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Swim at Little Falls (Martha's Falls)

Fort Payne, Alabama

4.4/5
based on 5 reviews

Details

Distance

1.5 miles

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Nicole Mejia

A refreshing, unique swimming hole, appealing for the nonchalant sun-bather to your average cliff-jumping thrill seeker. With a trail short enough to allow large, heavier items (think cooler, towels, boom box, etc.), prepare to devote the rest of your day at Martha Falls. 

Little Falls, also referred to as Martha Falls  and the “Hippie Hole” by the locals, is a popular swimming hole a part of Little River Canyon National Preserve, located along the state line of Alabama and Georgia. Perks include free parking and free admission. Drive up Lookout Mountain and pull into the parking lot off of AL Highway 35, near Road 861. Grab the essentials for a good time and head down the trail at the far left corner of the lot. Walk with ease for about five minutes on the gravel service road, then take a left toward a more rooted pathway. Prepare for the next 100 yards of downhill, rocky terrain leading you to the bottom, opening up to your picturesque destination. 

Upon arrival, claim your spot for the day among the rocks and nature-made benches. After establishing your set-up, meander carefully toward the ledges above the cavernous, blue pool to your left. Waste no time and jump on in! Be mindful of protruding rocks, as not every section of the ledges is clear for diving.

If the weather proves to be quite inviting, as the day goes on, more and more people are bound to show appear. For a more secluded area, explore the brook to the right and discover a the quiet of surrounding boulders and knee-deep, wading pools.

Important Details:

  • All alcoholic beverages and all glass containers (for food or drink) are NOT permitted anywhere at Little River Canyon National Preserve. Marijuana, THC, and CBD products are NOT allowed either - they are illegal on federal lands!
  • There have been drownings at Little Falls and quite a few close calls. The Little River is a strong, wild river and can be very unforgiving. If you're not a strong swimmer, you don't belong in the water, especially when river levels are high!
  • Access can be had ONLY from the Little Falls Trail located at the Little River Falls parking lot (do NOT hike along the highway!).
  • LEAVE NO TRACE -- Please pack out what you brought it (and any additional trash you may see)
  • Head to nps.gov/liri for the most current, up-to-date information.
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Features

Fitness
Rock Climbing
Chillin
Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Reviews

This was a cool place to hang out and cool off! Only bad thing is it was very crowded

Never been but heard alot about it

I have been to Little River Canyon a couple of times. The scenery is great, but some of the locals like to leave broken glass and other discarded trash. Maybe the park authorities have cleaned it a bit. Nonetheless very much worth the trip

I didn't swim here since I visited the area during winter. I'd like to come back and swim, though. Seems like the perfect place to do so. There's also another waterfall on the same trail called Little River Falls! Also, there's a scenic drive along the Little River Canyon. Several overlooks and a large mushroom structure in the middle of the road along the drive haha. Reminded me of the voodoos seen at Goblin Valley in Utah.

This is a great swimming hole, definitely worth the quick hike if you're at Little River Canyon! In good weather, can get a bit crowded. If you're the kind of person who prefers solitude, and you're up for scrambling over boulders, hike another 30 min or so down river to find a few smaller, but more secluded swimming holes.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Explore Little River Falls

Little River Canyon

Hike to the Base of DeSoto Falls

Hike the Marble Mine Trail

Camp at Sand Rock

Climb Sand Rock