Visiting Florida's state parks and beyond in our Roadtrek. This is how we saw it all. Hopefully, the posts will give you some useful information. Questions and comments are welcome.

Friday, October 28, 2016

A Week at Alabama's Cheaha State Park

Alabama's highest point....2407 feet. We are at Cheaha State Park in the Talladega National Forest in northern AlabamaIt's a really nice park with two campgrounds.  One is on the mountain, one is on Cheaha Lake.  We chose Campground #1, on the mountain. It is in the area with the Observation Tower, boardwalk to Bald Rock, the lodge, inn and restaurant. None of that is within sight of the campground, but nearby. There are plenty of hiking trails in this area. 

Campground #1 loop is winding with some pretty good elevation changes.  About half are pull through and 5 tent only. All sites are 50 amp/full hook up, gravel and dirt.  Some have partial shade, some full shade.  Our site was not particularly level, but we worked through it. Privacy is minimal, but most sites have ample space between or are angled for some privacy.  We are in #12 with ample space and angled for privacy.


Part of the loop.  Generous space between our site and the site on the right, up the hill.  On the left is one of the tent sites.  Some of the other sites were rather close together.  

Just before reaching the boardwalk and trail head is Bald Rock Group Lodge. During the 1930s, the CCC built a stone bathhouse, 11 stone cabins, Bunker Tower, and the lodge. All still in use to this day. At the entrance is the registration, country Store & gift shop building and an exquisite inn and restaurant.

A 1500' elevated boardwalk goes straight from the parking lot to an observation deck at Bald Rock.

Along the boardwalk there are outtakes that have benches and information boards. Also, they provide a way to get off the boardwalk and walk the trails that parallel each side of the boardwalk to Bald Rock.

Fire along the  boardwalk

Amongst the color the morning sun shines on a circular web.

Someone placed a leaf in the wood joint just begging to be photographed. I obliged.

Sharing the railing.

Green to yellow. Then orange to red?

More color along the boardwalk.


The boardwalk terminates at an observation deck at Bald Rock, one of the main attractions at Cheaha SP.  The major rock found on the mountain is quartzite.

A beautiful vista from the edge of Bald Rock. The leaves on the mountain are turning fast and dropping due to the severe drought in the area.  The colors are spotty in the valley.  The day we left it dropped several degrees.  I imagine the valley changed rapidly.

Down at Cheaha Lake and Campground #2 the leaves are not as far along in turning as at the higher level Campground #1There are 30 campsites with full hookups and a primitive campground.  We didn't look at the campsites, but heard they have been recently upgraded and leveled.

The lake is nice for fishing, kayaking and swimming.  There is a beach, playground, picnic tables, grills, and pavilions for camper or day use.  There is a trail around the lake so one can find that perfect fishing spot.

There are 7 hiking trails in the park ranging from .3 mi to 1.4 mi, and very steep to level.  Rocks, roots and fallen leaves prevail on all of them.  There are also 5 bike trails.  And, there are several miles of paved loop roads.  Vigorous exercise here.  We walked the milder paths this trip.


Entrance to the Rock Garden Trail. Elaborate trail head.

Bunker Observation Tower 

Built by the CCC in the 1930s, the tower was built as a fire tower for the area forest.  Now it is an interesting attraction with a small CCC museum at the top of Mt. Cheaha, just a short uphill hike from Campground #1.

View from the top.


X marks the spot.  The tower floor. The highest point in Alabama. 2407 ft.

Neat museum.  Manned by volunteers.  Plenty of information about the CCC in the area.

Another view from the top.

Other scenes:


Along one of the bike trails.

Feasting on a piece of pumpkin at the campsite.

Towering dead pine.  It was interesting to watch the color of the trunk change as the sun moved through its arc.

So many rocks to see along the trails.

Under the boardwalk.  In fact, they are supporting the observation deck in part.

Gap in the quartzite.


Eastern Comma. There were three of these butterflies attracted to this tree next to the Trek.  They remained in this spot, about a foot in diameter, the whole time we were there.  Don't know what the attraction was, but when the sun hit them it was a pretty sight.

Visitors in our campsite at 6:30am through the darkly tinted side window. Lucky to get what I got.

Two doe and a fawn.  They hung out by the site for about 20 minutes after I first spotted them. Oh, for more sunlight.

And, finally,

My tree sculpture of the week. Right next to the campsite.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Overnight at Florida Leon County's Coe Landing RV Park

Coe Landing is a small county park about 15 miles west of Tallahasee, FL situated on Lake Talquin in the Talquin State Forest.  We stayed here a couple of nights while visiting the granddaughter at FSU, so not much time was spent in the campground.  However, we found it to be very quiet and sparsely populated.

 There are 20 sites, 6 of which have a river view and 2 of those are pull through.  They all look pretty level and are of sand and gravel. All are full to partial shade.  We had 50/30/20 amp service.  It appeared that at one time there was sewage, but now only a dump station.  If you don't have a reservation, show up, find a site not marked "reserved".  Pay at the pay box.  It's an honor system and eventually the camp host or park attendant will take care that you are legal.


The "land" side of the loop.

Our morning wake-up view.  Nice being on the "river" side.

Sunrise on the river. From the dock below our site.
An Anhinga drying off after some early morning fishing.

 Between our site and the next site is a stairway from the loop road to the camper's dock.  Tie up your boat, fish, or just enjoy the serene river area.

Sunset at the boat ramp. There is an aluminum floating dock on either side of the boat ramp.  The boat ramp area has a pavilion, parking, and portable johns for day use. There were fishermen/woman there until dark thirty.  We were told the fishing is good here.  The day park is very popular for fishing.

There is also a wooden dock to fish from.  Last minute fishing before the sun sets and the park closes.

Some flora around the day park.