20 Lake Vista Lane | Dadeville, AL

20 lake vista lane

Exquisite Luxury Home in Still Waters. They say ”a picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, words don’t do this property justice.Huge rooms in an open floorplan for easy lake living. Spectacular view. Most furnishings negotiable. Shown by appointment only.


3660 North Thornton Road | Dadeville, AL

3660 north thornton - 327 acres for sale

327 acres with pines, hardwoods, fields, pond, creeks and much much more. Structures include 3br/2bath home on creek, cabin on pond, custom made 4br manufactured home with large decks, storage sheds, pole barns, barn with attached lodge for cooking and entertaining. There is nothing to compare this to short of HEAVEN!!!! Appointment only for serious buyer. Pictures do not do this place justice!!


Jazz Fest Art Entries Are Now Due

alexander city jazz fest

Art entries for this year’s Jazz Fest T-shirt and poster designs will be accepted through 4 p.m. on April I, said Kim Dunn, membership services director and event coordinator with the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce.

“Anyone can participate – there are no special qualifications to submit art. (The contest is) open to anybody – you don’t have to be a Lake Martin area resident;’ Dunn said.

The chosen art will be used on the commemorative poster and T-shirt for Jazz Fest, and the chosen artist will receive $250, a table at the Friday night event of Jazz Fest and VIP parking.

She said entries must include the words, “23rd Annual Alexander City Jazz Fest June 7-8, 2013” and may use up to four colors, including black.

Fine art and digital art will be accepted, and there is no fee for entry. An artist can submit up to three entries. Artist name and phone number must be printed on the back of artwork, Dunn said.

Dunn said all entries will become the property of Alexander City Jazz Fest.

For more information on submitting art, contact Kim Dunn at 256-234-3461 or by email at kdtmn@alexandercitychamber.com.

~Laura Pemberton

Hiking Lake Martin

aerial lake martin

Story by Betsy Iler | Photos by Kenneth Boone

Chase winter’s cobwebs from your mind with a walk along the lake’s beautiful hiking trails.

After a long, gray winter, anticipation builds when the calendar rolls around to March. During the short, dormant days that follow Christmas, we grow hungry for the bright colors and newness of spring.

More than 135 miles of public access trails wind through the forests around the lake. The Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association last month opened a new two-mile trail at Smith Mountain, bringing the CRATA system to about 13 miles. At Russell Lands On Lake Martin, nearly 100 miles of trails wind through the Forest between the bridge at Kowaliga and the Willow Point security gate; Wind Creek State Park maintains about 25 miles of trail; and Alabama Power Company’s natural and undeveloped properties around the lake are open for hiking and other outdoor activities.

While water levels remain low, check out CRATA’s new Island Hop Trail, which takes hikers out to four islands before returning them to the top of the mountain. “This is a seasonal trail, and you’ll only be able to hike out to the islands when the water is low,” said CRATA founder and trail designer Jimmy Lanier. “We’ll also have a sign out there, so you can beach your boat and take the shoreline part of that trail to the fire tower at the top of Smith Mountain, where you will see the most spectacular view in the State of Alabama.”

The trail up the mountain passes rock faces and impressive long leaf pine stands, Lanier said.

The original Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail includes 7.2 miles of interconnected loops, offering hikes of various lengths. “You can do any combination of loops with our trail guide, which you can see on our website, CRATA.org,” Lanier said.

The trails skirt the lake line for several miles, offering vistas of the lake, numerous rock formations and growths of mountain laurel in mid-spring.

CRATA’s premier trail is the Deadening Alpine Trail, located two miles north of the Cherokee Ridge Trail on Overlook Drive (see the website for directions). “The Deadening Alpine Trail is quite a bit more difficult than the others,” Lanier cautioned. “We don’t recommend that children under 12 years of age hike this trail, and we recommend adult supervision for those 12 to 14 years old.”

The Deadening Alpine Trail passes 500 yards of granite cliffs and spectacular lake views. A bluff directly across from Chimney Rock offers a spectacular place to sit and view the lake, Lanier said. “Needle’s Eye, a rock formation toward the end of the trail, is one of my favorite spots on the trail,” he added.

While most outdoor shoes are sufficient for the other CRATA trails, hiking boots are more appropriate for the Deadening Trail, Lanier said.

“There are beautiful rhododendren on this trail; three-foot long big leaf magnolia leaves, Carolina silver bells and native azalea.”

The CRATA trails are open to hikers from daylight to dark 365 days a year. “These are strictly footpath only,” Lanier said. “No bicycles, pack animals, horses or vehicles. The trails are well marked with white blazes on trees and rocks, and there are good transition signs with arrows that mark the trails.”

