Turnipseed Camp

Piedmont Plateau | Clay | Best Seasons: Spring, Summer

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Located in the Talladega National Forest, Turnipseed Camp is an excellent addition to birding in nearby Cheaha State Park.    It provides a nice stop for woodland songbirds, and is easily reached via the Talladega Scenic Byway. This small, rustic campground offers overnight camping and access to hiking and birding in the mature, mixed pine-oak forest.  A good location for breeding Scarlet Tanagers, Black-throated Green Warblers, and Ovenbirds. Watch for Blue-headed Vireos.

Excellent birding spots along any of the 3-4 hiking trails that intersect this site. Turnipseed is a U.S. Forest Service 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. The 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.

Directions: Leave Lake Chinnabee and go to stop sign. Turn right. Travel 11.6 miles, and turn right at AL 281. Travel 1.9 miles to sign on left for Turnipseed Camp.

GPS: 33.4425872 -85.843057

Talladega National Forest
1001 North Street
(Highway 21 North)
Talladega, AL 35160
256-362-2909

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/alabama/

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