Some sights can never be explained. They must be seen so you can drink in every detail to make sure it never leaves you. Position the camera just right
before the shot. Take your time finding the perfect words to relay what you witnessed to a friend. But some sights are just too big
. One such place like this calls Alabama
Alabama’s Cheaha State Park houses one of the most sweeping panoramas in the US. Atop the mountains, there is the highest point in all of Alabama. It juts upward impossibly, above the clouds in the midst of a sprawl of trees in the expanse of Talladega Forest below. And it simply needs to be seen to be believed.
In this guide to Cheaha State Park, you’ll learn everything you need to know about visiting this Alabama marvel.
Cheaha State Park Facts
Get to know a little bit about your destination before you head off. Our Cheaha State Park facts will have you feeling prepared to take in the rich history of the park.
- The park’s name originates from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s language. The Muscogee word chaha means “high place.”
- Cheaha State Park is nestled at the highest point in Alabama, over 2,400 feet above sea level. Being this high up can put you above the clouds!
- This high point is known for its breathtaking scenery. It’s surrounded by nearly 400,000 acres of the Talladega National Forest.
- Even though the park has an isolated feeling, it’s just a 30-minute drive away from several historic cities in Alabama.
- Cheaha State Park was opened in 1933, making it Alabama’s oldest national park.
Experience the unique history of this Alabama park first-hand with a Cheaha State Park RV camping trip.
Best Cheaha State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Take all the guesswork out of planning with our handy list below. We’ve curated all the best Cheaha State Park RV parks and campgrounds to find the perfect home away from home.
Scenic Drive RV Park
This RV campground near Cheaha State Park sits just off exit 191 on the Talladega Scenic Drive. Its convenient location puts you within miles of the park, the surrounding cities of Alabama, and all the attractions contained therein. The park’s got full hookups at all sites and bathrooms with showers for your convenience.
More information: Scenic Drive RV Park
Cheaha State Park Campground
The RV sites in Cheaha State Park are separated into two sections: upper and lower. The lower campgrounds have tighter sites and a hard turn to enter the area. If you have a big RV, we recommend trying the upper campground. Both offer a ton of privacy courtesy of the lush tree line surrounding the area. Full hookups are available at all sites along with a long list of amenities, including a bathhouse, snack bar, laundry room, and a playground.
More information: Cheaha State Park Campground
Shadyoaks Campground & RV Park
If you’re planning to spend any time at the Talladega Super Speedway, check out this RV campground near Cheaha State Park. Their quaint campground is full of charm and service with southern hospitality. The area is spacious and sparsely lined with trees for a wide, open feeling. You’ll have access to water and electric hookups, shady RV sites, and plenty of room for a leisurely stroll on the grounds.
More information: Shadyoaks Campground & RV Park
Cane Creek RV Park & Campground
Cane Creek is a scenic RV campground near Cheaha State Park. They take pride in being more of a park and less like a parking lot. The park is based around grassy, open meadows and features walking trails and a few photo-worthy points along the way. Check out the creek running through the back of the park for a nice way to unwind. Full hookups are available at 28 sites, while the rest are partials.
More information: Cane Creek RV Park & Campground
Payne Lake Recreational Area
For a more wild feel, check out Payne Lake Recreational Area’s RV sites near Cheaha State Park. Each site is set next around the scenic Payne Lake. You’ll find a quiet escape to solitude along the water’s edge at this lesser-known campground. There are no hookups available here, but each site includes a trailer pad, picnic table or fire pit, and a front row seat to the placid lake.
More information: Payne Lake Recreation Area
Best Time to Visit Cheaha State Park
Alabama is known for its subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. That makes choosing a date to visit a big choice. So when is the best time to visit Cheaha State Park? Our seasonal guide below will help you decide.
Winter changes RV camping
in Cheaha State Park into a special experience. The wildflowers frost over, the boulder-filled wilderness shines with snow-crusted crags, and the overlooks of the forest below take on a stark and barren quality that is striking to behold. Best of all, the temperature barely dips below freezing even at night. Enjoy some solace without the crowds this winter for a unique way to camp.
