Cheaha State Park (red arrow) is located in the Talladega National Forest
With this post I’d like to give you more information about the park and give you a detailed tour of the primitive campsite where we camped. The Primitive camp site is such an amazing place to camp, especially if you are there to ride the many forest roads on your dual sport.
The primitive campground holds so much natural beauty
The highest point in Alabama is located at the Cheaha State Park. The Cheaha Mountain raises 2,407 feet above sea level. These are the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. 281 is a twisty road that travels this area. The road drops about 1,200 vertical feet from the top of Cheaha Mountain to Cheaha Lake. It’s a good and twisty ride, with many nice views.
The twisty 281
According to the Cheaha State park website, there are 5 campgrounds here. The Mountain Top Campground with full hook-ups, this is the main campground. There are also cabins there, a hotel and a restaurant, all belonging to the Cheaha State Park.
Cheaha Lake's mirror like reflection
The Cheaha Lake campground is 3 miles down the mountain and also has full hookups. Then there are two semi-primitive camp sites for tents on the mountain, one is the Picnic Trail campground and the other is the Bunker Loop Campground. Those staying there can utilize the facilities at the Mountain Top Campground. Lastly, there is a primitive campsite also near the Cheaha Lake. This campground has no bathrooms or water, but one can drive a short distance and use the facilities at the Cheaha Lake Campground.
Cheaha State Park Registration office and store
The Mountain Top area has a gate, and the fee was $1 to enter the recreation day area. Located beyond the gate is a restaurant, cabins, motel and the campgrounds. Before you get to the gate, on 281 is the registration office and store. This is truly a resort state park, with all the amenities. We drove the recreational day area at night, so we just saw the numerous buildings, all were very nice.
Primitive campground entrance
Cheaha State Park is Alabama's oldest and continuously operating State Park, which opened in 1939. In its early years, the state park had stone cabins, a stone bath house, stone pavilions and the man made Cheaha Lake. The lake still exists today. The stone buildings, what remains of them today, are in ruins. You can see some of the ruins at the primitive campsite where we stayed.
Ruins at the primitive campground
I wonder what there used to be
They look like graves
In the 1970’s the hotel, restaurant and chalets were built. Renovations continue periodically, and today high-speed internet service is available at the restaurant and hotel.
A room with a view
A cozy living room with a fireplace
For $11 per day, we stayed at the primitive camp site. Since we had stayed at others parks for $12, and those were full service camp sites, the $11 seemed steep. But when you consider the setting of the campground, and the views, it’s actually a small price to pay to be able to enjoy such beauty. Of course, at the end of December we were alone at the campground, which made it even more appealing to us.
So many dirt roads at the primitive campground
After we were done riding for the day and we returned to the campground, I was compelled to ride through the entire campground, wanting to see where all the paths would take me.