Sitting at an underwhelming (to those of who have lived in the mountains) 2,407 feet above sea level, Mount Cheaha is the highest point in Alabama.
Standing atop the mountain though seems like it is much higher due to the lowlands surrounding it, giving you a true mountain feel. The state’s peak point happens to sit right in the middle of our oldest state park.
Cheaha State Park
Opening to the public in 1933 Cheaha State Park was dreamed, designed and built through the Civilian Conservation Corps (or CCC) as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to help American’s recover from the great depression.
In 7 years of labor, workers built numerous structures, a lake, campground and many miles of hiking trails most of which are still used today. The park got a small overhaul in 1978 when a hotel, restaurant, and several chalets were added, but for the most part, the park is very similar to how it looked 80 years ago.
Cheaha State Park offers a great weekend destination. Guests can stay in the lodge, in a cabin, in a chalet, camp in an RV, camp with a group in the group campground, camp with strangers in the public campground or be by themselves in one of the semi-private camping areas.
There is no shortage of things to do either. Families can hike on numerous mountain trails which lead into the Talladega National Forrest, kids (and adults) can swim in Lake Cheaha, adventurers can go repelling or rock climbing and couples can even get married in the Bald Rock Lodge.
After a recent weekend camping trip to the park, I have to highly recommend everyone reading this to at least take a day trip and check out the park. As usual, I am going to give you some of the highlights that I enjoyed!
As usual, I am going to give you some of the highlights that I enjoyed!
Wil’s Don’t Miss List:
Watch the sunrise from the observation deck of bunker tower – being several stories above Alabama’s highest point offers 360 degrees views that are unlike anything you can experience in the state, but watching to the east as the world comes alive with the first light of morning is amazing.
Watch the sunset from the deck of the restaurant – Cheaha’s restaurant is situated on the western side of the mountain, and its deck offers a magical view as the sun turns in for the night.
Hike the Chinnabee Silent Trail – This 1.5 mile (roundtrip) hike is relatively easy for all members of the family, and it offers a stellar view of Cheaha Falls and its accompanying stream.
Tour the CCC Museum – There are great artifacts and photographs in the little museum detailing the history of both the park and the CCC.
Visit Bald Rock – The Bald Rock Trail offers an elevated boardwalk so naturalists of any ability can make their way out to the famed Bald Rock and its scenic views.
Wil Elrick hails from Guntersville, Alabama where at an early age he developed a love for both trivia and history. He has spent the last 20 odd years, fine tuning the art of communication while working in law enforcement, writing, television media, historical research, and public speaking. He lives in North Alabama with his two boys, and a neurotic German Shepherd Dog. He one day hopes that Bigfoot is proven real. Wil’s new book Alabama Scoundrels is available from History Press.