Crisp mountain air along with the yellow and red hues of changing leaves have arrived at Cheaha State Park, much to the delight of sightseers and photography buffs, while Cheaha Lake is awash with reflections of trees coating the flanks of Alabama’s highest peak.
Color change usually begins around mid-October and displays its most brilliant palette during the second week of November according to Park Superintendent Renee Raney.
Raney said the splendor of the seasonal change is a particular reason some guests flock to the 87-year-old park.
“Many overnight guests reserve cabins, chalets, campsites, or hotel rooms a year in advance to make autumn at Cheaha State Park an annual experience for their family,” said Raney.
Raney encourages all visitors to explore the 3,000 acre park.
“Park the car. Hike a trail. Walk along the Bald Rock Accessible Boardwalk. Look up into a tree or across the calico woodland with no windshield barrier. Take a deep breath and inhale the earthy clean scents of a mountain wilderness,” Raney wrote in an email.
“There is an abundance of activities to entertain and educate park guests including hiking trails, biking trails, rocks to climb, playgrounds, gem mining, natural history programs, and self-guided nature exploration,” Raney wrote.
The park is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; trails close at sunset. Vista Cliffside Restaurant is open Thursday through Monday from noon until 8 p.m. and its deck offers a spectacular view of the valley below.