Welcome to Cheaha State Park – Self Guided CCC Tour
Cheaha.Naturalist@dcnr.alabama.gov 256-488-5115 ext. 2814 for information or group tours of the park.
Start your self-guided tour at entrance to the top of the park. Hwy 281 is a new road but it contains parts of the original road the CCC built to get guest to the highest point of Alabama.
1. Caretakers Cottage –Completed in 1935 and located on 281 across from the store. (This is a caretakers residence please do not enter).
2. Bunker Tower - Named after the first Alabama State Park Director (aka Observation Tower or the fire tower) was built by Company 468 SP -7 and Company 468 SP-2 dedicated April 4, 1936. The tower is made of native stone and now holds the CCC museum. You can find this by driving up the one way past the motel, turn to the left at the stone marker; you will find the tower on your left. The tower was completed in 1935. Please see the original painting of Bunker Tower located in the museum. The tower is approximately 75 feet high with walls 6 feet thick. This is the highest Point in Alabama.
3. CCC Worker Statue – Dedicated May 2015. An Eagle Scout project and donations by many CCC supporters made this the first in the State of Alabama. Located in front of the Tower, you will see him guarding the Tower.
4. Redbud Pavilion - Driving down the road from the tower you will see a rock pavilion built by the CCC, completed in 1935. The rock work and details in the pavilion; along with the fireplaces, make it a favorite to all guests. (Bathrooms located at the end of this pavilion.) The road was at one time known as the picnic trail. People hiked to the picnic area from the parking lot and scenic overlook area that is now the restaurant/motel. Turn around at the pavilion and go back up the road past the tower to the one way road and turn left. Bald Rock lodge turn is on the right (see the rock sign).
5. Bald Rock Lodge –The first hotel and restaurant for the park built by CCC Company 2420-sp17 CV. We have the Calhoun and Talladega Chamber of Commerce to thank for the joint effort to get the lodge built and opened in 1942 at 2,100 ft. The lodge is now used for group rentals only.
6. Trails –Bald Rock Trail –The original Bald Rock trail is located next to the board walk. A board walk was added in 2003, this addition made it possible for young mothers with children in strollers, seniors with walkers or disabled persons to enjoy the trail all times of the year. Rock Gardens, Pulpit Rock and the Lake Trails are also CCC trails.
7. The Caretakers Cottage & Garage –Completed 1936. Leaving the Bald Rock area and getting back on the loop you will turn to the right. The rock buildings located on the right were built by the CCC company 2420-V (please do not enter the Caretakers cottage it is occupied) the road on the right just past the cottage will lead you to the first cabins built in the park.
8. Cabins 1, 2, 3, 4 – Completed in 1935 and renovated in 1996 (cabin 16 burned down and was rebuilt in 1996). These cabins sleep 2 people they are small and at the time of the CCC the fireplaces burned coal. The living room, bedroom and kitchen are a combination area. Built by the 468 and the 2420-V. Leaving cabins 1-4 located on your left you will find your next stop.
9. The CCC Reservoir – (One of 2) Built by CCC Company 468 in 1934 to enhance the park and help supply water to the park holding 200,000 gallons. No longer used as the parks water source has become a natural area to enjoy. It is constructed of native stone and the dam is approximately 50 feet long, 6 feet tall on the reservoir side and creek side. Located on the right you will find your next stop.
10. Cabins 5 & 6 –Completed in 1936 and renovated in 1996 - Now known as our honeymoon cabins, are the only cabins with a whirlpool tub and screened in porch (they are in high demand). Most people love the seclusion and the deer that play near these cabins. Built by the CCC 468 and the 2420-V exit the drive and turn right on the oneway located on the right and you will find your next stop.
11. Cabins 7, 8, 9, 10 – Completed in 1936 and renovated in 1996. These cabins were built with family quality time in mind. The table seating area is built in and provides a place to eat or play cards in the same room as the beds and fireplace. Built by CCC Company 468 and the 2420-V. Leaving the cabins turn right on the oneway. Stay on this road past the motel and restaurant (this was the tower/picnic parking and scenic overlook area before the road to the tops was built) Drive back to 281 and you will see the store on your right and the Indian Artifact museum on the left. Stop at the sign and you are back at the start, but wait we have more! Turn to your right on 281 take the first paved right to Lake Cheaha.
12. CCC Primitive Campground -When you see the dumpsters on your right and the wooden fence on your left you will see your next stop. You are welcome to park by the dumpsters and walk in. Please do not disturb the campers. This area is the first camp in the park. Some foundations, steps and a CCC built sign.
13. CCC Bridge – Completed 1935- Drive down the road, turn right at the Lake entrance as you drive into the lake you will drive over a bridge built by the CCC. Look to your right at Beautiful Lake Cheaha. The dam, lake and spillway area is still in use today.
14. Laurel Stone Pavilion – Completed 1937- This wonderful pavilion with an area to picnic and grill or an area to have your wedding ceremony has become another favorite among brides.
15. Cheaha Lake –Completed 1937 -The sand beach for the lake is brought in as needed to provide you a wonderful experience under the sun. (work in the park consisted of a sand beach for the lake) All of the CCC structures (including the bathhouse) are made of native stone from a quarry here in the park (no longer used) the native stone is called Cheaha Quartzite.
16.Bath House - Completed in 1937- Along with the picnic grounds, this area is still in use today.
Many camps in the area provided men to build our park. For more information we recommend the following books on sale at Cheaha Restaurant:
The Civilian Conservation Corps in Alabama 1933- 1942 A Great and Lasting Good - By Robert Pasquill
Our Mark on this Land - By Ren and Helen Davis