Chewacla State Park’s 696 scenic acres are a delightful pause from nearby interstate traffic. Facilities include a 26-acre lake, swimming area, playgrounds, hiking trails, mountain biking trails, a modern campground, picnic areas with tables, grills and shelters, and newly renovated cabins. Nearby Auburn University makes Chewacla the perfect place to stay on football weekends.
The woods in Chewacla State Park are also an outstanding location for birding, providing a good variety of woodland songbirds, so be on the alert for such birds as Summer Tanagers, Wood Thrushes, and American Goldfinches. The presence of the lake and streams within the park adds significantly to the number and variety of species one may encounter here year-round.
Sweet Shrub Trail – The Sweet Shrub Trail follows Moore’s Mill Creek upstream. Water fowl such as Great Blue Herons and Kingfishers can be seen forging and hunting in the shallow waters. The trail begins at the Lower Pavilion, makes a loop and returns to the Lower Pavilion. Some interpretation is provided along this easily hiked stretch of trail.
Boy Scout Trail – The Boy Scout Trail begins on the west side of the CCC era arched stone bridge and runs into the Sweet Shrub Trail. Notice the fine craftsmanship of CCC era stone features. This short, but interesting trail is easy hiking. Wade in the crystal clear waters and walk the sandy beach alongside Moore’s Mill Creek, or stop and relax on one of the benches provided.
Troop 30 Boy Scout Trail – The Troup 30 Boy Scout Trail begins on the north side of the stone bridge on Murphy Drive. This trail follows Moore’s Mill Creek to the boundary of the park. Hikers may follow the trail to the park boundary or cross the creek on one of the rock dams and follow the trail back to Murphy Drive. This trail requires more hiking than the Boy Scout or Sweet Shrub Trails, but it is one of the most pleasant trails in the park. Native Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel are found in abundance along this stretch of Moore’s Mill Creek. Hike this trail in the spring to catch the beautiful blooms at their peak.
Mountain Bike Trails
CAMP Trail (1 mile)
A relatively flat loop around the campground with wide and easy turns, almost no roots or rocks, and minimal elevation changes. It is the perfect trail for someone new to mountain biking, or visitors to the park that bring their bike along for casual rides. Experienced riders can use it as a warm up. Short track mountain bike races are occasionally held on this trail.
Lakeside Connector Trail (0.5 miles)
This trail gives riders access to the following longer, intermediate, single track trails: Falls View, Creek View, CCC, and For Pete’s Sake. It begins by following Ranger Dell’s Trail in a clockwise direction by slowly winding down into the bottom and across a couple of small rock challenges; as you reach the bottom of the glen near the paddle boat rental area and diving boards in the lake, and as you make your way toward the cabins. At the intersection, the connector turns left for a beautiful view of the entire lake as you ride along the lakeside, over a small bridge, and between the cabins and the lake as you begin your short but scenic journey to the longer trails. As you begin to turn to the right away from the lakeside, you will have the option to go left in a clockwise direction onto the Falls View Trail, or continue straight ahead to begin a counter clockwise direction on the CCC Trail just after crossing the paved road.
Ranger Dell’s Trail (0.6 miles)
Path flows through the glen behind the ranger station and traverses a small feeder creek for the lake. Introduces riders to undulating terrain and allows practicing of handling skill. Flat curves on one side of the cool forest valley are mirrored by banked turns and switchback climbs on the other. The trail begins and ends between the beach pavilion and the fence along the parking loop. It represents other longer trails in the park. If you can master this trail, you’re ready for the longer and slightly more technical trails in the park.
(The following descriptions follow the trails clockwise. They can be ridden in both directions and in whatever order the rider desires.)
Falls View Trail
This trail follows the edge of the lake and turns near the dam and waterfalls. The path serpentines up the bluff, with runs paralleling the lake, and ends high on the bluffs above the creek. The trail is peppered with technical roots and rocks and other obstacles to overcome. Quick turns with narrow sections accent this trail; which features fun dips, an optional short vertical climb, and a log jump.
