Lake Chinnabee Recreation Area offers first-rate resources for nature-loving visitors: A beautiful lake, interesting plants, numerous birds, along with essential amenities. This is perhaps the “birdiest” site in this entire unit of the Talladega National Forest. Watch for a variety of woodland birds, including Red-eyed Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Parula, and Yellow-throated and Hooded Warblers.
The 17-acre lake and small, heavily forested recreation area are tucked into a pastoral valley of peacefulness, suitable for hiking, picnicking and fishing. The lake has marshy areas good for shore birds, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets and Wood Ducks. Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks nest in the area, and a variety of ducks are routine visitors in winter months. Osprey sometimes hunt the lake. The Recreation Area provides access to several hiking trails:
CHINNABEE SILENT TRAIL, which connects to the 7,245-acre Cheaha Wilderness Area, is 6-miles and goes by waterfalls near the Lake Chinnabee Recreation area and the Talladega Scenic Byway.
LAKE SHORE TRAIL is a two-mile trail around Lake Chinnabee. All part of the Talladega National Forest.
Be sure to visit nearby Cheaha State Park when visiting.
GPS: 33.4600939 -85.86664
Talladega Ranger District
1001 North Street
(Highway 21 North)
Talladega, AL 35160
Though not fully accessible, there are ample opportunities to bird from the paved parking lot. A paved road that leads to a separate picnic area at the far end of the lake is also sparsely traveled and could be birded with caution. The lake itself can be viewed from your car.
Leave Cheaha State Park and turn right. At 1.4 miles, turn right. See signs that you are leaving Cheaha State Park and entering Talladega National Forest. Go 5 miles, and turn left to Lake Chinnabee.
Amenities Available: Boat Launch, Gravel or Dirt Trails, Picnic Tables, Restrooms, Wheelchair Accessible
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