Thursday, June 25, 2009
Summer Escapes #2 - Cheaha State Park, Alabama
Located high atop the tallest point in Alabama, Cheaha State Park is a jewel among Southern state parks.
Mt. Cheaha rises to 2,407 feet above sea level and can be seen for miles. The elevation keeps the summit much cooler than the land below. Creek Indians, impressed by the massive mountain, gave it a name that white settlers later interpreted as "cheaha." It means, roughly, "high place."
The park area was once part of the Creek Nation. Following the nearby Battle of Talladega in 1813, Red Stick Creek warriors retreated to safety in the mountains of the Cheaha area after they were defeated by Andrew Jackson and his Tennnesseans.
By the early 20th century, the forests around the mountain had been been largely cut over. The state and Federal governments, however, both saw potential in the thousands and thousands of acres of mountain land surrounding Mt. Cheaha. The state began work on Cheaha State Park in 1933 and President Franklin Roosevelt issued a proclamation establishing the Talladega National Forest in 1936. Both were Depression-era works projects and many structures built by Civilian Conservation Corps workers can still be seen at the park.
Today, Cheaha State Park is a major gateway to the beautiful scenery of the Talladega National Forest and also features a hotel, restaurant, cabins, chalets, campgrounds, picnic areas, overlooks and more. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/cheaha1.