Desoto State Park has over 22 miles of hiking and biking trails for the visitor’s enjoyment. Located 8 miles from Ft. Payne, Alabama, the park is home to many artifacts of the Great Depression and work completed by the Civil Conservation Corp. Home to the CCC Museum, the park has numerous pavilions, culverts and even unfinished CCC Bridge that can be visited along the trails. Rocks used in these structures were quarried from an onsite quarry which can be seen on the White (or CCC Quarry) trail accessible from either the CCC Museum parking lot or Country Store and Nature Center.
This hike started at the CCC Museum, where the trail enters the woods directly across from the museum building. Hikers or bikers can choose to take either the short path (0.25 Mi) or the loop path (0.75 Mi) trail. Since the loop trail simply loops back and forth, the straight trail is a good option. As you make your way though this section, there are several rock formations that stand out. As you reach the top of the hill, you’ll enter the primitive camping area. The primitive camping area was once a golf course constructed by the CCC. A ball hole found in the area can be seen the museum. As you cross the camp road for the first time, you will enter a very tick, dense pine forest. The trail is narrow and meanders its way through the thicket before emerging at the other side back on the camp road.
Crossing the camp road, you will descend a hill and transverse along it for a ways before coming to the quarry itself. The quarry tells a story of a time past. Pieces of rock which had been blasted for use still lays in the bottom ready for construction. Be sure and read the plaque before leaving.
You can continue along the white trail another 1.1 miles to reach the Country Store and Nature Center or turn back and retrace your steps to the museum. The hike is easy to moderate and the trail is mostly clay and pea-sized gravel except for a small portion where you ascent the hill from the museum. If you are interested in the CCC and history of the park, this is a great hike for you.