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Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail, Dadeville

#11 of 16 in Trails in Alabama
Must see · Hiking Trail · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trails are footpath only trails along an area of the southeast shore and Sandy Creek area of beautiful Lake Martin (a 40,000-acre, 700-mile shoreline lake) in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. The trails provide the public with a water and wooded retreat into nature and promote preservation of this unique alpine area of the Tallapoosa River Valley in Central Alabama.

Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trails are some of the most scenic and diverse hiking trails in Alabama. The trails skirt the shoreline of beautiful Lake Martin for approximately 6 miles. Other areas of the trails are high rocky ridges and bluffs, some with vistas of 6 to 10 miles overlooking Kowaliga Bay, Chimney Rock, Smith Mountain, and others along rocky shoal creeks, and rippling brooks. The trails are routed through a varied flora and fauna. There are high rocky ridges with mountain long leaf pine, mountain laurel, low and high bush blue berry, lush hardwood forests that include redbud, sourwood, dogwood, native azalea, umbrella and big leaf magnolia. Large thickets of Catawba Rhododendron are numerous. Deer, turkey and numerous bird species, including bald eagles, can be seen along the trail.

Seventeen miles of trail are now open. You can hike from 1 to 17 miles of Loop Trail. A trail map is available for viewing at each trailhead sign.

The trails are built to blend into nature, free of bicycles, motorized vehicles, horses or other pack animals. All signs to mark trail transitions are made of natural unpainted wood with the smallest footprint possible on this unique alpine area. All trails are built on Alabama Power Company land that is set aside as natural undeveloped.

The Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association (CRATA) was incorporated February 24, 2004, as an all-volunteer nonprofit 501(c)3 tax exempt organization, dedicated to provide the public with wholesome outdoor trail venues for enjoying physical exercise, recreation, meditation, nature studies, and learning or improving hiking and backpacking skills.

The Cherokee Ridge and the Deadening Alpine trailheads can be reached by State Highway 50 in Tallapoosa County. From the east, turn right off Highway 50 onto Overlook Drive at the Scenic Overlook sign. The trailhead for “The Deadening” Alpine Trail is 2 miles on the right next to the Harbor entrance. The trailhead for the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail is 3.3 miles on the right (look for the signs).

From the west, turn left off Highway 50 onto Overlook Drive .3 mile past the Tallapoosa River Bridge at the Martin Dam sign. Trailhead parking for Cherokee Ridge is 1 mile on left. Trailhead parking for The Deadening is 3 miles on the left (look for the signs).
For travelers who use our custom trip planner, Dadeville holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
18 reviews
  • We live in the Auburn/Opelika area and these are great trails within 45 minutes of our house. The Deadening Trail is our favorite ... I would rate it as moderate as it has some climbing on the side...  more »
  • By mistake we wound up following the pink marks on the trail which was the trail that hugged the cliffs, many switchbacks, steep and about 4.2 miles for the whole trek. We passed the fire tower but.....  more »
  • This is not a lake you can see much of as almost all views are blocked of it when driving in the area. You have to have a house on the lake, have a boat, or do a trail like this one to see much of...  more »
  • Amazing trail. Liked the hiking view. Nice location. We went on the Chimney trail. The trail goes by the lakeside so it is really nice and there is a corner from where you can get into water to add more fun or relaxation to the hike.
  • A beautiful spot overlooking Lake Martin. The view is grand. It's a peaceful place to just relax, hike a trail, or enjoy a picnic lunch on the tables provided. And you can't beat the cost for a nice afternoon outing -- FREE.
  • Absolutely beautiful overlook towards Kowliga. A great place to relax and enjoy the view.
  • This is the true definition of outdoors and beauty. The trails are marked and well kept. The hike is relaxing and the sound of the water running down the creeks is awesome. There are some nice spots along the way that you can sit down and just take it all in. We've found a few that we stop at each time.
  • Tough trails, but it's beautiful and will give you a great workout.

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