Excellent birding spots along any of the 3-4 hiking trails that intersect this site. Turnipseed is a USFS trailhead for the Pinhoti Hiking Trail. Habitat types are mature hardwood, mixed pine/hardwood, old field succession, agricultural field, marsh, lake/river, mud flats and more. Trail takes hikers through both upland and riparian habitat. The 7,245-acre Cheaha Wilderness offers high elevations, with numerous overlooks for panoramic views of east-central Alabama. Cheaha Wilderness is named for the nearby Cheaha mountain, which rises to a height of 2,407 feet and is the highest point and a prominent landmark in Alabama. Elevations within the Cheaha Wilderness range from 1,100 feet, along the bottom of the eastern slopes, to Odum Point with an elevation of 2,342 feet. Over 1,000 acres are above 2,000 feet in elevation affording hikers the challenge and solitude that is a vital part of the true wilderness experience. Plant life in the wilderness is diverse and corresponds to the local soil types and moisture conditions. Chestnut oak and Virginia pine, with scattered longleaf pine, are found on the main ridge line and side slopes of the higher elevations. Longleaf and loblolly pines grow on the lower elevation ridges, while the drainages and northern settings are homes for oaks and hickories. The rock bluffs, outcrops and cliff lines have Virginia pines, many of which are dwarfed. The small trees evolved over eons of weathering from the wind, rain, snow and sleet. Some places look like the bonsai garden of a giant.
Turnipseed Campground is a primitive campground located in the Talladega National Forest near the Cheaha Wilderness Area. Turnipseed has 8 campsites and offers primitive camping and hiking.
Address: 6821 HWY 281
GPS Coordinates: LAT: N33°26’31” LONG: W085°50’35”
Directions: From Talladega go northeast on State Route 21 for 7 miles. Turn east on County Road 398 and go 4 miles. Turn east on County Road 385 and go 9 miles. Turn south on Forest Route 600-3 and drive 2 miles. Turn south on State Route 281 (Talladega Scenic Drive.) The camp is 0.25 miles on the left.
Hours of Operation: March 1 thru December 1 from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Admission Fee: $5.00/night to camp
Credit Cards Accepted: No
Management: Talladega National Forest, Talladega Ranger District
Additional Information: Office hours: 7:30 to 4:00 M-F. No alcohol, vault toilets, no water.