Special Places

Nestled in the mountains and grassy terrains of Alabama are several gemstones of beauty.   Approximately 1.4 million visits are made to the outstanding recreation locations throughout the national forests annually.  Take a closer glance at these special places highlighted for their exclusive selection in the great escape to the outdoors.

Highlighted Areas

Alabama Wilderness Areas

Cheaha Wilderness

Stairway to Heaven-Pinhoti Trail-Cheaha Wilderness

The National Forests in Alabama is home to three wilderness areas designated between 1977 and 1999, totaling 42,218 acres. Alabama’s wilderness offers visitors a unique experience within a primitive environment in comparison to other areas of the national forest. Visit Alabama Wilderness Areas.

Big Oak Hunting Camp for the Physically Challenged

Every hunters dream may be filled in this 1700-acre hunting camp designed for the physically challenged hunter in the Shoal Creek Ranger District of the Talladega National Forest. Tucked away in the Choccolocco Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Big Oak Hunting Camp champions handicap facilities, food plots and plantations, and accommodations for those with physical restrictions. Meeting this special need, Big Oak proudly offers primitive camping for anyone desiring a memorable hunting excursion in a wildlife haven. A permit from the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Department, a WMA permit, and a hunting license are necessary for the special needs hunter.

Pinhoti National Recreational Trail

Backpacking, bird-watching, and trekking across 100 miles of moderate to difficult hiking trails, is a favorite pastime in the Talladega National Forest, located in eastern Alabama. For the avid hiking adventurist, the quest begins at Piedmont and meanders southward below Talladega. Venturing off the main trail are side hiking outlets in the Cheaha Wilderness, home of Alabama’s highest mountain peak and Cheaha State Park. The Pinhoti Trail diverges from mountain grandeurs to lush valleys hovering beneath the rugged pine and hardwood forests, filled with shady hollows and gorgeous mountainous streams. For the hiker, a view of quail, squirrel, turkey, and white-tailed deer are avenues of excitement!

Talladega Scenic Drive

Escape the hustle and bustle of life and take-in the fall foliage in the Talladega Scenic Drive.  The 50-minute journey on paved highway at 2,000 feet spotlights panoramic ranges of the Appalachian Mountains. We suggest mid-September to November for the viewing of lovely fall leaves or April to June for the new buds and fresh spring glory.  Restrooms are located at Cheaha State Park. Other spotlights in this area are Coleman Lake Campground or Pine Glen; and adventure begins at Lake Chinnabee with hiking trails. Fishing abounds at Highrock, Liberty Hill, Morgan and Sweetwater Lakes. Or slip into the historical at the Shoal Creek Church, Cole Cemetery, or horse-back ride along the Warden Station trails.