- 26 miles (41 km)
- One hour to drive the Byway.
- There is a $1.00 per person fee to take an optional side trip into the Cheaha State Park.
Catch a bird's eye view of Alabama when you drive the Talladega Scenic Drive. At its highest point, you will find yourself on Cheaha Mountain, 2,407 feet above sea level, the highest point in Alabama. You will be awe-struck by the view of the Appalachian Mountains, rock outcroppings, and small rural settlements nestled among the trees. Here, the air is crisp and clean, although during the summer months you may notice a bluish haze in the air. No need to worry - the haze is simply caused by the lush green trees releasing condensation into the warm air.
In addition to simply enjoying the scenic beauty of the Talladega National Forest, be sure to take advantage of its abundant recreational opportunities. You will find many developed areas where you can camp, picnic, fish, and hike. If you are up to an all-day adventure, spend some time in the Cheaha Wilderness or on the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail. The wilderness areas are open to hunting, fishing, and primitive camping. Peace and quiet will abound here, as motorized vehicles and bicycles are prohibited.
No trip is complete without a fine meal and a souvenir, so be sure to visit the restaurants and shops at the top of Cheaha Mountain in Cheaha State Park. And while you are at the top, keep a close eye out for wildlife such as the white-tailed deer, quail, turkey, rabbit, opossum, and even the bald eagle. A glimpse of one of these natural inhabitants could be one of the highlights of your trip on the Talladega Scenic Drive.
Points of Interest
Points of Interest Along The Way
Cheaha State Park (AL)
Located atop Cheaha Mountain, the highest point in the state, 2,407 feet above sea level, this 2,799 acre mountain top retreat exhibits breathtaking scenery year-round. Seated at your evening restaurant dining table, you can enjoy a spectacular sunset as the perfect complement to an excellent meal. Then after an exhilirating day of hiking, swimming, or photographing nature's beauty, you can retire to a comfortable hotel room, mountainside chalet, cabin or a scenic campsite.
Cheaha State Park is located at the top of Cheaha Mountain midway on the Talladega Scenic Drive.
Talladega National Forest (AL)
The Talladega Scenic Byway winds approximately 26 miles alongthe backbone of the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains. Thedrive climbs to Cheaha Mountain and Cheaha State Park, the highestpoint in Alabama. In fall, this drive bursts with color as the oak,maple, hickory, and persimmon change color. In spring, the dogwoodand redbud are equally beautiful.
The forest is also rich in virtually every species of wildlifeindigenous to the region, including white-tailed deer, turkeys,squirrels, rabbits, grouse, and bobcats. The pine forests of thesehills have been specially managed to provide badly needed nestingareas for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.
The waters are prime habitat for the Coosa redeye bass, adiminutive cousin of the smallmouth. To improve habitat, forestershave built dam-like structures out of small stones in the shallowportions of these creeks. Often referred to as the "brook trout" ofwarm-water species, redeyes are great sport on light-spinningtackle.
A lush mixture of oak, hickory, redbud, maple, sweet gum,sycamore, dogwood, mountain laurel, and mature pines blankets thelandscape. Muscadines, huckleberries, blueberries, blackberries,wild cherries, wild strawberries, gooseberries, black walnuts, andpersimmons keep the wildlife, and hikers, well fed.
The Talladega Scenic Drive travels through the length of the forest.