National Scenic Byways and Other Recreational Drives


Natchez/Trace Parkway
Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee.

Native Americans, Kaintuck boatmen, post riders, government officials, soldiers, and fortune seekers all moved across this 708-km (425-mile) trail, charting new territory and creating a vital link between the Mississippi Territory and the fledgling United States.

Selma to Montgomery March Byway
Journey 69 km (43 miles) through history along the trail that marks one of the major historic events in 20th-century American history, the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Talladega Scenic Byway
The Talladega Scenic Byway winds 23 miles along the backbone of the southern Appalachian Mountains and offers spectacular views of the Talladega National Forest. The Scenic Byway, which runs from near Heflin along Alabama Highway 281, climbs to an elevation of 2,407 feet at Cheaha Mountain, the highest point in Alabama, and ends at the Turnipseed Hunter Camp.

With the arrival of spring and summer, many people will be looking for places to see the wide variety of flowering trees and plants that can be found in Alabama. One solution is to take a leisurely drive down the Talladega Scenic Drive. The Drive stretches for more than 27 miles, from US Highway 78 west of Heflin to just south of the Cheaha State Park. Sightseers will have plenty of opportunities to see a wide array of flowers, both close up and at a distance.

From any of the five pulloffs found along this drive, you will enjoy panoramic views of pink azaleas, white oakleaf hydrangeas, white dogwood blossoms, and an occasional red maple. Mixed with these are a few cream-colored sassafrass blooms, occasionally, red buckeyes, and even a few redbuds. These flowering shrubs and trees are highlighted by the bright green color of new hardwood leaves.

For those wanting a closer view, there are hundreds of naturally-occurring flowering plants along the roadsides, streambanks, and sunny openings. During the scenic drive's construction, and with the cooperation of the Alabama Department of Transportation, large areas have been planted with flowering perennials. You will find the vibrant reds of crimson clover, the bright yellows of black-eyed-susan and yellow jasmine, and the subtle blues of vetches and bluets.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »