Alabama has a lot of best places to visit and one of the choices are McDill Point. This is a perfect place to visit, especially if you have a big plant to do your overnight backpacking trip. There, you will get an unforgettable experience because you are hiking one of the most scenic section known of the Pinhoti Trail. You have to pass through the Cheaha Wilderness, located in Talladega National Forest. In the middle of the way, you will find the primitive campsite near the boulder cliffs. There, most overnight hikers amazed with the beautiful views of the sunset as well as the starry skies once they reached the overlook.
Starting Your Backpacking Experience In McDill Point
You can start your hiking adventure at Cheaha Trailhead, located at the far end of the parking area right before you get to the Cheaha State Park on Highway 281. At this point, you will never regret once you follow the Cave Creek Trail. Just enjoy your hiking adventure until you find the Pinhoti connector. From the connector, hang a right and it means you take the Pinhoti Trail northbound. Find any sign that will lead you to the McDill overlook. Well, the hiking adventure is not over yet that you must follow the side trail and get the last quarter mile. Along the way on the side trail, you will pass the wrecked small plane.
Let us tell you about the interesting but tragic story of the wrecked small plane. The locals supposed the crash happened back in 1972. At this point, you have to find blue and white pieces of the plane off the trail to make sure that you are on the right trail. Keep going and then you will find a campsite. For your information, the campsite area is able to support three to four tents and it is about 100 yards shy of the overlook. This is a great area to camp because it means that you are close to the cliff so that the winds cannot hit you, but breezy. The awesome place to enjoy the sunset or to watch the stars is the boulder cliffs. Just always remember that you should bring your headlamp and always use it on you.
Hike To Pinhoti Back Towards The Cheaha State Park
Continue your adventure on the next day. We recommend you to backpack and continue the track at the quarter mile and head to the Pinhoti back towards the Cheaha State Park. There are some rocky outcroppings with the best rewards of superb views all along the way. If you don’t mind to take our opinion, we think that the most beautiful time to hike in this place is at the end of Fall. At that time, most of the leaves around the Cheaha changed the colors and that is the most spectacular views to enjoy.
On the other hands, it is challenging to find the right and good convenient map to explore the area. There are several trail junctions so that it can be tricky if you don’t keep your eyes on it. What we can suggest to you here is to snap a quick photo of the detailed map at the trailhead. This is crucial that we also suggest you to always have your phone and camera are fully charged.
Pack List In McDill Point
Anytime that you want to visit this place, make sure that you bring these items in your pack:
Backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent or hammock, stove and fuel, food, cookware, headlamp, camera, photo or map, water for two days (remember that there are no water sources available around the trail)
Distance and Elevation Gain In McDill Point
With 7.5 miles of distance and 250 feet in elevation gain, we think that this is a great place to explore, even for beginners with no experience of hiking or backpacking. What you can do here are chilling, photography, camping, backpacking, and hiking. You can visit this place at any time of the year to explore the loop trail. If you are looking for the forest scenic views that you even can hike with your dog, this is the best place to visit in Alabama.
All Interesting Facts About McDill Point
We collect the facts below from the words of previous backpackers. We hope that their experience can be the best information for you.
- Mcdill Point is a fun day hike that you can choose if you want a shorter backpacking trip. It provides three major lookout points to enjoy with some of the best spots if you spend more time at Cheaha State Park. You can hike the loop clockwise to enjoy the full loop trail or counterclockwise to get the quick trip to the overlooks. The trail is the part of the pinhoti Trail so that you have to make sure you are on the correct trail.
- Mcdill Point offers beautiful views that you even can hike with your kids to enjoy checking out the wreckage of the plan and then climbing around to look for caves. The trail offers plenty of places to build a tent or hammock. The best thing to do from the point is to enjoy viewing the sunset and night sky.
- Camping at McDill Point provides you one of the most beautiful views that it was so nice you can wake up with the cool morning air and enjoy the breathtaking views around it.
- Even though it can take several hours to reach to McDill, it is worth to visit the place. On the pinhoti connector, come downhill and you will see the sign of Highway 281 so you should follow it and it will bring you to the Pinhoti trail. Get the cool hike experience with the primitive campsites to enjoy on the connector.
So, those are all things you will get if you head to McDill Point. In case that you have a dog and you cannot leave him alone at home while you are hiking, we recommend you to bring him and invite him to hike with you on the trail. It seems great to hike with a few friends as well. Enjoy your day!