford Lake near the north escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau, about ten miles from the city of Winchester.

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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