Hiking Chinnabee Silent Trail in Cheaha State Park
Talladega National Forest, Alabama
Entry Fee: None at suggested parking area
I took this beautiful hike in autumn, starting at a suggested parking area (see below) along Talladega Scenic Drive and directly crossing the street north by northwest to find the Chinnabee Silent Trail trailhead. Treating it as a there-and-back trail to Lake Chinnabee works out to just under nine miles. The trail is well-worn as their is moderate traffic along the way to Cheaha Falls, just beyond which lies a hill and camping area.
Keep expectations in check here and you'll enjoy it as a small creek running from Lake Chinnabee pours over some rocks and falls maybe fifteen feet or so. A major plus side is that most travelers seem to turn back at this point and traffic thins dramatically. Just beyond, the hills ascent toward the campground where you will get some nice views of the rolling Appalachian foothills.
Most of the hike is through covered forest along the aforementioned creek. The trail is blazed well where needed, so you will unlikely lose your way even in dense areas or among switchbacks. My altitude gain worked out to under 1000 feet and although I never had to scramble, that's enough continual hillside and some rocky areas for a good day's workout.
Be confident in your vehicle inspection before going as their are miles of steep hills on narrow roadway with little or no room to pull over in case of breakdown
Park as mapped below for free entry, and if you make it to the Lake Chinnabee recreation area, you can pay a donation fee there if you like
Wear boots or other footwear with good grip and reinforced toe due to damp, rocky areas
Bring extra charge for mobile - much of the trail is out of cellular range and battery may wear down searching
Slow down! I saw more dead dear along the roadside than live ones