Mt. Cheaha is the highest point in Alabama and offers a variety of amenities to its visitors. Located adjacent to the Talladega National Forest, visitors are afforded a wide assortment of trails for both hiking and backpacking. The Chinnabee Silent Trail was constructed in 1977 by Boy Scott Troop 29 from the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind in Talladega. The trail winds along Cheaha Creek and through the pine and hardwood forests of the area.
At Turnipseed parking area trailhead, the trail begins across the US-281. The trail meanders through a area recently control burned as it descends a small hill, cross a stream and then makes it way towards 600G. The trail crosses 600G and makes its way into dense forest of pines. If the Turnipseed parking area is full, there is plenty of dirt parking available along 600G. This portion of the trail has moderate elevation change and offers a great hike for the family.
One half mile inwards you will come to Cheaha Falls. Cheaha Falls offers a picturesque cascade of water as it follows down the mountain. The falls is roughly 30 feet and during the summer months you will come across numerous people cooling off in the water. Anytime of the year, this is perfect spot of a picnic lunch or to relax in a hammock strung above the falls. The Chinnabee Silent Trail cross the stream and the falls and makes a slightly strenuous ascent up the mountain Cheaha Falls Shelter.
At this point the trail leaves the stream to make its way through several ridges and valleys. The luscious forest closes in during the summer, but during winter months, hikers can see various rock formations and unique trees along this portion. As you begin to decent back to the creek, you will come upon Devil’s Den; another cascade of falls along Cheaha Creek. Devils Den falls is a series of waterfalls consisting of a total drop of around 100 feet. The falls offers great photos and a place to cool off and take a break.
As you leave Devils Den, the trail follows Cheaha Creek mid-way up the hillside over fairly rocky terrain. The path is moderately challenging and finally descends into the valley at Chinnabee Lake. Parking is also available at this end of the trail. If you do not want to retrace your steps, you may want to consider leaving another vehicle in this parking lot.
Overall, the trail is a great hike for anyone in the family. If you’re looking for spectacular overlooks, this trail offers only one at Cheaha Falls shelter. However, the forest provides a beautiful hike and the waterfalls a great place to sit down, relax and cool off. It is definitely a place to check out when you’re in the Talladega / Anniston area.