The best camping near DeSoto State Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next DeSoto State Park adventure.

100% (2 reviews)
100% (2 reviews)

This mountainous paradise offers trails, waterfalls, and scenic views across the Appalachian Mountains.  

Popular ways to camp

Community favorites near DeSoto State Park

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near DeSoto State Park

99%
(58)

Little River Adventure Company

34 sites · Tents40 acres · Fort Payne, AL
Our 40 acre ADV base camp is top rated by riders, climbers, paddlers, cyclists, hikers, and explorers visiting the Little River Canyon National Preserve, DeSoto State Park, and Lookout Mountain area. We are also a Destination Yamaha Location renting bikes and ebikes. No RVs or heavy vehicles please.
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$25
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98%
(326)

Woodybrooke Farm Campground

12 sites · RVs, Tents650 acres · Ider, AL
FREE CANOE RENTAL with any booking for Spring 2024!! Pristine property with 4 stocked fishing ponds. Camp privately beside the water and relax in the canopy of our certified Alabama Treasured Forest. Swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, wildlife and bird watching. Amenities and activities available at Woodybrooke: *4 stocked ponds with bream and bass for fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking. *On-site canoe, jon boat and kids' kayaks rental available. *Firewood for campfires for purchase or wild harvest *Pristine private camping in a certified Alabama treasured forest on the southern edge of Cumberland Plateau *Hiking, biking, and wildlife watching opportunities *Potable fresh spring water available year-round. Complimentary coffee and tea. available for purchase farm-fresh eggs. *Hot outdoor shower, composting toilet, and community kitchen with drinkable spring water from the spigot and electricity ay community kitchen. *Electrical available at sites 6, 7, and 8 *Wi-Fi at commons area. Located a short distance renowned Cloudland Canyon, Little River Canyon, DeSoto State Park, Lookout Mountain hang gliding, horseback riding and the artsy community of Mentone Alabama. Located 35 minutes from Chattanooga on southern edge of Cumberland plateau. Easy drive to amazing overlooks. We are 97 miles from Atlanta, 107 miles from Birmingham, 120 miles from Nashville located 5 minutes off interstate! GPS location is 34.70560* N, 85.61740*
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$32
 / night
92%
(89)

Quail Run Farm

13 sites · Lodging, Tents120 acres · Chattanooga, TN
We have a working farm with sweeping views of Lookout mountain and only 12 minutes from all the comforts of downtown Chattanooga. Our expansive 120-acre property provides campers with the freedom to choose their camping spots anywhere on the farm. Farm animals include horses, cattle, hogs, chickens, goats, bees, stocked ponds, gardens and much more. We have strategically placed signs throughout the property to help you identify potential neighbors. If you desire the company of ducks, consider setting up camp near our picturesque duck pond. For those who prefer the rustic crowing of roosters to a phone alarm, we have four chicken coops dispersed across the farm. Our horses freely roam the front pastures. The cows enjoy grazing on lush grass and taking refreshing dips in the ponds. They also relish watching the sunset from the hill's vantage point, as it offers the best view on the farm. We are a working farm with staff tending to various jobs throughout the day. We have a map to show some of the popular locations campers have enjoyed in the past, but it is first come first serve. We intentionally leave some of our fields uncut. In some fields, the grass can come up above the knees. If you are picky with the grass, these are pastures on a farm and we do not cut them. We leave that to the animals to take care of. All of our staff are super friendly and happy to help guide you to the best camping spot and answer any questions. In searching for your campsite please note that there may be livestock in and around certain areas as we rotate pastures. Please respect farm rules and do not camp in a pasture with cattle and do not enter any gated area without speaking to someone on the farm who knows which fields the cattle is in. Potable well water can be located from the blue spigot outside of the staff housing area. Fire rings and chopped wood are ready for you to borrow and return by the outdoor shower area. Our outdoor shower is located by the yurts. If you are interested in a more posh experience, we have yurts and tiny homes for rent. We have a pool that is available to rent privately during your stay. You can use the Swimply app to book your time or you can message us through HipCamp, and we can set that up for you. It is $24 a hour. Embracing farm life is not just an adventure but also a valuable learning opportunity, whether you're a family or an individual seeking a taste of the countryside lifestyle. We hope to see you soon on the farm!
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$39
 / night
86%
(235)

