Turkey tracks mark Talladega National Forest's Pinhoti Trail in Alabama, which runs over 100 miles from Ashland to Piedmont. This long-distance path follows the most southerly extension of the Appalachian Mountains, through the Talladega Range. It traces rugged pine hardwood forests and runs along rock bluffs and clear streams. The Pinhoti's ultimate destination is the Benton McKaye Trail in Georgia, which then connects to the Appalachian Trail .
The Pinhoti has numerous access points. One of the best stretches begins at the Coleman Lake Recreation Area. From here, head south to the Laurel trail shelter. Continue south to Shoal Creek, where you'll find a clear stream with high quality smallmouth bass. You'll later pass Sweetwater and Highrock lakes, as well as Cole Cemetery, where early settlers of this mountain land are buried.
Camping is permitted along the trail but a camping permit (don't worry, it's free) is required during hunting season. The Pinhoti was designated a National Recreation Trail in 1977 and many would like to see it grow. Give this surprisingly attractive and challenging path a try and you will join the ranks of those committed to extending the Pinhoti Trail to more than 220 miles in length.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication