Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail

The Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trails are footpath only trails along an area of the southeast shore of beautiful Lake Martin (a 40,000-acre, 700-mile shoreline lake) in Tallapoosa County, Alabama.The trail provides the public with a water and wooded retreat into nature and promotes preservation of this unique alpine area of the Tallapoosa River Valley in Central Alabama.

Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trails are the most scenic and diverse hiking trails in Alabama. The trails skirt the shoreline of beautiful Lake Martin for approximately 4 miles. Other areas of the trails are high rocky ridges and bluffs, some with vistas of 6 to 8 miles overlooking Kowaliga Bay, Chimney Rock, 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.

7.2 miles of trail are now open. You can hike from 1 to 7.2 miles of Loop Trail. All trails start and end at Overlook Park. A trail map is available for viewing at the trailhead sign and individual trail guides are available for hikers.

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.

Loop trail Length Option Guides
NOTE: All trails begin and end at Overlook Park area. All are easy to moderate difficulty. All descend from ridge to shoreline and back to Overlook Park. All are marked with white rectangular blazes on trees or rocks.

1 Mile Trail

Follow “Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail” signs and turn left at Emergency Trail to Parking Lot.

2 Mile Trail

Follow “Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail” signs, turning right at Kowaliga Bay Loop Trail for 1 mile. Then continue on Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail, turning left at Emergency Trail to Parking Lot.

3 Miles North Trail

Follow “Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail” sign, turning right at Chimney Rock Loop Trail for 2 miles. Then continue on “Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail”, turning left at Emergency Trail to Parking Lot.

3 Miles South Trail

Follow “South Loop Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail”, turning left at “South Loop” sign on to Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail, continuing to end at south side of Overlook Park.

4 Mile Trail

Follow “Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail” signs all the way, ending at south side of Overlook Park.

5 Mile Trail

Follow “Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail” signs, turning right at Kowaliga Bay Loop Trail. Then continue on Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail all the way, ending at south side of Overlook Park.

6 Mile Trail

Follow “Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail” sign, turning right onto Chimney Rock Loop Trail for 2 miles, then continue right on Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail all the way, ending at south side of Overlook Park.

7 Mile Trail

Follow “Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail” signs, turning right onto Chimney Rock Loop Trail for 2 miles, then continue right on Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail, turning right on Kowaliga Bay Loop Trail for 1 mile. Then continue right on Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail all the way, ending at south side of Overlook Park.



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