(Alabama 35984, Off DeSoto Parkway Co Rd 89 from Ft Payne or Mentone at the top of Tutweiler Gap, then a short drive along Co Rd 613 before it dead ends in a loop)
An absolutely beautiful spot with lots to offer: Spectacular overlook for twin waterfalls to have in background. Cool artistry on steps. Shallow waters before dam for more serene water shots. Iconic red boathouse along the opposite shore. There’s also available parking, bathrooms for changing, and occasionally a store selling snacks, etc.
Little River Canyon
1. Little River Falls (Little River Falls Overlook Trail, Fort Payne, AL 35967)a choice area with beautiful waterfalls, abundant parking, and bathroom for changing. Can be a lot of people there, though.)
2. Hippie Hole (off AL-35, pull off area for parking past Little River Falls where the road splits off to Cherokee County Road 816 before going down the mountain).Beautiful spot with far fewer people. Bit of a hike from the parking space, so bring comfortable shoes)
3. Wolf Creek Overlook(4614 AL-176, Fort Payne, AL 35967) Fantastic view of the canyon from observation area with available parking spaces. No bathroom.
4. Eberhart Point (off Alabama Highway 176 in Fort Payne, AL 35967) Breathtaking view of the canyon from observation area with available parking spaces. Very small bathroom available.
DeSoto State Park
1. The Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trailhead (7104 Desoto Pkwy NE, Fort Payne, AL 35967) An easy walk on a flat surface to waterfalls. Contains pavilions for covered picnic tables. No bathrooms on the boardwalk, but there are some at the nearby store.
2. The DeSoto State Park Lodge (1299 Blalock Dr, Fort Payne, AL 35967) This rustic hotel is in a wooded area with cabins and a deck overlooking waterfalls during the rainy season.
3. Indian Falls (7104 Desoto Pkwy NE, Fort Payne, AL 35967) Another nice little waterfall, less crowded than the boardwalk trailhead across the highway.
(6037 AL-117, Mentone, AL 35984) and walk around exploring, maybe buy something. There’s also a really nice new park beside St Joseph’s on the Mountain(21145 Scenic Hwy, Mentone, AL 35984) and a nearby Brow Park Overlook(200-286 N Cool St, Mentone, AL 35984).
Alabama Walking Trail Park
(508 Williams Ave, Fort Payne, AL 35967) This is a fabulous park conveniently located off the main street (Gault) where Alabama Highway 35 takes traffic up the side of Lookout Mountain. Abundant parking and restrooms for changing. There’s a walking trail that includes shaded areas that work for photography as long as you make the background in shallow focus. You don’t want to be in the way of park guests getting exercise on the looped walking track or exercise stations. If photographing children, there’s a small water park there. The biggest negative is that there is typically some birthday party or the like, so you have to compete for premium locations. You also want to limit your time there and not make a huge production so you aren’t a nuisance to the rest of the public. There is another, older park on the opposite side of 5thStreet NE, as well as the pretty train Depot. A lot of people have done photos at the Depot, but access to some areas of it are now discouraged by fencing.
(101 Gault Ave N, Fort Payne, AL 35967) Another local eatery. Lots of local art on the walls, tall ceilings and brick archways. As with other places, they may be accommodating for photo-taking as long as you don’t make a big production, do not bother their other guests, limit your time there, and again, buy something! Parking available in the back, bathroom available.
(306 Gault Ave N, Fort Payne, AL 35967) Another old downtown landmark, with a cool mural of an old-timey train, plus the theatre itself has a cool art deco façade that screams 1950-something. The neon is usually lit up at night. An adjacent courtyard is used for local concerts each Tuesday evening. Surrounding shops can offer some photogenic charm, especially The Strand(215 Gault Ave N, Fort Payne, AL 35967) where you might be allowed to get in a few snaps if you buy lunch there.
Vintage 1889 & The Big Mill
(151 8th St NE, Fort Payne, AL 35967)This is a popular spot for photography. There are signs posted prohibiting loitering around the property, but the owners are generally pretty cool as long as you are respectful, do not bother their paying customers, do not attempt to access potentially dangerous spaces (it is a very old building), and most importantly, buy something in the Café. The upstairs part of the Café is very picturesque. Be very careful due to uneven pavement, etc.