Explore the most popular forest trails in Cheaha State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We had GPS to lead us to the address here for the trailhead. We found neither trailhead nor trail. Most disappointing.

easy trail, great view

loved this little trail

The trail itself is a bit more strenuous than expected. The trail offers several overlooks that do offer some pretty amazing views however We never found this airplane wreck or waterfall some mentioned .while in summer when we went it was very hard to tell where the trail was in many stretches
The trail is marked(where it is marked at all) mostly by painted blue spots on trees that are very easy to miss resulting in getting lost.

The elevation loss/gain is very sporadic.

hiking
1 month ago

Very fun trail even at only 1.4 miles. The steep climb to the top will let you know what kind of shape you're in and the views are nice, I enjoy it every time I hike it.

There is a boardwalk that takes you all the way to Bald Rock or you can opt to take a dirt trail running beside the boardwalk. The scenic view from Bald Rock is nice but, as for a hiking trail not much to speak of. Nice place to take a short stroll.

I loved this trail. I downloaded an All Trails map since so many reviewers said they lost their way and had no issue. This trail has a lot of variety and is perfect part shade and part sun. Lots of boulders, pretty moss, lizards, butterflies and great views. There are a TON of places to camp, especially since you are on the Pinhoti for a lot of it. I did pull a tick off of me and my boyfriend while we were on it and also saw lots of Poison Oak so watch for that. McDill Point was worth it, recorded it with All Trails and clocked it at 7.6 miles. Was super quiet and hardly saw anyone, definitely recommend.

Relatively easy hike in general but was rough this summer. There’s some large trees down in the first mile of Nubbins that makes it nearly impassable in some sections but clears up if you keep on. I saw a lot of muscadine grapes near the trailhead and there were tons of small daisies in bloom. If you’re doing this in summer, wear long pants because there’s A LOT of ticks (my dog who is on medication carried home 56 in his fur 濫). Also be aware there’s some active predators in this area- many piles of scat full of fur and even found a partial boar skull.

Aside from that it’s pretty steady but not steep elevation gain. Pretty water falls and reliable streams. Some folks have mentioned to me the trail is hard to find nearer to its end but imo it’s pretty easy to stay on as there is good signage. Like somebody else mentioned I typically do Nubbins to Odum Scout to the Pinhoti as an in and out- I think it’s like 7 miles total? There’s a huge campsite at the Pinhoti Scout intersection that’s great for large groups.

Nice trail with several overlooks, plane wreckage, and rock formations. After reading some of the posts regarding lack of trail markings, I was fearful of being lost (we are new to hiking). So I bought a paper map, compass, and read many reviews and watched Youtube videos of the trail. In the end, all I needed was the AllTrails Pro app. The Pro app enables you to download maps so that you can view them offline. So, when you lose cell service, GPS allows you to see your location on the map as a blue dot in relation to the red trail outline.

We entered at the Cheaha trail head (a short way down the road from the general store at the top of the mountain). We decided to do the counter-clockwise route since I read that the Pinhoti portion of the loop is more strenuous. Not long into the hike we took a wrong turn (while still on the blue-blazed Pinhoti) and it ended at the road that leads down to the trail head (I looked on a map afterwards and it turns out that this is where the Pinhoti crosses the road and continues on north-east toward Georgia). So I consulted the AllTrails app and found our location (the blue dot that gives your current location) and just followed the trail back to the proper place and continued on. We got confused a couple of other times, but each time we consulted the app and got back on course. The Pinhoti side of the loop was especially narrow in some places with high grass crowding us on the trail, but the blue blazes kept us on track.

Because running the app (like running any other app) will cause the battery to drain as you hike, take a battery pack that will charge your phone when it gets low. Also, because there are so many rocks and roots on the trail, I recommend hiking shoes/boots. Our feet were sore afterwards even though we both wore Merrell Moab 2 shoes, which have soles made for this type of terrain. I guess if you are not doing the entire loop in one day, this may not be a problem.

