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Talladega Mountains Natural Resource Center

The Talladega Mountains Natural Resource Center (a partnership between Jacksonville State University, the Cleburne County Commission and the Talladega National Forest) opened in November, 2012. The Mountain Center houses the JSU Field Schools and will act as a visitor center to “the highest concentration of nationally protected natural areas” in the country. The JSU Field Schools present over 400 environmental education programs annually.

This center is a gateway to the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail, the Talladega National Forest, Cheaha State Park, Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge and Dugger Mountain Wilderness. Also, the portion of the center dedicated to county activities is known as the Cleburne County Public Safety & Administration Center and includes the functions of finance, human resources, compliance, emergency management, and emergency 911 services.

GPS: 33.6691225 -85.5612527

Talladega Mountains Natural Resource Center
Gateway to the Appalachian Highland Birding Trail
256-463-3838
www.jsu.edu/epic

Nearby Sites

Coleman Lake: Talladega National Forest, Shoal Creek

One of the most significant birding sites in Alabama, Coleman Lake is at present the only reliable location in the state for Red Crossbills, and boasts roadside looks at endangered Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. This is a good location for Bachman’s Sparrows. It is also a great spot for viewing migrant and breeding songbirds and is excellent for spring and fall wildflowers, as well.

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Cheaha State Park — Bald Rock Trail

The Doug Ghee trail, an easy, level, ¼-mile long, handicap-accessible boardwalk, begins just beyond the historic Bald Rock Lodge in the heart of Cheaha State Park. The visitor should expect to see a wide range of woodland songbirds, most of the state’s woodpeckers (notably Pileated and Hairy), some migrants in season, and feeding flocks of wintering birds from October through March. The end of the boardwalk offers a sensational 180-degree view to the north, and is a superior hawk-watching spot from the highest point in the state.

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Cheaha State Park

Mount Cheaha is Alabama’s highest point, and it is one of the southernmost locations to find a number of the state’s more interesting breeding birds, such as Blue-headed Vireos, Cedar Waxwings, and Sharp-shinned Hawks. Additionally, Cheaha State Park is located in the middle of the Talladega National Forest.

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