Cheaha State Park
Cheaha State Park is located high atop Cheaha Mountain in the Talladega National Forest. At 2,400ft in elevation it is the highest point in the state of Alabama, offering excellent views of the Talladega forest. Most of the trails lie in the Cheaha Wilderness area just outside the state park.
Trail heads are located in different areas.
To access the trail head: You can get a map from the country store at Cheaha State Park. You can also get a Cheaha trail map there.
I've rated these as hard due to their distance and other factors.
Hiking the Trail:
For the trails located in the state park itself, they are rather short and easy and lead you to some scenic overlooks. As for the Cheaha Wilderness, these trails are not marked very well in certain points and can be more difficult to navigate. They are very scenic, but enter them at your own risk. My advice is to speak with someone who is familiar with the trails and to also carry a hand-held GPS and definitely CARRY A COMPASS. A compass is cheap and can get you pointed in the right direction in the event you get turned around. My advice for the Cheaha Wilderness is to stay on the Pinhoti trail, as it is the only trail I saw that is well marked with blazes. You can start at the Cheaha trail head and hike to McDill point. That being said, I hiked a good bit through Cheaha, and enjoyed the scenery, but had to rely on my compass to get pointed back in the right direction. I used this as a good learning experience. Sometimes you encounter unmarked trails in a wilderness area. Having a compass handy can get you turned back to where you need to be. Also, invest in water purification tablets and filtration devices. If, in the event you are stuck out longer than anticipated, you may have to replenish your water supply via a creek or stream. I'm stating this due to the fact this is a wilderness area in which hikers are known to get turned around and lost, and sometimes have to stay a lot longer than intended. Also, keep a portable cell phone charger in your pack just in case you need to make an emergency call. None of this happened to me as I was able to safely make it back, but it was something that crossed my mind afterwards when hearing about other hikers who had to stay over night and call for help. Remember, wilderness areas are usually very scenic and exciting, but can be trouble if you are are not prepared. Any time you enter a large wilderness area like this be sure to pack enough food and water (or purification methods) to last you longer than your intended hike.
You will get excellent views of the Talladega National Forest from atop Cheaha Mountain.
The trails are clear in the Cheaha Wilderness, but not marked very well in certain areas.
Cheaha state park has a nice hotel, cabins, camp grounds, restaurant with a scenic view, and more. It is also located just a few miles from the Cheaha Wilderness trail heads.