Running Water Creek

23 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents120 acres · Guild, TN
Running Water Creek is a unique, fully off grid campground just 20 minutes to downtown Chattanooga. We have 80+ campsites spread out over 120 acres. Most of the roads are accessible in any small car, but some roads require 4x4 (they're marked with a sign). We have a bath house with toilets, showers, and sinks and even offer hot water! Our well and cabins are all solar powered as we are not on the electric grid. Some info about the property: -we DO NOT have water or power hookups -we have gravel roads with a 5 MPH speed limit on the property (if you drive too fast the roads will seem rough) -we are right next to a highway and train tracks so there will be some noise (some days are better than others and we have no way of predicting how many trains will/will not go by) -none of our campsites have picnic tables (please plan accordingly) -most campsites have fire rings built, but if you choose a site without one you need to build your own
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$35
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93%
(30)

The Cynefin Luxury Bell Tent

1 site · Lodging3 acres · Mentone, AL
***Update, we are building a cabin on the property. During the week for the there may be construction noise. We are discounting our weekday rates during construction.*** About this space We invite you to our little slice of paradise! Enjoy the natural beauty of Lookout Mountain in Mentone, AL. Folklore Forest has 270 feet of Little River Frontage for you to enjoy. Considered to be the purest, natural flowing river in the state, bring your fishing gear and kayaks. Listen to Pipwild Spring trickling over the mossy rock waterfall. Sit at the water’s edge under canopies of rhododendrons and holly trees, and sit at your campfire and view the stunning starry nightscape. The space Our 4 meter canvas bell tent offers a cozy 132 sq ft of space which can accomodate a twin size mattress in addition to the provided queen bed. Here's what you find inside: - Queen size bed with headboard, memory foam mattress, and antimicrobial waterproof cover. - Comforter, 4 pillows (with antimicrobial covers), and furry blanket. - Side table with reading material and games. - Wood camp stove (for heating the tent on chilly nights or cooking). - Heat powered stove fan. - Bundle of camp stove sized firewood. - Mr Heater propane space heater with 30 lb propane tank. - 6 person Coleman pop up tent. - Yoga Mat - Cart with coffee, silverware, plates, cups, bowls, French press, salt/pepper, sugar, kitchen and grill utensils, cutting board, and oven mitt. - Butane camp stove with fuel. - Battery powered fan/light combination. - Portable battery powered lantern. - Cast iron skillet, non stick skillet, medium sauce pan, small wok, and kettle. - 3 wash tubs. - Handmade broom. - 1 person hammock. Here's what you'll find outside: - Little red wagon to help you bring luggage down from the car or to gather firewood. - 6ft picnic table. - Cafe table and two chairs. - 2 Adirondack chairs. - Combination fire pit/grill. - Solar powered cafe lights. - Solar shower. - Camp toilet with bags and Absorbent Gel Liquid Waste Gelling and Deodorizing Powder - Trash can and trash bags. - 5 gallon Coleman water cooler. You need to bring: - Sheets - Towels and rags - Food - Toilet paper and paper products - Bug spray for summer months. Also recommended to bring: - Ice or dry ice - Extra wood (you can burn any fallen wood/twigs you find but don’t cut trees! - Cooler - Extra water (river water is pure but we always recommend boiling or filtering anything you drink) Guest access Folklore Forest is on 3 acres and has 270 feet of River Frontage at your disposal. Little River is considered to be the purest, natural flowing river in the state. Bring your fishing gear and kayaks. Sit on the rocks at the base of the waterfall under the rhododendrons and holly trees, and wade in the water in the warm months. Park on the side of the road in front of the Cynefin sign. There are solar lights illuminating the path to the tent if you arrive after dark. There you will find a "Little Red Wagon" that you can use to bring your luggage down. Other things to note • The river will rise and fall depending on how much rain we are getting. It tends to be lower late summer to early fall. We cannot guarantee water levels. • This is primitive off grid camping. There's no electricity or running water. We recommend bringing a portable battery pack to charge devices. • Please be respectful of any wildlife (there are white tail deer, raccoons, weasels, harmless black snakes, mink, foxes, coyotes, many birds, and the extremely, and we do mean extremely, rare black bear), while fishing in the little river is allowed, hunting is prohibited.
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$119
 / night
100%
(44)

