I was born and raised in Fort Payne, Alabama in the 1980s and 90s. My dad’s side of the family lived just an hour on the other side of Lookout Mountain; near Chattanooga, Tennessee.
At least half a dozen times each year, we would drive to see that side of the family for get-togethers. A little past halfway of the trip, I would always notice a brown government sign advertising Cloudland Canyon State Park; just 3 miles to the left.
But being that we already lived next to the Little River Canyon Preserve and DeSoto State Park, we were already quite exposed to the Alabama side of Lookout Mountain’s natural wonders.
So as a kid, I never visited Cloudland Canyon State Park. It wasn’t until 3 years ago when I took my 5 year-old son (at the time), that I finally realized how awesome that place is.
Last weekend during Memorial Day Weekend, I decided to take a fun backroads Jeep ride with my now 8 year-old son and my dad.
We had heard you could hike down in the the canyon and check out some waterfalls.
And is exactly what we did.
It had the appeal of a theme park… except, it is an actual real park.
One of the highlights for my son is when we he was able to catch a crayfish at the bottom of one of the waterfalls.
Granted, this isn’t a hike for the faint of heart. It’s a 2 mile hike, but it’s straight down… and then you still have to hike back up.
But I am already looking forward to going back!