Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take my boys and my sister up to the Nubbin Creek Hiking Trail near Shinbone, Alabama. For those of you that do not know, that’s in Clay County, just a little bit south of Mt. Cheaha State Park, the state’s highest point. The trail is around 3.5 miles long and is considered an out-and-back trail. The primary focus of the trail, is Mill Shoal Creek, a clear-running spring-fed stream coming out of Little Caney Head Mountain in the Talladega National Forest. It is a primary tributary to Nubbin Creek. The trail leads into the Cheaha Wilderness area as well.
Now, my boys are 8 and 6. We made it a little over half way through the trail prior to turning around and coming back. That means we hiked between 3 and 4 miles. They absolutely loved it. I had let them know that we would see two waterfalls on the trip and they kept stopping everyone to listen for the falls. We talked about longleaf and shortleaf pines, how to use a compass that I had gotten my oldest for Christmas, what to do if you get lost in the woods, and properly crossing logs that fell in the path. It’s not a strenuous hike, unless you want to climb on the edges of the falls (which I plan to do with an able buddy soon!). The reward is magnificent.
As you know from my previous posts to this blog, I am a HUGE fan of the High Falls trail in the Talladega National Forest just south of this trail. I am now a bigger fan of this trail. It’s a bit less traveled, and not as well marked, but the scenery is just outstanding. There are a couple of nice campsites that I noticed, and a couple of places that would make for a nice summertime cooling spot in the waters at the base of the lower falls. There are several areas of the trail that are lined with Mt. Laurel that are beautiful in their current ever-green state, but I imagine to be 10 times more so in the spring with their blooms.
I have included a few photos, but these do not do justice
for the place or the scale of the falls. If you ever have the chance, I would highly recommend this trail. You might want to travel it in the late fall/winter/early spring before attempting a warmer weather hike. As I stated, it’s not that well marked, and getting familiar with it this time of year would be advisable. If you hike it during the summer, snake chaps might be in order. When hiking it this time of year, be sure to wear hunter orange…just in case. You can obtain trail maps at the store at Mt. Cheaha State Park.
Clay County Alabama, and the Talladega National Forest has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. I sell land in the area and will be happy to show you what we have in my little corner of Alabama. I think it’s a great place for me and my family and would like to share it with yours.
Here is a link to the location of the trailhead. The trail is to the right once you enter the parking area…if you do not see the covered information pavilion within a couple hundred feet of the parking area, you are on the wrong trail!…you will understand when you get there.