Tallapoosa County and the Lake Martin area have over 170 miles of trails with beautiful sunrises and breathtaking sunsets. From hiking, walking, biking, horseback riding, and paddling, there is something for everyone.
The Charles E. Bailey, Sr. Sportplex Trail is a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail. The Sportplex is an interesting combination of attractively wooded grounds surrounding athletic fields and open parking areas. There are hiking trails that originate from the rear corner of a large parking lot on Arena Drive. The understory is quite open through much of the property, and sight lines into the trees are very good – this should be a highly-productive stop for migrant songbirds in spring and fall migration.
Beautiful Park And Scenic Trails
The Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail and Overlook Park provide some of the most scenic and panoramic views you can get and still have both feet on solid ground.
CRATA’s first trails constructed in 2004 consist of three (3) trails for a total of 7.2 miles. All three trails are tied together so you can hike from 1 mile to 7 miles with several combinations.
Challenging Trail Along Rocky Bluffs
The James M. Scott Deadening Alpine Trail is a 4.2 mile loop trail that is more challenging than the other trails created by CRATA, but also more rewarding. You can take the crossover route and hike only 3.1 miles. There is also an emergency trail to the parking lot at this location.
The cliffs of the Tallapoosa River, the Needles Eye, and Jasmine Bluff are just a few of the unique rock formations that await the hiker. Spectacular vistas of Lake Martin, thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron will delight the hiker in late April and early May.
The Holly Hills Trail is a pleasant walking trail with very good plant and habitat diversity, and should boast a large variety of birds throughout the year. The trail is older and rough in places, but it traverses a number of excellent birding areas, so it is well worth the time and effort. The trail is located near D.A.R.E Power Park.
D.A.R.E. Park is a 30-acre park is one of the largest managed by Alabama Power and boasts a number of amenities, including a beach, boat launch, public restrooms, an amphitheater, grills, picnic tables, pavilions and docks.
For more information about D.A.R.E. Power Park or to reserve park pavilions, contact the park office at 256-825-8386 or the Lake Martin Shoreline Management Office at 256-825-0053.
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is a U.S. national military park managed by the National Park Service that is the site of the last battle of the Creek War on March 27, 1814.
The fields, forests, waterways and trails of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park offer excellent opportunities to observe birds in a variety of habitats. A paved loop road circles the park, which consists of mixed mature pine-hardwood forest and open field habitat. The park is bordered by the Tallapoosa River.
A museum is on site along with walking trails, picnic areas, and scenic views.
Historic Fire Tower, Educational Exhibits, And Trails
Smith Mountain is the tallest elevation on Lake Martin’s shoreline and once served as the district office of the Alabama Forestry Commission. Atop the jagged peak is a historic 90 foot fire lookout tower. Completed in 1939, it was the central tower of a six-tower fire protection network. In addition to the tower, the Civilian Conservation Corp built a ranger station, cistern, shop building, map tables, picnic area and other amenities. Signature rockwork of the Civilian Conservation Corp is still visible. Abandoned by the Forestry Commission in 1980, Smith Mountain became a dumping ground and the tower fell into disrepair. In 2010, CRATA obtained title to Smith Mountain and thanks to numerous donors contributing money, materials, and volunteer labor, the tower was restored to a stronger and safer condition than when it was new. The cabin of the tower arguably offers the most spectacular panoramic view in Alabama with clear waters of Lake Martin below and mountains of Talladega National Forest visible to the North. In 2018, CRATA completed another major project on Smith Mountain. A series of kiosk mounted displays, wayside exhibits, and tower mounted signage describe the natural and cultural history of the area, offering visitors an educational experience in an inspiring outdoor setting.
Part preserve, part playground. Russell Lands has set aside several thousand acres throughout its property at Lake Martin as a working forest known as the Russell Forest. Russell Forest will ensure that future generations of Lake Martin residents and visitors may personally experience the woodlands along with the flora and fauna it supports. It provides spectacular hiking, biking & equestrian recreation and serves as a center stage for their certified Naturalist.
17 Russell Farms Road
Alexander City, Alabama 35010
Wind Creek State Park, your public access to Lake Martin! This park spans 1,445 acres along the shores of scenic Lake Martin, which is a 44,000-acre clear water reservoir perfect for fishing, swimming, boating and 3 trails totaling 25 miles...The Reunion Trail, the Campfire Trail, and the Horse Trail.
The Reunion Trail is approximately 3.8 miles in length and traverses both hardwood bottoms and pine forest. The Campfire Trail is primarily moderate with several steep areas, this trail is approximately 1.8 miles in length. The Horse Trail is approximately 20 miles in length and offers multiple views of the lake and wildlife.
Located on the banks of the Tallapoosa River, Coon Creek Nature Preserve and Recreation Area offers access to 320 acres of pine-hardwood creek valley that feeds into Yates Lake. A one-mile Overlook Loop Trail and a four-mile Wood Duck Trail are both good for woodland songbirds.