Talladega National Forest 600-1

Sylacauga, Alabama (Talladega County)

Last Updated: 10/18/2020
4.8 / 5 ( 35 reviews )
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Highlights

Highlight: Talladega National Forest 600-1
Talladega National Forest 600-1 is a popular destination for enthusiasts across the Southeast. The 14-mile-long road follows the ridgeline of Horns Mountain located in the beautiful Talladega National Forest. When traveling north on the trail, the road climbs up the mountain from the White Gap valley and follows the peak of the ridge north. The road is passable by most vehicles and is only rough in a few short sections. The road winds through old-growth hardwood and pine forests with several excellent camping spots along the way. There are several overlooks along the trail offering stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. The road was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and passes by the original fire lookout tower constructed on the peak of the mountain. 600-1 has a lot to offer and there is something for every outdoor enthusiast to enjoy. From camping, hiking, overlanding, and exploring, this trail must be on everyone’s to do list.

Video

Route Information

Advanced Rating System

Recommended Vehicle:
2WD Vehicle with High Clearance
Concerns:
Summary:
The trail is primarily a well-maintained dirt road with only small sections of loose rocks and small ruts.

Technical Rating

MANDATORY
1
EASY
OPTIONAL
3
MODERATE
Dirt and/or rocky road. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 5" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 5" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 6" inches. Good tire placement likely. Can be steep, but with good traction.
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Community Consensus

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Description

Talladega National Forest 600-1 is a 14.0-mile-long gravel road. The road is partially maintained and is at least one lane wide throughout with adequate areas to pass. The first 4-5 miles (traveling north) have a few large ruts and rocks but nothing severe. The last 8-9 miles are gravel with a few shallow mud holes and washouts.
The road is open year-round but may be closed during wildfires or prescribed burns.

Waypoints

1. South Trailhead (0.1 mi)
The south trailhead is located directly on Hwy 148. Turn left just past NF-607 onto 600-1.
2. Overlook (1.9 mi)
This small overlook is an excellent area to stop and enjoy the views or have lunch. It is also a crossing for the Pinhoti Trail
3. Washout (2.3 mi)
This small washout is the most difficult area of the trail. The left side has a fairly large rut with several rocks on each side. Only low clearance vehicles may have an issue here, the primary risk is tire damage from the rocks.
4. Highline Overlook (5.8 mi)
This high-line power line offers excellent views of the neighboring valleys.
5. Overlook (6.6 mi)
This small overlook offers excellent views of the valley to the west. There are several large rock outcroppings for vantage points and photo opportunities. Please do not drive off the main road onto the overlook.
6. Fire Tower Trailhead (8.8 mi)
This connecting road leads to the Horn Mountain fire observation tower. The gate is typically closed, but the tower is a short but steep hike up the hill. The area around the tower has several picnic tables and a covered gazebo, making it an excellent spot for lunch. The tower is on the national historic registry and is currently undergoing a restoration project, information can be found here
7. Overlook (10.3 mi)
This overlook is a popular destination, the large rock formation offers a great 180-degree view of the adjacent valley and distant mountains.
8. Long Line Tower (10.6 mi)
This long line microwave tower is an interesting part of the trail. These towers were constructed during the Cold War and are part of a nationwide communications network. The building at the base of the tower is supposedly built to withstand a nuclear blast. More information about the long line network can be found here
9. North Trailhead (14 mi)
The north trailhead is located on Alabama Hwy 77. To continue onto 600-2, turn right then make an immediate left onto Horns Lake Road. Turn left to go to Talladega, approximately 11 miles ahead.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Sylacauga

From Sylacauga: Take Hwy 21 north to Hwy 148, turn right onto Hwy 148 towards Millerville, continue for 11.4 miles to the trailhead on your left. From Hwy 77: Take CR-007 south for approximately 8.0 miles to Hwy 148, turn right onto Hwy 148, continue for 1.3 miles to the trailhead on your right.

Camping

Dispersed
Primitive camping is allowed along the trail, there are several excellent camping spots available.
Camping: Talladega National Forest 600-1

Land Use Issues

Trail Reviews (35)

Questions & Answers (3)

Q: Could you camp anywhere along this road?
–John (11/29/2018)
A: Yes you can camp anywhere along the trail, it’s all Talladega National Forest property. There are a few great spots with overlooks, especially waypoint 7.
–Jake Hanner (12/01/2018)
Q: Can a stock f150 4x4 with rear E-locker complete this trail?
–Tyler Foster (10/30/2018)
A: I just ran this trail the other day and never had to shift into 4 wheel to get through anything. The only thing I would say you would have to watch for is a couple of the washouts. There’s nothing particularly challenging about this trail especially if you have 4X4 and a locker. Hope you can run this trail!
–Tyler (10/31/2018)
Q: what trails are closest to tuscaloosa??
–Chris Herndon aka sakimoto (08/15/2018)
A: Chris, Bankhead National forest is fairly close to Tuscaloosa, we are working on mapping this area. Also, Stoney Lonesome ORV Park is a great option.
–Jake Hanner (09/28/2018)

Writer Information

Jake Hanner

Mapping Crew - Alabama

Jake is an Alabama native, born and raised in Central Alabama. Jake has spent years exploring the back roads and off road parks around the Southeast. Jake enjoys exploring new areas and incorporating new technology and tools while doing so. As an avid enthusiast he utilizes two different rigs to explore and document new trails, a Toyota 4runner overland style rig, and a Jeep Tj built for the rocks. Jake is a long time Toyota enthusiast, with over one million miles driven between two rigs. When not on the trail you can usually find Jake flying,mountain biking and spending time with his family.
For individual use only, not to be shared.