desoto state park

Have You Heard the Legend of Alabama’s Littlefoot?

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You all know I love a good bigfoot story. I mean, let’s be honest, who doesn’t? Even if you think it’s all just a tall tale you have to admit there’s usually really good stories and legends about the hairy beast that roams the woods across the United States.

Often these stories are best told around a campfire so consider this a virtual one and read why some believe that bigfoot’s cousin, Littlefoot, lives in Alabama’s Little River Canyon. (By the way, I have no proof that Littlefoot is a cousin to Bigfoot, but it sounds good)

little river canyon alabama
© 2001 Steve Uzzell / The Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel

Where and What is Little River Canyon?

Little River Canyon, located atop northeast Alabama’s Lookout Mountain, was carved out by the river after thousands of years and is one of the deepest canyons in this part of the United States.
A 23-mile drive runs along the canyon’s rim that offers spectacular views into the 700-foot-deep gorge. The drive features several stop-off points where you can pull over and get photographs. 

Take multiple photos and look closely. Bigfoot is the hide and seek champion so I imagine Littlefoot is as well.  There is a good chance s/he’s hiding behind one of those trees you just photographed. 

DeKalb County: Little River Falls on the Little River in the Little River Canyon National Preserve. (c)The Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel

Waterfalls in Little River Canyon

You’ll find three major waterfalls in Little River Canyon, beginning with Little River Falls, located off Highway 35 next to the bridge separating the town of Gaylesville from Fort Payne.

This is your first stop on a scenic tour entering from the north.

Next is DeSoto Falls, which is located on the West Fork of the river and is 104 feet high.

Grace’s High Falls is the last of the major three waterfalls and is Alabama’s highest, at 133 feet.

Check out the best waterfalls in Northern Alabama while you’re searching for Littlefoot.

Little River Canyon
(c)The Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel

Hiking Little River Canyon

Besides the beautiful falls, visitors discover that Little River Canyon is a hiker’s delight with beautiful natural forests and sandstone cliffs towering 600 feet above the canyon floor.

There are several hiking trails you can take along the edges of the canyon to get some great views of the entire canyon area.

Eberhart Point is the best starting place for hiking down to Pine Tree Hole at the bottom of the canyon.

The more adventurous can even put in there for some whitewater rafting fun.

little river canyon
(c)The Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel

Does Littlefoot live in Alabama’s Little River Canyon

As visitors discover, the Little River Canyon area is a land of beauty, but also legends.

One of the most interesting local stories is Littlefoot. Several years ago, a small petting zoo was in operation near Little River Canyon.

The family running the zoo ran into financial difficulties and ended up closing.

The remaining animals were being moved to another facility when an escape occurred.

A small family of monkeys took advantage of an open transport cage and ran off into the woods. Then the reports started.

little river canyon
(c)The Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel

The Legend of Alabama’s Littlefoot

As the legend goes, a group of rafters noticed something moving in the trees and that it appeared to be following them down the river.

A Cub Scout troop had pinecones playfully thrown at them from the treetops.

A group of hikers left their backpacks along the riverbank and returned to find their snacks missing and several small footprints in the surrounding mud.

A retired engineer from Huntsville took a blurry photo of a small hairy figure walking upright and dragging what appeared to be an Igloo cooler.

These occurrences soon became known as Littlefoot sightings.

So, when hiking Little River Canyon, remember to keep one eye on the tree branches and the other on your snacks.

desoto state park
(c)The Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel

DeSoto State Park

DeSoto State Park is located eight miles northeast of Fort Payne. One visit and it’s easy to see why DeSoto was voted as one of America’s Top 10 State Parks by Camping Life magazine.

The park spreads over 3,500 acres along the outer ridge of Lookout Mountain and embraces some of the state’s most dazzling natural wonders and has 12 miles of hiking trails.

I mean, if I was Littlefoot, this is a place that I would want to call home. 

Regardless if you find Littlefoot on your Little River Canyon or not you’re sure to have a fabulous time exploring the great outdoors in Alabama.

Don’t want to look for Littlefoot? Consider taking this Alabama BBQ Road Trip!


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