Cheaha Mountain (Alabama State Highpoint)

Cheaha State Park, Alabama

Trip Date: Wednesday, June 24th, 2020
Last Updated: Friday, June 26th, 2020
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★☆☆(3/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0 miles roundtrip
Time 15 minutes
Terrain Mostly flat
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible Yes


Hike Summary

After the disappointment of the Mississippi state highpoint, I was excited for the opportunity for views on top of Alabama's Cheaha Mountain. Standing 2407 feet above sea level, and with topographic prominence of nearly 1500 feet, Cheaha Mountain is the tallest and most scenic highpoint of the states along the Gulf Coast. From the top, you can climb an observation tower for panoramic views of the beautiful hilly countryside of east-central Alabama.

To attain the summit, you can simply drive to the top. If you wish to hike, you can take the Leave No Trace (LNT) Bigfoot Trail for a half-mile trip, or for a challenge, you can start from Cheaha Lake and hike uphill 1000 feet of elevation and around 3 miles roundtrip on the Lake Trail and LNT Bigfoot Trail.

No matter which way you take, the summit is very clearly marked with the sign pictured below. Behind the sign, you'll find the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum and observation tower. The CCC was a Depression-era program that employed thousands to build infrastructure throughout America. They built the museum and tower you see here as well as the lodge at Bald Rock with gorgeous stonework using local rocks.

The sign, observation tower, and CCC Museum at the summit of Cheaha Mountain

The sign, observation tower, and CCC Museum at the summit of Cheaha Mountain

Unfortunately for me, the museum and tower are only open Friday-Sunday, so I was not able to enjoy the views. Below is a picture I took along Alabama Highway 281 on the drive here to give you a sense of the scenery you can expect when atop the tower.
Views from a scenic overlook along Alabama Highway 281

Views from a scenic overlook along Alabama Highway 281

If you do happen to visit on a day the tower and museum are closed, don't fret. You can hike to Bald Rock or Pulpit Rock for amazing views to the north.

I hope you enjoy the great scenery Alabama and Cheaha Mountain have to offer. Connect with me using the social media links below and share your adventures!


From Birmingham, take Interstate 20 east. In Oxford, take the Leon Smith Parkway exit, then turn right. Turn left onto Friendship Road, then turn right onto Jennifer Lane/County Highway 24. Follow signs for Alabama Highway 281 and make a left and a quick right. Continue on the scenic, winding Alabama Highway 281, and watch for pullouts for scenic overlooks! Turn right at the entrance sign for Cheaha State Park -- you will see the Mountain Store clearly on the right side of the highway.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Entrance into the state park requires paying an entrance fee of $5 per adult and $2 per child or senior. When the entrance booth is not staffed, visit the Mountain Store to purchase your pass. The summit has a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum, observation tower, and restrooms.

External Links