Lake Martin is located in Tallapoosa, Elmore, and Coosa counties. Covering 44,000 acres, the lake has a shoreline of over 750 miles. Martin Dam, constructed between 1923 and 1926, created the largest man-made body of water in the world at the time. The lake is a popular destination for boating, swimming, water skiing, camping and golfing. A popular hiking destination near Alexander City is the Smith Mountain Fire Tower. Home to five miles of hiking trails, the terrain varies from slightly hilly to very steep. The fire tower itself was built in 1939, decommissioned in 1980, and then reopened to the public in 2012. Numerous safety upgrades were made to allow visitors a breath-taking view from inside the 80 foot high cab. The surrounding flora is longleaf pine. Exposed granite deposits adorn the landscape. With numerous trails, we’ve included two here that might peak your interest.
The Tower Trail is a ½ mile walk from the parking lot to the fire tower. The path is rocky, covered with exposed granite, and has a moderate grade. Many families will make the hike and picnic at the top overlooking Lake Martin. At the summit, you can climb the 80 foot high tower to truly experience the beauty of the lake. For a short hike, this trail is a great option.
For a longer, more challenging hike, the Lakeshore Trail is your best option. Two miles in length, this trek will take you along steep cliffs and through pine forest. The trail will take about 2 ½ hours to hike. As you walk through the pine thickets, you will transverse hilly terrain before reaching the shoreline. Along the shoreline the path is narrow and in several areas eroded. The views from the second ridgetop are spectacular, so bring a camera and enjoy the hike.