Shown above: Talladega Scenic Drive in brown (lower) and Appalachian Highlands Scenic Byway in Green.
Catch a bird’s eye view of Alabama when you drive the Talladega Scenic Drive. At its highest point, you will find yourself on Cheaha Mountain, 2,407 feet above sea level, the highest point in Alabama. You will be awe-struck by the view of the Appalachian Mountains, rock outcroppings, and small rural settlements nestled among the trees. Here, the air is crisp and clean, although during the summer months you may notice a bluish haze in the air. No need to worry – the haze is simply caused by the lush green trees releasing condensation into the warm air.
In addition to simply enjoying the scenic beauty of the Talladega National Forest, be sure to take advantage of its abundant recreational opportunities. You will find many developed areas where you can camp, picnic, fish, and hike. If you are up to an all-day adventure, spend some time in the Cheaha Wilderness or on the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail. The wilderness areas are open to hunting, fishing, and primitive camping. Peace and quiet will abound here, as motorized vehicles and bicycles are prohibited.
No trip is complete without a fine meal and a souvenir, so be sure to visit the restaurants and shops at the top of Cheaha Mountain in Cheaha State Park. And while you are at the top, keep a close eye out for wildlife such as the white-tailed deer, quail, turkey, rabbit, opossum, and even the bald eagle. The ridge line is a particularly outstanding spot to watch for migrating hawks in the fall. (Learn more about all the bird-watching opportunities in the region along the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail.) A glimpse of one of these natural inhabitants could be one of the highlights of your trip on the Talladega Scenic Drive.
National Forest: Talladega National Forest
Length: 26.0 mi / 41.8 km
Time to Allow: One hour to drive the byway.