Spring RV camping at Cheaha State Park brings the park to life with teeming wildflowers along the trails. Take in the sights and smells of azaleas, rhododendrons, and mountain laurels blooming throughout the park. You can enjoy gorgeous weather at a comfy 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to boot.
On paper, Alabama summers don’t look too hot to handle. You’ve got an average temperature of about 65 to 85 degrees with seven days of rain on average. But the high humidity thanks to winds from the gulf can be something to contend with. Still, if you don’t mind a bit of humidity, summer RV camping at Cheaha State Park promises a more lively atmosphere and plenty to do, thanks to the high season.
For the nicest scenery of the year, you’ll want to plan an autumn visit. The fall foliage of the park changes the grounds into a feast of color. Hues of bright green mingle with oranges, yellows, and sienna to add a warm character everywhere you look. Aim for a late October or early November visit to witness the best of it. You’ll find temperatures hovering around a brisk 60 to 70 degrees throughout the season.
Things to Do in Cheaha State Park
Now that all the planning is taken care of, it’s time to get into the adventure! There’s so much to discover at this Alabama destination. Our list of fun things to do in Cheaha State Park will get you started.
- Enjoy the scene at Pulpit Rock. The ease of this 1km trail belies the astounding scenery at the end. Take in a panoramic view of Delta stretched out before you through the canopies of dense green leaves that extend clear to the horizon and beyond.
- View a crashed plane site near McDill Point. A quarter-mile off the Alabama High Point trail juts into McDill Point. Along the way, you can spot the remnants of a small plane that crash-landed in the 1970s. At McDill, you can set up camp for the night to enjoy a gorgeous overlook tucked into the mountains.
- Walk the Bald Rock Boardwalk. For an easier trek, make your way to this 1km boardwalk that zig-zags under a canopy of trees. At the end, you’ll be rewarded with some great views of Bald Rock.
- Take a dip in Cheaha Lake. Beat the heat with a dip into the calm waters of Lake Cheaha. There are no lifeguards on duty, so swim within your limits and be mindful of children.
- Go fishing. The lake is a great spot to fish too! Bluegill, bass, and crappie are some of the local varieties you may catch. Remember, you’ll need an Alabama fishing license to try your luck.
- Mine for gemstones. For a family-friendly activity, head to the gem mine located behind the Native American Museum. You can buy bags of gemstone-rich soil and learn how pioneers sifted for gold, gemstones, arrowheads, and other relics from a park guide. Each bag comes with a brochure to learn more about the treasures you find inside.
With so many fun-filled family activities, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to explore this gem of a park in Alabama!
Tips on Visiting Cheaha State Park
These final tips on visiting Cheaha State Park will make sure you have a smooth journey. Check them out before you go!
- Be careful if you’re taking Cheaha Road (County Road 42). It’s a scenic drive worth taking, but the winding, uneven pavement isn’t great for large RVs.
- The Talladega Scenic Drive (Alabama Highway 281) is a great alternative with wide roads perfect for large RVs.
- The park encourages a “leave no trace” policy. That means practicing eco-friendly camping to leave the park as pristine as you found it.
- Download an offline trail map if you plan on hiking. Visitors report low reception in a lot of areas, especially at high elevations.
- Trail blazes can be hard to spot even in broad daylight. Try to time your hikes accordingly to get back before dark. Bring a reliable light source in case of an emergency.
Now that you’re prepared with all the best tips and tricks, it’s time to hit the road in a comfortable and convenient RV!
RV Rental for Cheaha State Park
That wraps up our guide to this beautiful destination. And if you’re planning to make the trip, a Cheaha State Park RV rental from Cruise America
will get you there. Our RV line is decked out with everything you need to make any campground better than a hotel
. Enjoy comforts like a working kitchen, bathroom and shower, bedding, and living space to make lasting memories on the road.
Make the journey as joyful as the destination. Reserve a Cheaha State Park RV rental