One of the most unique parks in the US – Cheaha State Park – is also the oldest Alabama state park. This picturesque state park lies at the southernmost tip of the Appalachian Mountains and is part of two counties – Northern Clay and Southwestern Cleburne.
Beautiful Cheaha State Park, located in Delta, is only 30 minutes from the historic towns of Oxford, Anniston, Talladega and Ashland.
It’s not only the mountains that make this area breathtaking, but also the massive granite boulders, trees and serene lake. And, this large park is surrounded by 400,000 acres of wilderness which includes Talladega National Forest and Cheaha Wilderness.
Trails, camping, swimming, exploring, interactive learning and much more await you at this unforgettable park!
With so many options available you may have a hard time deciding what to do first when you visit Cheaha State Park. Should you set up camp, check out your cabin, chalet or hotel room?
Or would you rather go for a hike or check out one of the many learning centers? Maybe you’d rather spend some time at the lake where you can swim, fish, boat and have a picnic?
Here’s a closer look at a few of the activities available for you at Cheaha State Park:
Hiking at Cheaha State Park
All of the trails at Cheaha State Park are multi-use and perfect for hiking and biking. And there are even more trails in the surrounding area of Cheaha Wilderness and Talladega National Forest.
Here are a few of the trails inside Cheaha State Park:
- CCC Reservoir Falls and Laurel Falls – trails that lead to each of the waterfalls.
- Picnic Trail – leads up to the top of the mountain where picnic tables and a playground are located, next to the CCC Observation Tower.
- Mountain Laurel – this 1.4 mile trail follows along the stream to the Rock Garden Outlook and stunning views of Talladega National Forest.
- Bald Rock – an easy .03 trail that leads to Bald Rock Outlook.
- Lake Trail – a challenging 1.0 mile steep and rugged trail that starts at the lake and ends at the Rock Garden.
Swimming at Cheaha State Park
Cheaha Lake is a 6 acre man made lake created by the CCC when the park was being developed. Today it has a beach area with picnic tables and a playground. And there’s a diving platform for those wanting to jump into the chilly mountain water. Fishing, kayaking and paddleboarding are also popular during the summer.
If you’re staying at the park overnight between Memorial Day and Labor Day you’ll be allowed to use the Cliffside Pool located next to the Vista Cliffside Restaurant and Hotel.
Wildlife at Cheaha State Park
With all of the surrounding wilderness you can be certain that you’ll spot lots of wildlife during your stay at the park. Animal checklists and Explorer’s Club booklets are available at the Mountain Store, located at the park entrance.
If you’re an avid birdwatcher you may get a glimpse of an owl, woodpecker, sparrow, wren, wild turkey or one of the many waterfowl in the lakes and streams.
Mammals such as foxes, deer, squirrels and raccoons make their home in the woods here, and every once in a while a bear will make an appearance.
Camping at Cheaha State Park
If you’re planning on spending the night at Cheaha State Park you’ll have plenty of options to choose from – campsites (modern and primitive), cabins, chalets, hotel rooms and a group lodge.
Cheaha Park Hotel has 30 rooms with full amenities and is located across from the Vista Cliffside Restaurant.
CCC Bald Rock Lodge was built in the 1930s by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. It has 12 bedrooms and baths and sleeps up to 32 guests. The full service kitchen, intimate lounge with rustic stone fireplace and large banquet hall make it an ideal location for weddings and other large group gatherings.
The cabins are also as old as the park and this should be taken into consideration when reserving them. Some cabins sleep 2 and others sleep up to 4. Each cabin has beds, bathrooms and kitchens and most have tvs. Pets are welcome in a few.
The chalets are spacious A-framed cottages with beds, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, fireplaces and tvs. And these are also pet friendly.
The modern campground has 77 campsites with water, electric and sewer hookups plus picnic tables and either a grill or fire-ring. A modern bathhouse is located nearby.
Primitive campsites are also available. These 26 tent only sites have picnic tables and a fire-ring. Restrooms and water spigots are nearby and if you want access to the bathhouse you can purchase a shower pass at the Mountain Store.
A primitive group campground is also available. There are 5 campsites that can accommodate between 9 and 25 people.
You can also stay at the CCC Primitive Campground where the Civilian Conservation Corps members camped while they were building the park during the 1930s. These rustic tent only sites have fire-rings and access to vault style restrooms and water spigots.
Pets at Cheaha State Park
Pets are welcome at the park but must be leashed. Bosarge Memorial Dog Park, located inside of Cheaha State Park across from Bunker Tower, is a safe place for them to run and play.
Historical & Cultural Learning at Cheaha State Park
Explore nature and learn more about the local plants, animals, geology and history of this area. The Interpretive Center, located in the old CCC Lake House, contains a nature center, an environmental literacy corner and exhibits.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was created during the Great Depression by President Franklin D Roosevelt to help provide young men with an income so that they could help support their families. These young men built state parks, planted trees, fought forest fires, constructed roads and much more.
The rich history of this park and the many more like it throughout the US is showcased inside of the CCC Museum located inside of Bunker Tower and at the highest point in the state of Alabama. The museum houses a collection of items that were used by the CCC.
Take a ride through the park with the Time Traveler Quest. Learn about the natural and cultural history of the park through an interactive parkwide adventure as you follow the legacy story trails.
Then stop into the Walt Farr Native American Museum to see many artifacts found here – arrowheads, knives, drills, bird points and pottery. A gem mine is located behind the museum; gem and fossil bags can be purchased at the Country Store.
Check out the park website for more information on current events and programs. And consider celebrating your child’s birthday at the park with one of their unforgettable themed party packages.
Cheaha State Park
19644 Hwy 281
Delta, AL 36258
7:00 am CDT -9:00pm CDT (All trails and day use areas close at Sunset)
PARK ADMISSION FOR ALL DAY VISITORS (includes admission to Mountain Park, Vista Cliffside Restaurant and Overlook, and Lake Recreation Area)
- Age 0-3: Free
- Age 4-11:$2
- 12 and older: $5
- Parks for Patriots Veterans and Active Military: Free (Please show ID)
ANNUAL PASSES FOR CHEAHA STATE PARK
- Senior/Disabled: $55
- Individuals Pass 12 & Older: $105
- Family Pass up to 6: $155
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Cheaha State Park: