For my family, Mount Cheaha is a favorite destination for outdoor fun. Only 2 hours from Atlanta, Mount Cheaha is located in Delta, Alabama, just south of I-20. This mountain holds some spectacular views over a sea of green tree canopies stretching for miles. Surrounded by the Talladega National Forest, Cheaha is the highest point in Alabama. The local Creek Indians named it “Chaha,” meaning high place.
Most of the trails on Cheaha are very easy to negotiate. They are well defined and all you need to take are: water bottle, hiking stick, camera, and binoculars. Dress appropriately and wear some comfortable hiking shoes.
Below are the trails that I recommend:
- Pulpit Rock Trail – a short moderate hike. You may see people repelling from the sharp drop-offs. WARNING: if you have small kids, keep them close. There are no fences or barriers that protect the public.
- Bald Rock Boardwalk Trail – a quarter mile in length and wheelchair accessible.
- Rock Garden and Lake Trail – an easy hike to the overviews.
Where to Stay
If you want to make it a weekend trip, check out the park’s hotel. The rooms are pretty basic, but comfortable. The hotel sits atop the mountain and also has a restaurant, swimming pool and a country store. In addition, the park offers tent camping, cabins and chalets. For the cabins and chalets, make sure you reserve them well in advance. If you don’t want to stay in the park, Oxford Alabama is only 34 minutes away.
Where to Eat
The park’s restaurant has good food. They usually offer a buffet or you can order from the menu. Since it literally sits along the mountain’s edge, the restaurant presents a wonderful panoramic view. Several restaurants are available in Oxford or Anniston, just a few minutes away. Our favorite restaurant in that area is Top O’ The River located in Anniston. They serve great fried catfish and other seafood. Check out their website: http://www.topotheriverrestaurant.com/ . In Oxford, you will find the Lone Star Steakhouse and Mellow Mushroom, along with other great restaurants.
Other Attractions and Activities
At the foot of the mountain lies Lake Cheaha—a six acre lake. Here, you can fish, paddle and swim. Picnic areas and playgrounds are adjacent to the lake. Other trails, such as the Pinhoti Trail are located around Cheaha and within the Talladega National Forest. If you and the family enjoy Geocaching, go to www.geocaching.com and find geocache coordinates within the park.
Go to the Alabama State Park website: http://www.alapark.com/cheaharesort/
The Picture Gallery Over the Years: