Rising above Talladega National Forest, Cheaha Mountain is the highest point in Alabama at 2,407 feet above sea level but the picturesque summit was almost wiped, out until the parks system saved its natural beauty.
Cheaha Mountain, fittingly named after a Creek Indian word for “high place,” is one of the more picturesque state high points, but this was almost not the case. The forest surrounding the tall peak was extensively logged and vacated farmland until President Roosevelt created the national forest in 1936. The expansive regrowth now provides recreation and forest cover.
The reborn forest can be seen in all its glory from Bunker Tower, the tall stone visitors center which now sits on the mountaintop. The tower was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934, originally housing park offices and a gift shop in each respective wing. The offices and shop have moved further down the mountain, but the tower is still open and can be climbed, with windows that provide stunning views of the regrown forest.
Know Before You Go
From Interstate 20 near Anniston, take exit 191 south for Route 431. Turn south onto the Talladega Scenic Byway, Route 281. Follow this road to Cheaha State Park. Drive up the roads to Bunker Tower.