FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Memorial Day weekend is the busiest weekend of the year at Little River Canyon National Preserve. So, National Park Service rangers would like to give you the following tips to help make your visit as enjoyable as possible.
The Little River Falls parking lot is usually full by 10:00 AM (CST). So, if you would like to enjoy the view of Little River Falls or hike the trail to Little Falls (also knows as “Martha’s Falls” and “Hippie Hole”) , you should plan to arrive early. Rangers anticipate having additional parking open, but that depends on the weather.
The parking areas at the overlooks along the Little River Canyon Rim Parkway / AL Highway 176 are 30-minute parking only, and parking at Blue Hole is only for people visiting there.
HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN
Parking areas will have National Park Service staff and volunteers conducting parking control to help you park quickly and safely. If your favorite area at Little River Canyon National Preserve is not available because the parking lot is full, have a back-up plan in mind. Little River Canyon offers several recreational opportunities.
Within a short drive of Little River Canyon, you can also find hiking trails, camping and fishing at DeSoto State Park, Buck’s Pocket State Park, Lake Guntersville State Park, and Weiss Lake in Alabama, and Cloudland Canyon State Park and James H. Floyd State Park in Georgia.
The National Weather Service forecast for Little River Canyon National Preserve on Memorial Day weekend is calling for a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon thunderstorms are common this time of year. Keep in mind that if you're outdoors and within 10 miles of a thunderstorm, that can greatly increase your chances of being injured by a lightning strike.
Heavy rainfall, not just at Little River Canyon but as far up-river as Chattanooga, can result in rapid changes in the water level of the river with little or no warning. Flash flooding does not just increase the flow of the river. It can also send large, harmful debris downriver with it. Make sure you monitor weather conditions while you're at Little River Canyon.
While visiting Little River Canyon National Preserve, it is your responsibility to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 exposure. Little River Canyon National Preserve and the National Park Service have been taking extraordinary steps to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health agencies.
The CDC has made the following recommendations to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases:
• Visit parks close to your home
• Prepare before you visit
• Stay at least 6 feet away from others
• Play it safe around and in swimming areas
• DO NOT visit parks if you are sick or were recently exposed to Covid-19
• DO NOT visit crowded parks
• DO NOT use playgrounds
• DO NOT participate in organized activities or sports
And remember that alcoholic beverages are not permitted at Little River Canyon National Preserve.The National Park Service works to reduce risks, but your safety is in your own hands. Rangers at Little River Canyon National Preserve want you to come prepared, stay alert, and return home safely with memories of a wonderful visit.