Cheaha Mountain, often affectionately called Mount Cheaha, is a natural wonder that graces the landscape of the U.S. state of Alabama. Nestled a few miles northwest of the charming town of Delta, this majestic peak is the crown jewel of Cheaha State Park. Offering a host of amenities including a lodge, restaurant, and breathtaking views, Cheaha Mountain is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
Soaring to Great Heights:
At a towering elevation of 2,407 feet above sea level, Cheaha Mountain stands proudly as the highest point in Alabama. The name “Cheaha” itself, derived from the Creek Indian language, appropriately means “high place.” This peak is truly a testament to the natural beauty that Alabama has to offer.
A Remarkable Landscape:
One of the standout features of Cheaha Mountain is the prominent USGS benchmark marking its highest point. This benchmark is situated in front of Bunker Tower, a remarkable stone structure originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The tower boasts an observation deck on top, providing visitors with panoramic views of the surrounding area, making it a popular spot for sightseeing and photography.
History and Heritage:
The CCC played a significant role in shaping the mountain’s accessibility, constructing a road that led to Cheaha. Although the road has since been closed, it is known as CC Road and is adorned with intriguing ruins that harken back to its storied past. The mountain has been open to the public as part of Cheaha State Park since June 7, 1939, preserving its natural beauty for generations to come.
Bald Rock Overlook:
Near the summit of Cheaha Mountain, you’ll find Bald Rock, a natural wonder that has recently undergone improvements. A wheelchair-accessible wooden walkway now provides a spectacular viewpoint that offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding region. Visitors can immerse themselves in the serenity of nature while taking in the stunning scenery.
Cheaha Mountain is not just a high point; it’s a geological marvel. It is part of the Talladega Mountains, the southernmost segment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, distinguishing it from the Cumberland Plateau found in northern Alabama. The mountain’s elevation is primarily attributed to its unique geological composition, featuring weakly metamorphosed sandstones and conglomerates of the Cheaha quartzite, which date back to the Silurian/Devonian period.
The Summit of Communication:
Cheaha Mountain serves as more than just a natural attraction; it is also home to several commercial and public service transmitters. These radio antennas, along with structures dating back to state commercial endeavors in the 1970s, stand in stark contrast to the pristine natural environment. The Calhoun County Amateur Radio Association operates a repeater near the peak, and Alabama Public Television transmits WCIQ TV 7 from a towering 176-meter (577-foot) tall tower, which was rebuilt following the January 1982 ice storm.
Cheaha Mountain is more than just a geographical feature; it’s a symbol of Alabama’s natural beauty and rich history. From its towering peak and breathtaking views to its CCC heritage and geological significance, Cheaha Mountain offers a unique and unforgettable experience for all who visit. So, whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking a serene escape, be sure to put Cheaha Mountain at the top of your list of places to explore in Alabama.