Chewacla State Park near Auburn University is a popular 700-acre tract that features 7 miles of pedestrian hiking trails and 2 convoluted single-track mountain bike trails that can be hiked as well. The park is conveniently located near the Interstate, but once inside its boundaries, you'll appreciate the sense of isolation and peace within it. Forested and shady, the looped and meandering paths offer native flora and fauna, and views of mountains, waterfalls and handmade stone structures built in the 1930s that are still in use today. The arched bridge over Chewacla Creek is an example of the artistry and beauty you'll find. And if you're inclined to extend your trip, the park has an on-site campground that accommodates tent and RV camping as well as comfortable stone cabins.
One of the most-hiked trails at Chewacla is the Sweet Shrub Trail, a short, interpretive loop featuring impressive trailside rock formations. Its head is located at the Lower Pavilion and it follows Moore's Mill Creek before returning to the pavilion. Populated with waterfowl like Great Blue Herons and Kingfishers fishing in the shallows, the creekside trail also offers sightings of small mammals like squirrels and chipmunks, red fox, deer, turkeys and forest songbirds like tanagers and goldfinches.
The Deer Rub Trail begins at the Upper Pavilion and follows Chewacla Creek to the 30-foot Chewacla Falls, an impressive seasonal cascade and fun splash area for humans and doggos alike. A bit more challenging than the Sweet Shrub Trail, the Deer Rub offers some steep terrain, and a gneiss boulder field requiring some scrambling to cross it. Boots are recommended here, and perhaps water shoes at the crossing below the falls.
The Troop 30 Boy Scout Trail trailhead is at the stone bridge's north side on Murphy Drive, and it travels beside Moore's Mill Creek to the park's boundary. It features a crossing over a stone dam, and is one of the most pleasant trails in the park with its native Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel shrubs that bloom majestically in the spring.
Small side trails like the Mountain Laurel, Eagle Scout and Boy Scout join these main trails and offer benches, picnic spots and lake shore to explore. You and your pooch will delight in the variety and beauty to be found on the trails at Chewacla State Park!
Watch out for snakes, keeping an eye ahead on the trail. Don't reach under foliage or rocks without checking for lurking serpents first. Ankle-height hiking boots are recommended.