Monday, November 3, 2008
Cheaha State Park and Mt. Cheaha, Alabama
The photograph at right was taken from the highest point in Alabama, the top of Mt. Cheaha.
Now the site of Cheaha State Park, the mountain offers visitors a fascinating combination of scenic views, historic sites and natural wonders.
Most experts believe that Hernando de Soto's expedition marched within sight of the mountain, passing through the rich valleys below on its way down from the mountains to the bloody Battle of Mabila near the Gulf Coast. The 16th century soldiers raided Native American villages in the area for slaves and food.
In later times, the Mt. Cheaha area was part of the Creek Nation. The name, in fact, is thought to orginate from the Muskogee word "Chaha" which translates, roughly, to "high place." An important battle was fought at nearby Talladega during the Creek War of 1813-1814 and Andrew Jackson reported that Creek warriors fled into the mountains following the engagement.
Cheaha State Park itself was created in 1933 as a works project during the Great Depression. Numerous structures and trails built by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers can still be found in the park, along with a modern hotel, chalets, restaurant and more.
If you would like to learn more about this beautiful and historic state park, one of the true jewels of the Alabama State Park system, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/cheaha1.