Be sure to record your hike in the app so that at the end, after you stop recording, the app will provide distance traveled, calories burned (if you set your height and weight in your profile), elevation gain, and a red-line exact map of your route (including your detours). We walked exactly 9 miles (we walked out to the McDill overlook and to several others). I would do this hike again; I think a fall or winter hike would provide a cool, different perspective.

Very pretty hike with great views along the way! Drove all the way from Florida and back in the same day for this trail and it was worth it!

I think this was the trail I did, but I honestly don’t know such were the markings (or lack thereof). So much so, I decided to just set my timer and simply turn around when it went off...didn’t want to get lost.

With that said, it was a great hike with a few scenic spots. It appears beetles have attacked the pine trees.

Beautiful trail!

If you want to get to the summit of the mountain, none of these maps are correct. Here are the directions to do that: 1) park at the lake trail ($5 fee) and hike up to the state park. 2) walk down the road past a small waterfall on the left and just before you get to the pool at the lodge 3) take a left into the campground loop and look for the trailhead markers with the blue yeti! This "Leave No Trace" trail will take you right to the top observation tower and picnic area! Views are better from other overlooks, which you can access in the park.

The lake trail was VERY well marked (to the point I figured they'd hired some vandal to do penance and just "mark every tree, rock and dirt patch with blue".) The trail is like other reviewers said: steep and rocky but beautiful!

This trail needs traffic—foot traffic! It is close to being overwhelmed in sections by weeds. This is a lovely track but quite rugged with roots and rocks, and a couple of challenging ascents. Would not recommend for children under 12. Old timers like me need sturdy footwear and dual trekking poles.

My family of three set out at the Cheaha trailhead, intending a moderate 6+ mile trek and almost ended up spending the night, unprepared, on this trail. We set out in plenty of time to complete by dark, missed the turn/connector, and ended up hiking ~12 miles, the last of it in the dark and on an abandoned roadbed (with multiple downed trees requiring detours; marked FS 589), gaining 2000 feet elevation. We encountered the connector in the rain and that might be why we missed it--also the connector was not marked at all. This trail is NOT well marked--we almost lost the blue trail several times. I was seriously worried we would end up dehydrated and hypothermic, even at the end of May, after spending the night on the trail.

Remember to take three times as much water as you think you will need, plastic bag for cell phone or electronics needed to mark bearings, backup phone battery, rain gear, bug spray, flashlight, high-energy food, personal first aid kit and a backup map/compass, just in case you end up on a different (longer) trail with no cell phone service. Long pants are essential, as there is a LOT of poison oak on the trail. There was little water. Make sure someone knows your intentions and the trail you intend to hike before you set out. If you get off the trail, notify someone about your location in case things go terribly wrong.

The trail had some pretty flora (gooseberries, wildflowers, mountain laurel, oak leaf hydrangeas and more), but the trek is very difficult and only for those who are good with maps and who have strong legs and hearts. Plan for slow speed, as the elevation change is significant.

At the end (9pm), this felt more like a death march than a pleasant family hike. I will not let this happen again.

Loved this trail. Parts were not marked very well but other than that it is a perfect day hike trail.

Easy walk to the scenic point. The view is beautiful. I took my two boys, under 10, and we went off trail and climbed several rocks along the side of the mountain. It was a great time.

Good trail well marked with good water. About half of the trail follows the pinhoti so the blue blazes light your path. When you get off the pinhoti just follow the signs and stay on the well beaten path and you should be fine. The trail passes by the out and back trail to McDill Point. It is worth the extra 1 mike out and back to take a gander. All in all it’s more like eight miles so bring a snack and water. I used most of my water cooking for my son and Myself but I had a sawyer filtration system on hand. There is a plane crash to see on the McDill trail.

