A pilgrimage to the mountains is a necessary trip to see the wonder in the changing leaves of Fall. Tucked in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Mentone is perfect for a secluded stay among the incoming colors of orange, yellow, red, crimson, and purple that streak across the mountainside.
The Autumn months in northeast Alabama bring cool, brisk mornings, warm afternoons, and stunning sunsets silhouetted by the colorful foliage. While some changes in the leaves will begin to appear in mid-October, the first week of November will see the area’s peak Fall colors. This Fall foliage prediction map will give you a better idea of where the area stands in its color changing progress. DeSoto State Park also provides regular updates on the park’s foliage and wildflowers throughout Fall.
Here on Lookout Mountain, there are a number of nearby stops and excursions to fill your Fall days while staying in Mentone.
- Little River flows for most of its length atop Lookout Mountain, and the canyon mouth is a spectacular display of nature with its 45-foot waterfall. Little River National Preserve features forested uplands, waterfalls, canyon rims, while bluffs, pools, boulders, and sandstone cliffs offer settings for a variety of recreational activities. For a scenic drive under the shades of the changing leaves, Little River Canyon Rim Parkway takes travelers down 23 miles with 8 overlooks, 4 trails, and one unique rock formation. The parkway grants visitors the opportunity to take in the beauty of the canyon from the west rim, and the challenge of hiking down into the canyon to the river below.
- DeSoto State Park features miles of hiking and biking trails, waterfalls and tree canopy ziplines. The state’s largest waterfall, DeSoto Falls, draws visitors year-round, sitting at 107 feet tall with nearby trails for the full view. Aside from the park’s recreational activities, they also host a number of regular classes and workshops, outdoor campfire talks, yoga hikes, and more that give visitors plenty of activities to bring them into nature and learn new hobbies or experiences. Check out their upcoming fall events here.
- Fort Payne sits in the valley below with a walkable downtown and number of shops and restaurants whose outdoor seating let the Lookout Mountain backdrop create a picturesque day. Grab a hot cup of coffee from The Spot Coffee Shop or The Bakehouse Downtown and stroll through the city’s parks. Shop local art and merchandise at Boom Town Maker’s Market, Mountain Town Mercantile, Katherine’s Framing and Gifts, Alice Circle and more. Enjoy lunch at Fontana’s Restaurant, Vintage 1889, or Roadside ‘Que at their outdoor tables. Fort Payne also offers several options for outdoor nightlife in the area this Fall:
- Courtyard Concerts is a free twice-monthly live music event in downtown Fort Payne. Held at the Coal & Iron Building at 500 Gault Ave N, these shows offer comfortable and scenic outdoor seating and drinks for purchase. A number of different musicians perform and the nights are usually themed music, such as 70’s Night, The Beatles, etc. The next events will be held Oct. 13 & 27.
- Third Saturday Sunset Cruise-in welcomes visitors from all over for a night of fun and music. The Cruise-in, which will be held Oct. 15 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., features over 200+ classic cars and trucks on display in Historic Downtown Fort Payne with live music and food vendors that fill the Main Street District.
- For a relaxing night of music and drinks, stop by Blue Jug downtown for Open Mic nights on their outdoor patio, which faces the magnificent Lookout Mountain. Sit beneath the Chandelier Tree and watch the lights sparkle on their backdrop of the mountain.
- Lookout Mountain is home to fall festivals that pay homage to the area’s Autumn beauty, including:
- Colorfest is an annual festival presented by the Mentone Area Preservation Association (MAPA) featuring hand-made arts & crafts booths, festival food, live music, kids’ activities, a scarecrow contest, and a pet parade. This year’s event will be held in its new location at Moon Lake Village in Mentone on Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Canyon Fest is an annual celebration of art and nature featuring local art, crafts, live animal shows, music, food and fun for the entire family. The festival is free and open to everyone. It will be held on November 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Little River Canyon Center.
- Creative Spirit Market is an open air showcase, with artist demonstrations, locally and regionally created fine and folk art, premium hand-crafted goods, and live acoustic music. The market will be held on November 12-13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. near DeSoto State Park’s picnic area across from the Country Store on County Road 89.
Whether spending cozy Autumn nights in your cabin or taking in the area’s beauty through outdoor excursions, festivals, or concerts, Mentone and the surrounding area has plenty of opportunities to satisfy your love of Fall.