Dark Hollow

7 sites · RVs, Tents14 acres · Crossville, AL
Dark Hollow Park provides beautiful, private, and secure primative campsites. Potable water and a composting privey are available. The camp host is on site if there are any questions. There is a one-mile hiking trail, a small stream and waterfalls located a short hike down into Dark Hollow. The Hollow is rich in history. There is a small Amphitheater in the bottom of the hollow where permanent water remains year round. Dark Hollow has played many rolls from sancuary to battleground over the years. There are numerous activities with in a short distance.
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$33
 / night
100%
(3)

Haven of Hope

3 sites · Lodging14 acres · Fort Payne, AL
Named Haven of Hope, this 14-Acre Retreat Property offers Guests a peaceful experience near Little River Canyon National Preserve. Currently, Happy Glamper RV (sleeps 2), Peaceful Hideaway Treehouse (sleeps 6) and Serenity Escape Treehouse (sleeps 6) are available! Explore waterfalls, parks, shops, and restaurants. Relax by your own private fire pit with a cup of coffee and enjoy views through a canopy of trees. Take a nap in your own private double hammock. There are two easy walking trails - each perfect for picnics on the ground and access to a swing-for-two in the woods! One trail leads to a rippling brook that runs through the property. Deer and turkeys are spotted often near the creek! Renew, refresh, and be restored! Not long after you turn onto the private road that winds through the 14+ acre retreat called Haven of Hope, you will see Serenity Escape Treehouse on your right. Keep going and pass Rippling Brook Walking Trail on your left, and then Lost and Found Walking Trail on your right. Soon after, Peaceful Hideaway Treehouse will be on your left. Keep going up the mountain until you are greeted by the sight of a very large wooden deck and Happy Glamper RV under a permanent carport/awning shelter. Nearby is the Owner's temporary cabin and Sarsaparilla Lookout Workshop. And about 100 feet away are honeybee hives ("Haven of Honey - A Bee Resort").
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$129
 / night

Hobbits Hideaway

1 site · Tent2 acres · Mentone, AL
Discover the ultimate getaway at Hobbits Hideaway! Immerse yourself in an unforgettable escape that promises a plethora of outdoor adventures, creating cherished memories that will beckon you back time and time again. Nestled within this serene property, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the valley, the soothing symphony of nature, glimpses of wildlife, and the distant melody of a passing train. Unwind around the campfire area, ideal for crafting delicious s’mores and sharing stories under the stars. Embark on exploration as you traverse the two-acre wooded brow property, offering scenic hikes that connect you with nature's wonders. For even more outdoor excitement, venture to Desoto State Park, where a tapestry of hiking trails, cascading waterfalls, perfect picnicking spots, kayaking adventures, biking trails, swimming holes, and fishing opportunities await. When you've had your fill of outdoor bliss, take a leisurely stroll through the charming town of Mentone. Discover a world of uniqueness in its antique boutiques, artisan shops, and delightful restaurants, adding a touch of local flavor to your retreat. Hobbits Hideaway is not just a destination; it's an experience that invites you to unwind, explore, and create lasting memories in the embrace of nature's beauty. Your ideal getaway starts here!
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$32
 / night
100%
(3)

Where the Little River Runs

1 site · Lodging1 acre · Mentone, AL
Where the Little River Runs is a 397 sq. ft. tiny home located on the East Fork of the Little River atop Lookout Mountain, AL. This newly constructed home has serene views with trails leading to the river along with a hammock & a wood-burning fire pit. Go for a swim in the river or bring a kayak or fishing rods! In the spring & early summer, the trails are surrounded by Rhododendrons & Mountain Laurels.Learn more about this land:Where the Little River Runs is a 397 sq. ft. tiny home located on the East Fork of the Little River atop Lookout Mountain, AL. This newly constructed home has serene views with trails leading to the river along with a hammock & a wood-burning fire pit. Go for a swim in the river or bring a kayak or fishing rods! In the spring & early summer, the trails are surrounded by Rhododendrons & Mountain Laurels.PLEASE NOTE BEFORE BOOKING: NO WiFi & or cell service. Internet coming fall 2021.
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$150
 / night
97%
(68)

Fireside Camp + Lodge

41 sites · Lodging, Tents22 acres · Sequatchie, TN
Tucked away on Sequatchie Mountain, this little campground and hostel invites you to experience some of East Tennessee's best parks for climbing and hiking. Cliffs and waterfalls are minutes away at near by Foster Falls, Denny Cove and Castle Rock. The hostel offers 3 bedrooms, fast internet, complete kitchen, comfortable beds, smart TV, fire pit, and laundry. The campground offers dispersed sites with fire pits and picnic tables, as well as clean bathrooms and a communal barn with a microwave, fridge, games, tables and chairs. You can walk our 22 acres and even take a short hike out to our bluff. Make sure to say "Hi" to our chickens and our barn cat, Strawberry, on the way. Add in the view of the stars and that makes this the perfect basecamp after a long day out.
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$10
 / night
100%
(2)

