If you’re an average millennial like I am, the only knowledge you have of Talladega (the town or the byway) probably comes from Will Ferrell’s comedy classic “Talladega Nights”. I’ve seen that movie countless times but don’t think I paid attention ever so when I saw Talladega Scenic Byway on my map, I decided to explore a little bit and boy am I glad that I did.
Quickly after I started to ascend Cheaha Mountain, clouds started to cover the sky and slowly broke open, drenching the area with rain, fogging up the sky and giving a calm ambience to the world that I didn’t expect. It was as if the entire world had gone to sleep. I couldn’t see more than 50 ft in front of me, but that brought a sense of mystery to everything that I saw. “What lies behind that bend?” I had to go look and explore, opposed to drive by and appreciate. This led me to a couple short hikes and soaked feet but it was well worth it, seeing squirrels cuddle in trees looking for cover, and earthworms fleeing the underground thinking that the rain was a predator.
As I came down the mountain and got closer to (rural) civilization, cabins started dotting the roadside as well as ponds with rope swings, bringing pictures of children running around while fathers tended the farm to my mind. Countless old movies that i don’t remember seeing but am sure I did filled my head with memories of a forgotten America before industrialization took over our communities.
The Talladega byway is a scenic highway located in Alabama running through the Talladega National forest outside of Oxford Alabama. Along the way mountains, rock outcroppings, and small rural settlements within the Talladega National Forest. Driving down the byway, you will also experience Cheaha State Park and Alabama’s highest peak, with an elevation of 2,407 feet, while traveling the backbone of Horseblock and Cheaha Mountains, the southernmost extension of the Appalachian Mountains.
Closest Supercharger Oxford AL 20 mi
550 Oxford Exchange Blvd, Oxford, AL 36203
Talladega Scenic Byway