Pinhoti Trail- Cheaha Wilderness Area

pinhotiPinhoti Trail – Cheaha Wilderness, Talladega National Forest

by Carson Feather Whitmore

The Pinhoti Trail is the perfect way to explore the panoramic views and wild landscapes of the Cheaha Wilderness, within the Talladega National Forest, which is a dense second-growth forest. Creek Indian for “turkey’s home”, the Pinhoti Trail spans the entire Cheaha wilderness. The Pinhoti is Alabama’s longest walking path and because it follows the foothills of the Southern Appalachians, it is often part of the discussion to extend the Appalachian Trail, which would add miles of Southern mountain trail to the legendary walk. Turkeys are common along the trail, as are white-tailed deer, other small mammals, diverse bird populations and abundant reptiles and amphibians. The Pinhoti trail follows a natural ridge and contains Cheaha Mountain, Alabama’s tallest peak at 2,407 feet.

pinhoti 2The Pinhoti trail and Cheaha Wilderness are products of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps—a New Deal program employing conservationists during the Great Depression. Out of a turbulent time came the preservation of wild spaces, a solace to still be enjoyed. Wild South and Mountain High Outfitters recognize the continued importance of areas like the Cheaha Wilderness. As active voices on behalf of wilderness, both Mountain High Outfitters and Wild South support the future adventures on the Pinhoti Trail and the legacy of these wild places.

GET OUTSIDE! – Want to get involved, steward your public lands and get to know the Cheaha Wilderness? Then get involved and join up with Wild South’s Volunteer Wilderness Rangers. Find out more HERE!




  1. Brandon C. Smith on September 18, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I enjoyed this posting, but can you explain how the Pinhoti and the Cheaha Wilderness are related to the Civilian Conservation Corps?

    Although Cheaha State Park as well as many of the roads and infrastructure in the Mount Cheaha area originated with the efforts of the CCC, the Pinhoti was developed in the 1970s by the USFS and the Cheaha Wilderness was created by Congress in 1983 (the latter due to a push from the citizens of Alabama).

    The Pinhoti may be one of the only good programs the U.S. Forestry Service has done in the state of Alabama, so crediting it to the CCC is misleading.

    The Civilian Conservation Corps was no longer in existence by 1942, is there some evidence that the WPA or CCC had designs or intent to build a long trail in this state?

  2. John Calhoun on January 10, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Brandon’s comment is correct. Thanks Brandon. The YCC (Youth Conservation Corps), prisoners, many many other unpaid volunteers, some paid contractors (Trails Unlimited & Ala Park employees) and of course USFS employees helped to build the Pinhoti Trail. And, It is still being maintained by many other unpaid volunteers. We need more volunteers to help maintain our excellent Pinhoti Trail.
    I think it was actually a retired USFS employee’s idea to Create the Pinhoti Trail – Bobby Bledsoe. You may want to check with the USFS office near Heflin, AL to veryify.

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