River Ridge Retreat

72 sites · Lodging, RVs670 acres · Guntersville, AL
River Ridge Retreat offers 670+ acres of beautiful property full of wildlife for you to explore. There are miles of waterfront, hiking trails and paved roads for biking/golf cart riding. Our property sits directly on Alabama's largest lake, Lake Guntersville. Lake Guntersville covers 69,000 acres and is full of fun activities for the whole family. River Ridge Retreat offers the opportunity to enjoy a quiet, relaxing retreat to nature while still being close enough to local attractions.
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$45
 / night
100%
(2)

Wanderland Campground

4 sites · Lodging70 acres · Chattanooga Valley, GA
Wanderland is a 70 acre Nature-lover’s dream! Located on Lookout Mountain in Rising Fawn GA, it is the perfect destination for out-of-the-ordinary adventures and amazing natural wonders. With 70 acres of beauty and brimming with wildflowers, scenic views, mesmerizing rock formations, and home to the tallest and deepest cave waterfall open to the public in the United States, Lookout Mountain is the best place to have a magical experience and make unforgettable memories with your group or loved ones! At Wanderland, every decision is made first with an eye towards sustainability and decreasing our footprint on our planet. Wanderland Campgrounds features Primitive campsites throughout the property. The land connects to Cloudland Canyon State Park, which campers will also have access to. Reconnect with nature with this unforgettable escape! Lookout Mountain is the perfect destination for out-of-the-ordinary experiences and amazing natural wonders. Georgia can be divided into five distinct geographic/ecological regions, each with something unique to offer. One of these regions is the Appalachian Plateau. Located in the northwest corner of the state, the Appalachian Plateau is the smallest of Georgia’s five regions, but it is also widely considered to be among the most scenic.
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$65
 / night

The best camping near DeSoto State Park guide

Overview

About

The Little River Canyon cuts through this large, accessible state park, creating natural beauty with multiple waterfalls and trails to explore across DeSoto State Park’s 3,500 acres. The park’s primitive campsites are excellent for tent camping, while a variety of cabins, RV sites with hookups, and even wall tent sites are also available within the park. The option to use modern restrooms between hikes, fishing trips, and time spent kayaking the river can be a nice bonus. A pool, picnic sites, and other common areas are also available to DeSoto campers. Just seven miles from Fort Payne, DeSoto State Park serves as a nice getaway for Alabamians looking for some time in nature.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for getting away: DeSoto State Park has two backpacking sites with weather shelters and tent platforms.
  • Best for glamping: Take advantage of DeSoto’s wall tent campsites for a comfortable experience that requires no tent setup or breakdown.
  • Best for tent sites: The primitive DeSoto campground has 18 sites with fire rings, toilets, and water. Individual and group sites are available in the primitive zone.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. The park’s primitive sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Summer weekends are popular, so arriving on a weekday is ideal for snagging a site. 
  2. Wall tent sites, group sites, and a camping cabin can be reserved in advance via the Alabama State Parks reservation system.
  3. If you prefer cabins or a motel, these are reservable in advance or on-site. Check availability by calling first, as they can fill during the busy season.
  4. Some campsites are designed for RVs and trailers with reservations possible in advance or on-site.

When to go

DeSoto State Park’s mountaintop location and the presence of a cold river help maintain a nice climate year-round. March, April, and May are often busy with the best weather, so it’s best to make camping reservations in advance for this time. Summer is hot and humid, but the park’s trees and river help cool things down. Like spring, fall is also a great time to visit for moderate temperatures. Winter is cooler and has less traffic, but temperatures tend to hover right above freezing at night. Winter camping is possible with appropriate warm weather gear.

Know before you go

  • The Little River is an excellent place for kayaking and swimming in hot weather. Bring your swimsuit and take advantage of the cool waters.
  • The park store is helpful for last-minute needs, but visitors should still stock up on groceries and supplies in a nearby town like Fort Payne.
  • The park is dog-friendly with enforceable leash rules.
  • Park rangers advise caution for large rigs driving the park. GPS is not always accurate, and drivers should call ahead for special directions.

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