It as my first time to hike this loop. Fortunately, I have a good sense of direction and a serviceable map of the Cheaha Wilderness Area which I printed from the USDA website beforehand. The Cave Creek section of the trail was poorly marked. I never saw a sign near the Trail Head or the Connector Trail. At one point I wasn't sure what trail I was on. Was I still on Cave Creek or had I pushed past it, moving on to the Nubbin Creek or Odum Scout Trail by then? . My map did not reflect what I was seeing and because of no signage, I had no way to verify my position. Stumbling upon a trail intersection is not good when there are no markings telling me what trail was what. All I knew is that if I took the trail that was heading generally west, I would eventually run into the Pinhoti. I never saw any signage for Cave Creek until I came across another trail intersection aprox a mile from the Pinhoti. Once you get to the Pinhoti, everything is gravy. This trail is wonderfully marked with blue blazes and metal tags, a welcome contrast to Cave Creek. Despite Cave Creek challenging my old Boy Scout skills, I had a wonderful time. And the Pinhoti serves up one gorgeous view after another. I can't wait to go back.

hiking
6 months ago

This was my first time to hike this trail. When I walked to the trailhead from the parking lot I took a wrong turn! I turned right and ended up on the Pinhoti headed away from the loop. I hiked a few miles out and back in to the trailhead and decided - what the heck - I came to hike the Cave Creek Trail so I'm going to do it. I proceeded taking the trail south toward three o'clock in the loop - I would say this side of the hike was easy. I was able to move fairly quickly. The scenery changes dramatically on the "back side" - several areas when on the actual Pinhoti required finding the blazes. When I decide to hike this loop again I will dig the backside in on the front stretch. Great views on the backside.

Nice hike. 2nd half more rocky and more ascents. Worth it to head off 1/4 mike trail to Mcdill overlook on the back half.

hiking
6 months ago

My wife and I are wanting to get into hiking. Got this app and found this trail and read the reviews. The trail is rated easy but as beginners we found it to be challenging. The trail itself is well marked and pretty well traveled. However, it was very very steep in certain places. Guess we are really out of shape. LOL! Although it is short the steepness should make it moderate. The view at the top though was well worth the hike. Cool waterfall and scenic views! We will definitely hike it again.

I hiked/ran this trail today and I loved it. It was very foggy which gave it the feeling of an enchanted forest. I couldn’t see the few at the lookout points unfortunately, so I definitely like to come back some time. The hike is moderate, a little challenging at some points. Very rocky terrain, so be prepared for that.

Cave Creek is an unmarked but easily followed trail carved on the side of the ridges near Cheaha. It is commonly done as part of a loop when combined with Section 6 of the Pinhoti as each trail is linked by a connector.

If seeking to do a loop then do it counter clockwise (starting on the Pinhoti from the Cheaha trailhead) so that you can get water on Cave Creek as there is scant little on that section of the Pinhoti.

Camping sites near the water sources are few and far in between but you may find some existing sites slightly off the path. (Please do not make your own, new fire ring.)

Not the hardest hike but the gradual climb and descend will make you feel your pack.

The only reason for the lack of a fifth star is that the recent ice storms have caused a considerable amount of blow downs. (Am amazed at how quickly the trail maintenance folks get out as there are very few blocking the path). This will change in the coming months as the area greens up with spring.

Also docked the star for lack of campsites that can accommodate more than 3 tents or hammocks (there are some but not a lot given the terrain).

All in all, you will enjoy this trail.

Beautiful in foggy day. The trail is not marked, we got lost, app dropped tracking us, and we had to came back the same way which was not easy also.

I probably wouldn’t want to do it alone again. I got lost twice but found my way back to the trail. When I lost the trail the first time it was very rocky and I won’t lie.. I got a little nervous lol.

Thoroughly enjoyed it. McDill point did not disappoint!

Good trail, the elevation wasn't too bad. There was definitely some up and down, but you are high enough about 3 miles in to get some good views. Great day trail with only a few down trees you have to climb under. We packed in and slept at one of the junctions with the Pinhoti Trail along the crest. Got down to low 30's with a decent wind. We made a windbreak and a bonfire. Slept wonderfully in my 20 degree bag. There was snow on the ground the whole time. Great trip and did it with an eleven year old in the party.

Good hike. Good camping spots. Great views.

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