DeSoto State Park ‘s Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail (previous name-Azalea Cascades Trail) (Site #47, Northeast Loop) allows the birder to enjoy both woodland songsters-Kentucky and Hooded Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers and Yellow-throated Vireos and displays of native wildflowers and blooming shrubs. The boardwalk is 360 yards long through wooded slopes and moist forest floor. The Boardwalk ends with a 20’ octagon deck over the pool formed by Azalea Cascades, one of the many waterfalls in the Park. Overall, Desoto State Park offers an unequaled display of multiple woodland bird species found in the southeastern United States, as well as a staff naturalist and great trails to lead you to them.
Species to look for include Pileated, Red-headed, Red-bellied, Downy, and Hairy woodpeckers, as well as White-breasted and Brown-headed nuthatches. This mosaic of habitats is home to a great variety of warblers including Black-and-White, Blue-winged, and even Golden-winged on occasion. In spring and early summer, the forest resounds with the calls of Wood Thrushes and vireos, while winter brings flocks of American Goldfinches and Purple Finches from farther north. A clear view of the sky can reveal migrating raptors in spring and fall, such as Red-tailed and Broad-winged hawks, and perhaps Golden Eagles in winter.
Directions: From Interstate I-59, take Exit 218 and travel south on AL Highway 35 for 1.2 miles to US Highway 11. Turn left onto Highway 11 and head north for 1.2 miles to Highway 35/5th Street. Turn right onto Highway 35/5th Street, and drive south 2.3 miles to the DeSoto Parkway. Turn left onto the parkway and drive north 5.5 miles into the park. The Azalea Cascade Trail is just a bit farther along the parkway.
GPS: N 34.4990, W 85.6178
Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Handicap Access, Canoeing, Biking, Hiking, Camping, Fishing, Picnic Area, Boat Access, Food, Cabins/Lodge, Swimming
Desoto State Park
13883 County Road 89
Fort Payne, AL 35967