By David Sweet
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First, I'd like to say that my camping experience at DeSoto State Park was limited to only one evening so I was not able to experience too much of it. We arrived around 3:30 PM. It had been raining all day. We set up our tent in the primitive camping area. Since we were the only ones up there, we pitched our tent directly inside the open pavilion next to the fireplace (you're probably saying ""CHEATERS!"" but believe me..we earned it from the night before). We took the Never Never Land trail which is right next to the primitive camping area we stayed at. We were not impressed. There was nothing exciting to see on it. So we hit the roads to another trail close by (forget the name). It was a little more interesting, had many areas which you were walking on rock and there was a few very small waterfalls. We finished the trail in the dark. The pavilion was very nice. Had two picnic tables and a large fire pit. The primitive camping area only had male and female outhouses. The park attendant in the store said that was the only restrooms currently in the park (the other area was being redone). From what we noticed, there were several activities close to the park for kids (playground, etc.). What really impressed me about DeSoto State Park was it's close proximity to other destinations. It's about 10 minutes from DeSoto Falls, which is definitely worth seeing. It's about 20 minutes or less from Little River Canyon National Preserve, which has some spectacular scenery and good nature trials. The park attendant at DeSoto State Park was friendly and was helpful (except for his suggestion to take the Never Never Land Trail). This park is in a hardly-noticed part of the country that will really surprise you. Northeast Alabama has more caves than just about any other part of the country. There are waterfalls, rock formations, creek, rivers, and caves all over this part of the state. It may sound like our camping experience wasn't the greatest. It very well could have been better but I'm an optimist. We were limited by time, weather, time of year, and the park undergoing maintenance. So I have little to complain about. I'd rate this park a 7 or 8.
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