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Parked late one afternoon to get a driving break in road trip. Tent camping from dusk till dawn was peaceful. Lots of areas to climb though the trails.
This park is located on the highest point in Alabama. It has a great camp store with most basic groceries, hotel, cabins/chalets, group lodge, restaurant with gorgeous views, pool, 6 acre lake ALONG with great hiking trails. There is also a dog park and in general this is a very pet friendly 🐶state park. (Bring the groceries you need- closest grocery store is a 20-30 min drive)and know that the restaurant is decent but it may have varying hours during off seasons.) . 🚍⛺️campground- there are two campgrounds with full hookups. The Upper campground at the top is the mountain near all the major trailheads, restaurant, camp store and pool. The Lower Campground at the bottom of the mountain is near the small lake with swimming area and walking trail around the lake. We stayed at the Upper and in February we had the whole campground to ourselves most of our 2 week stay. All the sites are updated and have water, 30/50 amp electric, sewer, picnic table and fire ring or grill. Bathrooms at upper level can be an uphill or downhill walk. *💲this state park has a $4.75 reservation fee and a 3.75% daily “resort fee” on your base campsite rate. Both of those are not deal breakers but good to know. (Especially since the pool is only open for a limited time)
🏡 there are chalets and cabins. I felt the cabins had the better views than the chalet and more private but these are smaller and more rustic. When you are making reservations for a cabin or chalet be sure to check the occupancy rate for the cabin you choose- some are limited to 2 people and look👀 at the amenities of each cabin/chalet- some are quite rustic but descriptions are given. Good news is that they do have pet friendly cabins.
🏕there are semi/primitive and backcountry style sites. ✏️Note that the semi primitive camp sites (the ones on Tower Road) don’t have a shower house for you to use- there is a bathroom available. If you plan to hike a lot and don’t want to drive your car- try to get sites on the upper part of park. (My personal pet peeve is driving daily to a trailhead when I am camping)
📌There is also a hotel with motel like rooms (near the pool and restaurant) and you can even rent an entire lodge for groups that was very attractive from the outside (this was located at top of mountain near the overlook trail-not really walking distance to pool and restaurant)
🥾hiking - 10.5 miles of hiking in the boundaries of the park with connectors to the Pinhoti. The hiking trails had spectacular views on both sides of the mountain. Hiking poles were helpful! While the .3 mile wooden boardwalk to Bald Rock is stroller and mobility challenged friendly, most of the other hikes were moderate to strenuous for the average person. For example- There is a one mile trail straight down the mountain to the lake and lower campground. That said, we loved the hiking here. Next time we plan to bring our larger back packs and do an overnight on a section of the Pinhoti. Did I mention how awesome the views were hiking?
🚵 mountain biking- there are 5 trails that are multi use… and hikers must yield to bikers on these. While we were here there was a mountain biking race. 🚴♀️road biking- the roads in the park had some incline…but I was glad to have my bike to roam the upper part park where we camped. (We don’t bring a tow vehicle) My husband biked outside of the park and you can decide for yourself if you would have fun road biking here after you drive UP the mountain roads to the Visitor Center. *It is 3 miles from the visitor center/park entrance to the lower campground/lake area via non park roads. 🛶- we didn’t paddle here, it was not near our campground and it is only a 6 acre lake/pond. There is a swimming/wading.
Happy Camping! Pamela and Keith
We stayed in the recently renovated upper campground loop on site S7. Our friends stayed on site S9. We were basically on a little island and it was perfect for 2 sites camping together. The bath house was a short 2 minute walk. The bathhouse is brand new and very nice. The showers are separate from the toilet area. They (4) showers are all private, which is nice.
All of the parking pads, fire pits and tables have been upgraded and freshened up. A handful of the sites where very small and extremely out in the open. For example, site 14 is basically the bathouse parking lot. All of the sites on the outer loop were the best in my opinion.
The campground is more secure than most as you have to have a key code to get through the gate to enter the park. You also have to have another key code to get into the campground.
The camp store had everything that you could possibly need if you forget something, including bundles of wood. The lodge was great for dinner if you want to have someone else do it for you. We always like to eat out the first night we are setting up camp. The buffet was delicious.
We love to hike when we camp. We actually choose our campgrounds based on the level of hiking that is around it. Cheaha and the Talladega National Forrest did not dissapoint. We were able to get in 5 different trails, including 2 waterfalls, during our weekend stay.
The only disappointment was the lack of cell service. We were on top of a mountain with towers all around, but we would only get 1 bar of service every now and then when the wind would blow just right and we were standing in the perfect spot. They are supposed to be offering wifi soon.
This walk in campsite is right next to the waterfalls. Tons of exploring can be done around camp or you could extend the trails and explore Devils Den Falls as well! There is an established fire ring, lots of flat places for tents and lots of trees for hammocks. The walk from Chinnabee Silent Parking lot is 1 mile. It looks like people also park along the entrance on road 600-G making it only a 1/2 mile walk into camp.
I was sad to see trash left behind in the fire pit. Please pack out what you pack in (and help pick up along the way too!)
I will admit my review is tainted because we were here in July and it was HOT! The saving grace was the big tree in our campsite (116) and the ability to float in the water. Our site was in a cove with limited views of the lake. Much of the camping is pretty open with the ability to see your neighbors.
We stayed here overnight on the way to Fl and wished we could have stayed here longer. The campground is very clean and has a great pool area. The pool area has a kids pool and hot tub along with the regular inground pool. There are not many trees in the campground for shade but if you have an awning it shouldn't make to much of a difference.
The drive in is 12 mile of twists and turns, ups and downs, and worth the drive. We were greeted with a knowing staff and great directions to the lower camp area. We looked over the lodge and it will be a place to visit when we are not camping. The lower camp are is brand new and the bathrooms are clean and large. Our camp site was level and a pull through. Great place.