Talladega National Forest: Shoal Creek Ranger District
- Horseback Riding
Users have a choice of two developed campgrounds, shelters along the Pinhoti Trail, and several primitive hunter camps. Primitive camping is also allowed throughout the forest except during the gun deer season when it's restricted to the camping areas. Special permission to camp during gun deer season can be obtained from the local district office.
Coleman Lake Recreation Area:
The newly renovated Coleman Lake Recreation Area is peacefully nestled into the Talladega mountains. For recreationists who want to get away from the crowds, but want a few modern conveniences, Coleman Lake Recreation Area is your place to be. There are 39 campsites with water and electrical hookups, bathhouses, a sandy beach, 29 picnicking units, a 21-acre lake and access to the Pinhoti Trail.
Two new comfort stations and seven camping sites are fully accessible for the physically challenged. Most sites will accommodate recreational vehicles up to 35 feet in length. A picnic shelter that seats 40 is available on a first come, first serve basis, or it can be reserved for $10.
Pine Glen Recreation Area
This popular area is adjacent to a mountain stream and offers 31 campsites, cooking grills, sanitary facilities, picnicking, fishing, hiking, and access to the Pinhoti Trail. Pine Glen Recreation Area is a favorite with hunters because it is centrally located in the Choccolocco Wildlife Management Area.
Warden Station Horse Camp
This camp is convenient for horseback riders and provides an opportunity for hiking and 45 campsites with sanitary facilities. Warden Station Horse Camp is open year round.
Enjoy the forest and the wonders of nature in primitive camping surrounding. Hunter Camp has sanitary facilities, is centrally located and is open year round.
Hiking - Pinhoti Trail System
The Pinhoti Trail includes more than 100 miles of hiking trails that runs from Piedmont, its northern terminus, to a point south of Talladega. The trail winds through rugged pine and hardwood forests, runs along ridgetops, passes through shady hollows and along mountain streams. The Pinhoti Trail meanders through mountains and valleys which are rich in history and legend. It's a land where Creek and Cherokee Indians fought over the disputed boundary between their nations and a land visited by De Soto in his exploration of the New World.
Side trails in the Cheaha Wilderness and Cheaha State Park are a part of the Pinhoit Trail System. They include the Nubbin Creek, Odum Scout, Cave Creek, Skyway Loop, and Chinnabee Silent Trails.
Wilderness The 7,245-acre Cheaha Wilderness offers high elevations, with numerous overlooks for panoramic views of east-central Alabama. Cheaha Wilderness is named for the nearby Cheaha mountain, which rises to a height of 2,407 feet and is the highest point and a prominent landmark in Alabama. Elevations within the Cheaha Wilderness range from 1,100 feet, along the bottom of the eastern slopes, to Odum Point with an elevation of 2,342 feet. Over 1,000 acres are above 2,000 feet in elevation affording hikers the challenge and solitude that is a vital part of the true wilderness experience.
Plant life in the wilderness is diverse and corresponds to the local soil types and moisture conditions. Chestnut oak and Virginia pine, with scattered longleaf pine, are found on the main ridge line and side slopes of the higher elevations. Longleaf and loblolly pines grow on the lower elevation ridges, while the drainages and northern settings are homes for oaks and hickories. The rock bluffs, outcrops and cliff lines have Virginia pines, many of which are dwarfed. The small trees evolved over eons of weathering from the wind, rain, snow and sleet. Some places look like the bonsai garden of a giant.
In the spring, flowering mountain laurel make their showy appearances from the drainages and north slopes. The remaining areas have very little understory, except for scattered patches of huckleberry on the southern exposures and scrubby hardwoods along drainages in high elevations. The beautiful sights offered by the plant life are at their height in the spring and again in the autumn. Majestic pines and the delicate yellow-green of new leaves provide the backdrop for spring blossoms of dogwood, redbud and flowering shrubs. Nature has her fling when red, gold, crimson, brown and yellow blend in a carpet of color as the hardwoods don their fall dress.
ORV / ATV Trails Licensed off-road vehicles (ORV) are permitted on all national forest roads that are open for public travel. Vehicle drivers must be licensed and conform to all State laws. Unlicensed ORV's are permitted only on designated trails. Information regarding ORV trails can be obtained from any local district office.