CRATA is a non-profit membership organization; there are no fees for trail use. “We would love to have people join. The membership fee is $25 per year, and the only thing that will get you is a chance to be put to work. We have fun building trails, even though it’s hard work,” Lanier said.

The CRATA system continues to grow, and Lanier said they expect to open another trail this fall, which will bring the trail miles to 15.

At the northeast end of the lake, Russell Lands On Lake Martin maintains a series of loops and trails that are open to the public for equestrian use, bicycling and hiking. Hikers are required to call the security office prior to heading out, and anyone hiking alone is asked to call again upon leaving Russell Forest. “That’s just so we know they didn’t get lost or hurt and are out there by themselves,” said Russell Lands’ vice president, Roger Holliday.

Russell Forest features a mix of habitats, which offer hikers a variety of terrain, trees, wildflowers and animal life.

In addition, the staff naturalist, Marianne Hudson, takes hikers into the Forest to get a closer look at life in the wood. Check the website at russelllandsonlakemartin.com. Maps of the Russell Forest trails usually can be found at the trailheads off of Willow Point Cut-off, Adamson and Wilson roads, and at the Stables, the Adventure Center, Catherine’s, SpringHouse and the Willow Point security gate. Holliday said a number of trails recently were added to the system, and a new trail map will be available this month.

Difficulty of the Russell Forest trails ranges from easy to “high fitness level suggested,” as trails vary from packed dirt roads and gentle slopes to the occasional steep or narrow area with stream crossings. Some trails are recommended for hikers only and others for only equestrian use. Check the map for details. Street vehicles and four-wheelers are prohibited at all times.

Popular trails include the Turtle Back Loop, a three-mile hike over creek crossings and cane bottomland that leads to mature forested hillsides. The pristine habitats along the trail allow excellent opportunities for bird watching and sighting other wildlife.

The Rocky Mountain Loop is a shaded summer hike not recommended for equestrian use. The trail offers several lake views and old forest growth.

At Wind Creek State Park, all of the trails are multi-use, meaning the trails are available for horse riders and bicycles as well as hikers.

Assistant manager at the park, Bruce Adams said the park maintains five main trails, and some of these are broken into shorter loops. “All of the trails are through woods. Some of them follow the shoreline, and some are on the ridges,” he said.

The Campfire Trail, which begins and ends in the northern section of the park, is 1.8 miles long and is marked with a yellow blaze. This moderate hike includes several steep areas, traversing through hardwood and pine forests, as well as hugging rock outcroppings arrayed in ferns, and crossing a stream.

The longer Alabama Reunion Trail at Wind Creek covers 3.8 miles, bisected by State Route 128. Marked with a red blaze, the Reunion Trail is a loop that passes an old home site, stands of pine, hardwood bottoms and beds of fern. This is a popular trail for bird watchers and wildflower enthusiasts.

The Jeff Reed and Blue trails, which in the past have comprised 20 miles on the trail maps, have been temporarily shortened, Adams said, as work is underway in this area of the park. “Some of these trails are being reworked, and in the future we will have some wildlife feeding areas on the trail. In the meantime, the changes have been clearly marked on the trail.”

To access the Wind Creek State Park trails, visitors must register at the main gate off State Route 128 and pay a nominal day use fee.

The fee is $3 per person aged 12 to 61; $1 for 6- to 11-year-olds and those 62 and older; and free for children aged five and under. Trail maps are available at registration.

Though Alabama Power Company does not maintain trails on the lake, any natural and undeveloped properties are open for hiking and camping, said Regional Coordinator at Lake Martin Rhett Hanks. While these lands dot the perimeter of Lake Martin, the highest concentration of natural Alabama Power Company land is on the east side of the lake and includes properties on the Pace peninsula, at the mouth of Sandy Creek, and areas on Manoy and Madwin creeks. Lengths of natural shoreline exist where the Tallapoosa River widens into Lake Martin, from Jaybird Landing into the Britt Creek area. Many of these undeveloped lands are marked on a map that is available at the Lake Martin shoreline management office for Alabama Power Company (Southern Company) on South Tallassee Street in Dadeville; however, there are no trail maps, and hikers enter these areas at their own risk.

“These areas are open for hiking, bird watching and primitive camping,” Hanks said. “In addition, wildlife species such as turkey, deer, rabbit, quail, raccoon and opossum thrive in these areas.”

Native trees, such as loblolly pines, longleaf pines, white oaks, post oaks and eastern red cedars are plentiful in these areas, and numerous varieties of wildflowers bloom throughout the spring and summer as well.

With so many scenic hiking opportunities available at Lake Martin, those winter cobwebs won’t last long, so strap on your hiking boots and take in a trail walk to jumpstart this year’s season at the lake.