Back in the winter of1997 my "girlfriend" and I drove to
Cheaha. That afternoon we discovered snow was in the
forecast. There was a prediction of possibly a half inch in
Birmingham and I expected to get some that night while
staying at the state park's newly remodeled hotel. The
forecast for snow increased and the roads were closed off
leaving only essential staff. We didn't see any other
visitors so it seemed we had the whole place to ourselves.
The next morning we woke to a winter wonderland of five
inches of snow and it was beautiful everywhere you turned.
(The snow photos in this article are all from that trip.)
Later we dined at the restaurant, all to ourselves but the
waitress, while looking at the picturesque view down the
mountain into the valley.
Cheaha State Park includes over 2,800 acres of pristine
wilderness and offers visitors activities such as hiking,
camping and fishing. The park is situated on top of Cheaha
Mountain, the highest point in Alabama, and is surrounded by
the Talladega National Forest. One of the park's most
popular features is the Cheaha Trailhead, a 7.5-mile hiking
trail that winds its way through the Talladega National
Forest and offers views of the surrounding countryside. The
trail is well-maintained and suitable for hikers of all
The park offers a variety of campsites, ranging from
primitive sites to RV hookups, and visitors can enjoy a
range of amenities, including showers, restrooms, and fire
pits. For those who enjoy fishing, the park's Lake Chinnabee
is stocked with bass, crappie, and catfish. For those who
prefer to relax and enjoy a picnic, the park has several
As far as the nearly 400,000 acres of the Talladega
National Forest, most of it is not old growth but second
generation forests due to massive logging before it was bought by
the federal government in the 1930s. Back then, it
represented some of the most abused, eroded wastelands
in all of Alabama. One interesting find within the
national forest today is Salt Creek
Falls. My two photos are from the top of it. I have yet to
make the steep climb down to the bottom.
The photo below was taken from along the roadside in the
Talladega National Forest and used for the cover of my book,
The Natural Beauty of Alabama.