Ascent of Cheaha Mountain on 2018-04-07

Climber: Peter Stone

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, April 7, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cheaha Mountain
    Elevation:2405 ft / 733 m

Ascent Trip Report

Part of a spring tour of the south-east USA, an area I didn't know at all well. My plan was to visit some historic sights (particularly some battlefields and those associated with the Civil Rights Movement), take in carnivorous plant reserves in the flowering season (another interest of mine), pass through 9 'Red' states (to see what the folks there were really like) and along the way make sure I 'climbed' 5 state high points!

Driving from Birmingham, where I’d spent the previous night, through the surrounding countryside I was impressed by the beautiful rolling wooded hills of the region; the Talladega Mountains, foothills of the Appalachians. Fresh green spring leaves on the deciduous trees and marvellous swooping roads. It seemed popular with cyclists on this weekend day and I passed many on my drive towards Cheaha State Park on AL-281. Unfortunately low cloud meant much of it was in mist. After presenting my $5 day use park entrance fee at the pay gate I drove into the state park. At times the fog was so thick that it was difficult to negotiate all the bends on the (thankfully one-way) road to the Bunker Observation Tower but I made it safely and after parking up climbed to the top despite the lack of views. They seemed to be having a Saswatch-themed branding thing going on with signs and models - I always thought he/she lived in the Cascades but they’re using it to reinforce Leave No Trace principles. After a few photos I then looped back around the road network to the Bald Rock trailhead where a short hike on a boardwalk brought me to a viewpoint through the swirling clouds. Very atmospheric.

On returning to the park pay gate I visited the Country Store to buy some drinks and spent some time in the fascinating little museum there: The Walter Farr Native American Relic Museum, where I also had an extended and highly entertaining conversation with the volunteer guardian about all things Alabamian and in particular former Governors George and Lurleen Wallace (whose images are hanging on the wall).

Next Georgia!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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