Mt. Cheaha, Alabama
Alabama's tallest mountain
rises above the beautiful
scenery of the Talladega
National Forest.
Waterfalls of the Mountains
Cheaha Falls is one of a
series of scenic waterfalls
that flow down from the
Talladega Mountains. - Talladega National Forest, Alabama - Talladega National Forest, Alabama
Talladega National Forest - Talladega Mountains, Alabama
Talladega Scenic Byway
A region of mountains and beautiful scenery, the
Talladega National Forest is an Alabama treasure.
Spectacular Southern Scenery
The beautiful and historic lands of the
Talladega National Forest offer visitors the
opportunity to experience mountain terrain
deep in the heartland of the South.

The forest encompasses numerous
wilderness areas as well as Cheaha State
Park, site of the highest point in Alabama.
Other recreational opportunities include
hiking, fishing, camping, picnicking,
sightseeing and more.

A New Deal project created during the Great
Depression by President Franklin Roosevelt,
the Talladega National Forest was
established by Presidential Proclamation on
July 17, 1936.

The government had already acquired two
key tracts of land that would become the
national forest by the time of President
Roosevelt's proclamation. With the exception
of some wilderness areas, the forest bore
little of its present appearance. The lands
had been heavily timbered over the century
since the Upper Creeks were forced from the
area. Large areas had been clearcut and
farmed and with few conservation efforts
implemented, much of the land had become
a wasteland.

Through a careful program of conservation
and replanting, however, the U.S. Forest
Service has turned the Talladega National
Forest into a place of striking beauty.

From tree planting projects that began in the
1930s, the tree cover has now matured and
the mountains and valleys are once again
considered scenic treasures.

The Talladega Scenic Byway passes through
much of the Talladega Division of the forest,
taking visitors across the tops of the
Talladega Mountains where they can enjoy
spectacular views and access Cheaha State

Points of interest in the Talladega Ranger
District include the Lake Chinnabee
Recreation Area, Turnipseed Camp and a
number of hunter camps. Hiking
opportunities include the Chinnabee Silent
Trail, the Lake Shore Trail, the Cave Creek
Trail, the Nubbin Ridge Trail, the Skyway
Loop Trail and the Odum Scout Trail.  All of
these trails are for hiking only, but the nearby
Kentuck ORV Trail can be used by
motorcycles, ATVs and mountain bikes.

The Shoal Creek Ranger District features the
newly renovated Coleman Lake Recreation
Area, Pine Glen Recreation Area, Warden
Station Horse Camp, Big Oak Hunter Camp
for physically disabled hunters as well as
other hunter camps. The Pinhoti Trail winds
for more than 100 miles from Piedmont in
the north to a point south of Talladega.
The Shoal Creek Ranger District also
preserves the Cheaha Wilderness. This
7,245 wilderness area is preserved in its
natural state and features over 1,000 acres
that are more than 2,000 feet in elevation.

The Oakmulgee Ranger District is located
south of Centreville, Alabama, and features
the Payne Lake Recreation Area and several
hunter camps. A one and one-half mile
nature trail is available at Payne Lake for

Cheaha State Park, one of the oldest state
parks in Alabama, is surrounded by the
Talladega National Forest and is a great
starting point for explorations of the forest.
The park offers a hotel, restaurant, cabins,
chalets, picnic areas, hiking trails, store and
a number of other recreational opportunities.

Especially popular with day visitors are the
numerous waterfalls found in the Talladega
Ranger District. Several of these - Cheaha
Falls, Devil's Den and High Falls - are
accessible by short hikes and are located
near Cheaha State Park.

Numerous historic sites exist in the
Talladega National Forest, ranging from rock
shelters once used by Native American
hunters to a pioneer home site at Payne
Lake Recreation Area and beautiful
Depression-era stone structures at Cheaha
State Park. All sites within the forest and
adjacent state park areas are protected and
removal of artifacts or looting of sites is
against the law and violators will be
View from the Scenic Byway
The Talladega Scenic Byway
winds through the National
Forest and gives visitors
access to beautiful views.
Hiking in the Talladega
Miles of hiking trails provide
access to some of the most
beautiful wilderness terrain in
the South.
Mountain Streams
Running streams flow
through the Talladega
National Forest, some falling
more than 1,000 feet from
their sources.
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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