Camping at Coleman Lake

Our campsite at Coleman Lake.

Our campsite at Coleman Lake

Coleman Lake is a small campground in Alabama’s Talladega National Forest.  It’s down a long, winding two-lane road off Hwy. 78, and it feels like you are driving to the end of the world to get there.  There’s no cell reception, so being without phone and internet makes it feel even more remote.

This is one of the birds that was throwing giant beakfuls of leaves into the air. Here he is taking a break.

Sites are very large and private in both loops  — a little more private in Loop B, but we chose Loop A to be closer to the little lake.  It’s a lovely place to soak up nature, listen to the birds chatter, chip and sing while you enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee in the morning, explore plant life along the trails, and absorb the pervading peacefulness of escape from civilization.  A stress-free zone.

The low-key entertainment included watching black birds with iridescent teal heads vigorously pecking through leaf litter and throwing huge beakfuls of leaves high in the air.  Over and over and over.  I tried to get a photo of the action, but none of them turned out.

The most excitement was when Sheba was attacked by a goose.  Well, warned of an attack, anyway!  While Ron was walking her by the lake,  she kept lunging on the leash and excitedly trying to get to a lone goose near the water’s edge.  All of the sudden the goose marched out of the water, got right in Sheba’s face and hissed at her.  We were so stunned, we weren’t sure what to do, so simply walked off, dragging Sheba behind us.  That must have been the right answer because the goose headed back to the water.

Another bird

Another bird

The campground was almost full when we arrived Sunday afternoon, and never did empty out after the weekend.  Thursday was the only day there were more empty sites than full, and new campers began arriving early Friday morning for the weekend.  Most of the campers were fairly local.

The nice thing about such a small, remote campground is that it attracts mostly hardcore nature lovers, who are generally quiet, considerate campers.  We loved it there!

There were almost no bugs out yet, although we did see a few mosquitos Thursday.  But I did pick up a tick on the back of my knee while out on the trail.

Looking toward the swimming beach.  The grass is starting to green up nicely.

Looking toward the swimming beach. The grass is starting to green up nicely.

I very rarely get to explore by myself when we are out.  But Wednesday and Thursday Ron offered to keep the dogs so I could roam to my heart’s content.  I felt euphoric as I wandered along the sun-warmed trail and cut through the woods to get a better look at emerging shoots and fiddleheads and whatever other wonders spring had in store for me.

I didn’t find any mushrooms this trip except for several old polypores.  I kept hoping that I might stumble onto my first morel ever.  But either the mushrooms were waiting a little longer to fruit — or they were really good at hiding.

Down by the little dam

Down by the little dam

I do so enjoy reading other camping and RVing blogs where people get out and explore all the restaurants and attractions in an area.  I envy their travels and all the sights and experiences they cram into their trips.

My kind of camping is different.  It’s total immersion into the natural features of the campground and surrounding area.  Seeing the world from a worm’s-eye view instead of a bird’s eye view, I guess.

Hmmmmm..... I think I spot dinner!

Hmmmmm….. I think I spot dinner!

In any case, I do so appreciate the readers who enjoy my low-key pursuits.  Thanks so much for visiting and re-visiting!

Tomorrow I’ll post more of the spring wonders that I found in the woods.  At least wonders, as I perceive them.  🙂

Got it!

Got it!

This was a long zoom shot.

This was a long zoom shot.

Luna moth

Huge luna moth

This beautiful moth looked like she was dressed up in her bridal finery to me.

This beautiful moth looked like she was dressed up in her bridal finery to me.

Ron and Sheba on the trail headed toward the bridge.

Ron and Sheba on the trail headed toward the bridge.



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  1. cozybegone

     /  April 5, 2014

    Remembering our Fall hike, I can only imagine one in the Spring with everything popping up from the Earth and you calling them out by name! Ticks already?!! Lymes for Mr. Jer was bad enough…hopeful to keep them far, far away! Nice moth!! Reminds me of the lovely book, Summer Prodigal. You would love it!

    • Thanks for the book recommendation! I just ordered it! I found a used copy in very good condition for under $6 with shipping. Looks like an awesome read. Can’t wait for it to get here!

      Yikes on the Lyme! I think I would prefer deet to ticks.

  2. Love the “bridal moth”! ;-> So satisfying to enjoy the quiet, yes?

    Virtual hugs,


    • I was wondering if anyone else would find the little moth as special as I did. 🙂

      Yes…. quiet. Peace. Beauty. Solitude. Restoration for the soul!

  3. Horst

     /  April 5, 2014

    What a terrific place for an “Adult” Spring Break… :)…. Love the Moths….only ones I have down here are big and ugly..haha…Luna Moth looks really interesting!….Bridal Moth looks like something straight out of an old “Disney: movie…Keep sharing your “Quiet, Peace, Beauty and Solitude”…the feelings are rubbing off…:)..Happy Trails…Horst sends

    • So glad the good feelings are contagious! I hadn’t thought of it, but that’s exactly what it was — an adult spring break! 🙂

  4. Love the Luna Moth photo. If you picked up a tick (and isn’t it disgusting!), chances are they may have found Sunny and Sheba, too. Bad juju! Looks like a great camping spot.

    • Luna moths are pretty commonplace now, but I still remember the first time I saw one. They are huge…. and the leaf camouflage and the “eyes” are startling!

      I’ve checked Sunny thoroughly for ticks and he escaped. Sheba’s fur is so thick I can’t check, so she’ll get a bath with Adams shampoo and then I’ll spray her with Adams spray. That should take care of any unwanted hitchhikers. Wish her heartworm/flea medicine also killed ticks!

  5. Great pics and narrative. More!

  6. Love the bridal moth what a beauty I have ever seen one before. Looks like such a great place to get your regroup on.

  7. Love your pics of moths! You are such a good photographer!

    • Thank you, Anne. I don’t consider myself a good photographer. I just tried hard to get the beautiful details to show. 🙂

  8. What a wonderful post! The moths are incredible- so perfect! The campground sounds like heaven- I’ll have to remember it for next yr- have a SIL to visit in salacauga- near Talladaga-this yr it was their driveway!! Thanks for sharing w great posts- except for the tick….ugh!!

    • Glad you enjoyed it! We were afraid we would be bored at Coleman Lake since it is such a small campground without cell service. But we really loved it. But then we are pretty easy to please. 🙂

      I love driveway camping at family’s places, too. So nice to get to visit — and still have your own space.

      Yes, the tick was the only jarring note. I took deet but didn’t think I’d need it that early in the season.

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