Cheaha’s Bald Rock Lodge Re-opens for Business
Bald Rock Lodge at Cheaha State Park officially re-opened for business on Friday, June 20 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. As part of Alabama State Parks’ $200 million renovation program, the lodge was completely refurbished throughout, with a commercial kitchen for onsite meal preparation or catering. The building will sleep 30 to 35 guests and has meeting space in the dining hall for over 100. The lodge is an ideal location for family reunions, weddings, receptions, corporate retreats, and small business group meetings.
Cheaha State Park is one of the 11 original state parks opened in the 1930s and is the oldest continuously operating Alabama State Park.
Bald Rock Lodge was originally Cheaha State Park’s hotel and was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. In addition to the lodge, CCC construction was responsible for the roads, stone cabins, the observation tower, picnic shelters, hiking trails, lake and beach facilities, bathhouses and other recreational areas at Cheaha.
The lodge was closed for several years due to its unsafe condition, and the renovation project began in February 2002. Although the interior has been modernized, the integrity and original design of the exterior remains much the same. Extensive improvements to the water, sewer and electric systems have also been completed.
Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony were local and state officials who praised the renovation efforts. State Parks Director Mark Easterwood is especially pleased with the results. “The renovation of our state parks has been a long time coming. With the completion of Bald Rock Lodge, we are well on our way to restoring the parks system to its former glory,” he said.
Cheaha State Park is probably best known for being the site of Alabama’s highest point at 2,407 feet and is a popular site to view the beauty of the state. The 2,799-acre park contains hiking and biking trails, campsites, fishing and swimming opportunities, nature programs and group pavilions.
Along with Joe Wheeler, Lakepoint, Guntersville, Gulf and DeSoto State Parks, Cheaha is one of six “resort” state parks, meaning it contains lodging, convention or meeting facilities, a restaurant and other amenities.
Cheaha State Park is located 12 miles south of I-20 off State Highway 281 in northeast Alabama. For more information on state parks visit the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Web site at www.dcnr.state.al.us.