At 2,405 feet above sea level, Cheaha Mountain in Alabama is one of the less impressive state high peaks. Nonetheless I found myself driving 2 hours west on I20 about a month ago to hike up the mountain. We got to Cheaha State Park around 8am and drove to the top of the mountain where they were doing some construction. The views were good and if the day wasn’t so overcast we could have certainly seen Birmingham in the distance.
We didn’t go to the mountain to drive to the top though so we went down to the nearby Cheaha trailhead and hoped it was the one we wanted to hike (the trail maps provided at the state park were pretty much unreadable). We hit the trail which quickly connected to the Pinhoti Trail and followed it along the top of the tallest mountains in Alabama.
We followed the Pinhoti for 4 miles and passed a bunch of cool overlooks as well as backcountry campgrounds. The most interesting part of this trail came at the end of the four miles when we came across a small old plane that had crashed in the woods at some point in history. We checked it out and took some pictures before continuing to an overlook to eat lunch.
Once we departed the overlook we took the 3 mile connector trail from the Pinhoti to the Cave Creek trail. The Cave Creek Trail took us another 4 miles back up to the Cheaha trailhead where my car was parked.
Somewhere along the way though we ended up on an unmarked side trail and went about a mile before turning back and having to hike up some very steep stretches of trail. We finished the trail a little after noon and ate some granola bars in the bed of my little pickup truck. Overall it was a great hike (although a little longer than expected) and I was disappointed at not seeing any cave creeks (whatever that is) on the Cave Creek Trail. It was a nice little day trip and gives me another state high peak to mark off the list.