Creek View Trail (1.3 miles)
Entrance includes a ramp that leads to a path; which travels over a banked boardwalk around Volkswagen Rock, and follows the old vertigo inducing CCC-created trail along the creek. Beautiful vistas of the creek can be seen; along with lichen-covered rock walls, to frame the scene and set the mood of serenity. The path changes character as riders snake up the bluff, and whip around wide-banked curves; while climbing. At the top of the bluff, it changes again as bicyclists reach the rock outcroppings, balanced along the steep sides dropping to the creek. Technical skills are tested through rock gardens and between huge boulders. The Creek View Trail changes once again as riders swoop down the bluff in back-and-forth ribbons, that parallel the deep gully that you will cross using the 28’ long X 4’ wide diagonal bridge that leads to the CCC Trail.
CCC Trail (3.0 miles)
Action starts at the entrance of this trail if you choose the short ADV (advanced) option to the right just after crossing the bridge and leaving the Creek View Trail; with quick turns, short-steep dips, and climbs. Or, you can choose the “shortcut” CCC connector to the left to bypass the short, advanced option and get right on the CCC trail. After a rippling downhill, the trail turns up and twists through the woods, west and north of the old CCC camp, now used as the group campground. Glimpse the open expanses of the group campground; while passing foundations, chimneys, and refuse deposits left over from previous use by Civilian Conservation Corps. The trail drops to another old CCC trail bordering Town Creek. Listen for the water splashing, granite shelves and see tumbled boulders and fallen trees in the creek. At the Hank-Graham Bridge decide if time is available to explore the more flowing and rustic For Pete’s Sake Trail on the other side of the Town Creek. On the CCC Trail, riders will need to overcome a schizophrenic, winding climb and go past the old water tower and group campground shelters. After passing the residential properties along the park’s north border, finish with quick turns, short, steep dips, and short climbs that lead you back to the Lakeside Connector Trail.
For Pete’s Sake Trail (8 miles)
Get a running start on the bridge to begin climbing the bluff with momentum. The trail has off-camber sections, rock gardens, dips, and short climbs, and runs along former terraced farm land; as it flows through stands of pines and hardwoods. This trail has it all: fun runs, slightly technical climbs, narrow bridges, loose rocks, steep slopes that will test ability to stay on the trail. The labyrinth-like arrangement will give an experience of déjà vu on repetitive sections. Take a breather on the straight-ish western edge of the park property before navigating Momma’s Milkshake down to the creek. Terrain requires you climb back up the hill before passing over more rock gardens, and ride perpendicular to the severe slopes back to a skill testing drop to the bridge.
Norba National Trail
Also available is the historic NORBA National Trail; where mountain biking legends like Ned Overender and John Tomac raced in 1988. This race was the very first NORBA National race east of the Mississippi River, making the NORBA National Trail an important piece of south eastern mountain biking history.
Not a trail, but worthy of note. The bridge is 92’ long, 8’ wide, and 10’ higher than the normal creek level. It was built to be 3’ higher than the water level achieved during a hundred-year flood. Created by a number of volunteers with the majority of muscle and brain power supplied by Hank Albritton, Graham Yuill, Austin Yuill, and Darrel Hankerson – none of whom are structural engineers or had ever built a bridge. The only motored machine used was John Deere Gator 4WD ATV. The first set of poles was dragged down to the creek using only manual labor, Austin’s lifting device, and ropes. Everything else was done with brute force and tools built by Austin, or supplied by, or purchased by Graham and Hank. Telephone poles were donated by Alabama Power and lumber by Spencer Lumber.
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Activities Available: Birding | Fishing | Hiking | Mountain Biking | Paddling | Road BikingAmenities Available: Benches | Cabins | Camping | Camping (RV) | Dogs Allowed | Drinking Water | Picnic Tables | Primitive Camping | Restrooms