Hiking Safety

A sunny trail through the woods in winter.
Beaver Pond Trail winding through the winter woods at sunrise.

NPS / Matt Switzer


Hiking is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors and Little River Canyon National Preserve offers some wonderful hiking opportunities.

As with any outdoor activity, there's always potential risks. Knowledge and preparedness can reduce the chance of injuries. Here are some tips to make the most out of your time on the trail:

Safety First:

  • Know the weather forecast and plan your hike accordingly. Click here for the National Weather Service forecast for the Little River Canyon area.
  • Wear appropriate clothes and shoes for hiking. Many of our summer injuries come from visitors hiking down into the canyon wearing flip-flops or other footwear not appropriate for steep, rocky, loose terrain.
  • Carry rain gear - sudden thunderstorms can occur at any time.
  • Bring a trail map (available at the Little River Canyon Center, the Little River Falls parking lot, Eberhart Point, and Canyon Mouth Park).
  • Bring water and drink regularly. Bring snacks or lunch for longer hikes and remember to pack out what you pack in.
  • If hiking alone, tell a friend where you will be going and when you expect to be back.
  • Stay on designated trails and use extra caution around cliffs and overlooks.
  • Ticks can occur year-round at Little River Canyon, but especially in spring and summer. Check for ticks after hikes.
  • Watch where you put your hands and feet! Poison ivy and venomous snakes (rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths) all call Little River Canyon home.
  • Hunting is permitted in the Wildlife Management Area - wearing blaze orange clothing is recommended during hunting season.
  • In case of emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • Carry a back-up signalling device, such as an emergency whistle. Cell phone service is not available in many areas of the park, especially down in the canyon.
  • Wear bright colored clothing - should you be injured or incapacitated, it will assist first responders in finding you.

Remember to help protect your national park by following these trail regulations:

  • All trash must be carried out and disposed of properly.
  • Pets must be restrained and leashed.
  • Disturbing, destroying, and removing natural and cultural objects is perhibited.
  • All numbered roads in the Wildlife Managment Area (backcountry) are multi-use for hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and 4-wheel driver vehicles.

Last updated: March 26, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

4322 Little River Trail NE Ste 100
Fort Payne, AL 35967


256 845-9605 x201
Main phone number for Little River Canyon National Preserve.

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