Talladega Ranger District

Below is an overview of the activities offered at Talladega National Forest.  You will find additional information in the Recreation Activities section.

For detailed information on hunting in the National Forests in Alabama and Alabama’s Wildlife Management areas, please visit the Official Web site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Motor Vehicle Use - Have questions about motorized vehicles in the National Forests in Alabama?  Know Before You Go...Travel Tips Q&A

Campgrounds

Trailers and motor homes are permitted in all developed recreation areas. Generally, most of the recreation areas in the forest will accommodate trailers up to 22 feet long. Primitive camping is allowed in the national forest unless posted otherwise.

Permits are not needed for primitive camping, except during gun deer hunting season. Campers are responsible for your fire and any wildfire that results from a spreading campfire. Remember to leave your campfire "dead out".

Turnipseed Camp
Enjoy nature at its best especially during the fall when mother nature dazzles you with an array of vibrant colors. This  primitive camp is located near the Cheaha Wilderness Area and offers camping and hiking. Turnipseed Camp has sanitary facilities.

Hunter Camps
If you're a natural for the outdoors, this is the place to be. Enjoy the forest and the home of many wild game species. Hunter Camps are open year round for users.

Hiking

Chinnabee Silent Trail
This 6-mile trail, in the Talladega National Forest-Talladega Division, goes by waterfalls near Lake Chinnabee Recreation Area, and near the Talladega Scenic Drive.

Lake Shore Trail
A two-mile nature trail around Lake Chinnabee in the Talladega National Forest-Talladega Division.

Cave Creek Trail
A four-mile trail in the Cheaha Wilderness Area located in the Talladega National Forest-Talladega Division.

Nubbin Creek Trail
This four-mile trail traverses the eastern slopes of Talladega Mountain in the Cheaha Wilderness Area.

Odum Scout Trail
This trail is about 4.7 miles long in the Cheaha Wilderness and located in the Talladega National Forest-Talladega Division.

Pinhoti Trail
This trail includes more than 100 miles of hiking trails that runs from Piedmont, its northern terminus, to a point south of Talladega. The trail winds through rugged pine and hardwood forests, runs along ridgetops, passes through shady hollows and along mountain streams. The Pinhoti Trail meanders through mountains and valleys which are rich in history and legend.

Skyway Loop Trail
This 6-mile trail provides wilderness-like solitude in the upland forests of eastern Alabama. Skyway Loop Trail is located in the Talladega National Forest - Talladega Division.

ORV / ATV Trails

Kentuck ORV Trail
This trail is designed for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), and mountain bikes. Kentuck ORV Trail is located in the Talladega National Forest- Talladega Division.

Licensed off-road vehicles (ORV) are permitted on all national forest roads that are open for public travel. Vehicle drivers must be licensed and conform to all State laws. Unlicensed ORV's are permitted only on designated trails. Information regarding ORV trails can be obtained from any local district office.

Mountain Biking

Check out the new Sylaward Mountain Bike Trails. Mountain biking is also permitted on all Forest Service Roads including behind closed gates and on the ORV and Horse Trails.

Wilderness

The 7,245-acre Cheaha Wilderness offers high elevations, with numerous overlooks for panoramic views of east-central Alabama. Cheaha Wilderness is named for the nearby Cheaha mountain, which rises to a height of 2,407 feet and is the highest point and a prominent landmark in Alabama. Elevations within the Cheaha Wilderness range from 1,100 feet, along the bottom of the eastern slopes, to Odum Point with an elevation of 2,342 feet. Over 1,000 acres are above 2,000 feet in elevation affording hikers the challenge and solitude that is a vital part of the true wilderness experience. Plant life in the wilderness is diverse and corresponds to the local soil types and moisture conditions. Chestnut oak and Virginia pine, with scattered longleaf pine, are found on the main ridge line and side slopes of the higher elevations. Longleaf and loblolly pines grow on the lower elevation ridges, while the drainages and northern settings are homes for oaks and hickories. The rock bluffs, outcrops and cliff lines have Virginia pines, many of which are dwarfed. The small trees evolved over eons of weathering from the wind, rain, snow and sleet. Some places look like the bonsai garden of a giant.

In the spring, flowering mountain laurel make their showy appearances from the drainages and north slopes. The remaining areas have very little understory, except for scattered patches of huckleberry on the southern exposures and scrubby hardwoods along drainages in high elevations. The beautiful sights offered by the plant life are at their height in the spring and again in the autumn. Majestic pines and the delicate yellow-green of new leaves provide the backdrop for spring blossoms of dogwood, redbud and flowering shrubs. Nature has her fling when red, gold, crimson, brown and yellow blend in a carpet of color as the hardwoods don their fall dress.

History

On July 17, 1936, President Roosevelt, by proclamation, created the Talladega National Forest out of the Talladega and Oakmulgee Purchase Units. The Talladega National Forest, at one time, consisted of four ranger districts: Oakmulgee or the Cahaba Working Circle, Tuscaloosa or the Pondville Working Circle, Shoal Creek and Talladega. The Talladega Unit was divided into two districts October 1, 1945, with the northern district, Shoal Creek Ranger District, headquartered in Heflin. Thirty percent of the Shoal Creek/Talladega land was cut-over, cultivated and vacated farmland.