Information about the three “main” trails on top of Mt. Cheaha.
1. Bald Rock– The easiest to do. This is the first trail you will come to on the Cheaha Loop on top of the mountain once you enter past the hotel. It has a boardwalk that is great. We jogged there with Whiskey one morning and saw lots of deer. It is handicapped accessible. At the end there are spectacular views. You can also use the older lower trail that runs along both the left and right side of the boardwalk. I usually like to hike to the overlook on the lefthand side of the actual footpath then travel back on the boardwalk. There are TONS of places to boulder here. We tried doing this with the dog (my brother and I). We came to a point that was almost 5 feet tall.
You could tell Whiskey didn’t want to have to back track. He wanted up. He tried scrambling up after Jeremy but slid uncertainly back down. Finally I got on all fours on the slanted rock and dirt floor and waited. Whiskey ran and using me as a brace/encouragement he cleared the wall in a jump/climb that I didn’t see since my head was down. I was beyond excited though. He was too. You could tell he knew he’d done something spectacular. I wanted to include the pictures of the area.
I tried to take it really easy on Whiskey on this part of the rock face. He wanted to do more than I felt comfortable letting him. His pads are not used to the climbing and it was very hot. I didn’t want him to get up a rock and not be able to go farther either. A dangerous and compromising position. If you go with a smaller dog, this probably won’t be an issue if you climb the rocks, but please do not let your larger unliftable dog go up a rock until you know what the rest of it looks like and if he can get easily down, on either side if need be.
2. Pulpit Rock– This is the second easiest but does have more of an incline coming back. It will be the next trail you come to on the one way loop, directly before reaching cabins 1-4. We hiked this trail as well. We came across some rappellers at the rocks at the end. If you have a barker or dog you’re not going to keep leashed, please be mindful of the safety of these people who probably won’t appreciate your pooches interference with their concentration. Two of the guys had never rappelled before and were very nervous and well, they seemed scared a bit too. We gave them a wide distance and lucky for us our dog is a quiet hiker and always leashed. No problems here. We sat on another rock and watched the turkey vultures fly by. Loved this trail!
3. The Rock Garden– Drive up to cabins 8, 9 and park between then head down the mountain side for a more strenuous trail than the others. It can also be added to by going down to the lake or climbing like mad all over the rocks. This is an old time favorite of mine and I do it every year, but this year we skipped it. So I don’t have any pictures of it for you. But do take your time when you cross the tiny stream. There are a lot of beautiful strange creatures living there and I like to always take a few minutes to poke around the rocks and try to find the crawdads and other crawly watery things that live there… Shhh…a secret: When you get to the rocks if you keep veering left instead of right which goes to the lake, then you’ll follow what seems to be an old animal trail down to where the water runs over the rocks. Just keep going down as far as your imagination, free time, and feet will take you. It’s worth your time. I’ve done some of my best bouldering crawling back up the cracks from the waterfall back up to the top of the overlook there.
Because I have no Rock Garden Trail pics here are some more “other” pics!
Other trails: Like waterfall trails? Check this out. When I go back in the fall I’ll be reviewing these more in depth, but for now…here’s a link! Waterfall Trails
Rating: We give these trails 10 enthusiastic tail wags out of 10… for…
for their variety, a good short length for the hot summer months, but easily added onto with random wanderings in the colder months and just general all around fun-ness.
Visit Cheaha’s page to plug in where you are coming from for exact directions: http://www.alapark.com/cheaharesort/Directions/