Safe Travel Resources: COVID-19 Travel Information
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The Lake Martin area is full of great fun on the water- and on land. We are home to many wonderful hiking trails, and we invite you to come and explore the beauty that awaits on our many beautiful trails. Many are also a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail. Whether you are looking to experience the tranquility of nature, stay physically fit, or challenge yourself on one of our more daring trails, we have one that is right for you. Even better, if you hike at least a portion of each of the 10 trails listed below, you will have the opportunity to earn the patch seen below, and a certificate.

Everyone has different physical abilities, so we ask that you do what is right for you.  We want you to get out and experience the diversity of these different trails, while being safe at the same time.  Even if you do a portion of each trail, you can count it on your hiking log.  Once your hiking log is complete, email it to brandy@explorelakemartin.com or mail it to Lake Martin Tourism Association 175 Aliant Parkway Alexander City, AL 35010.

And don’t forget, when out hiking our trails, leave no trace behind except your footsteps!

Charles E. Bailey Sportplex Trail 

This is a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trails and is an interesting combination of attractively wooded grounds that serves as a highly productive stop for migrant songbirds in spring and fall migration. Get the trail map here.

Cherokee Bluffs Dam Railroad Trail at Yates Lake

Follow the old, historic railroad bed that was built in the early 1920’s and used in the construction of Martin Dam.  You can hike 5.4 miles to the Channahatchee Creek or you can follow either the Highline or Lowline railroads and proceed to the highest point in Elmore County:  Saddle Rock Mountain.  This is also a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail.  Get the trail map here.  

Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail at Overlook Park

3 conjoined trails totaling 7.2 miles provides several combinations of hiking experiences with a picnic area and scenic overlook of Lake Martin, mountain longleaf pine, native azaleas, and mountain laurel.  This is also a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail.  Get the trail map here.  

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park Trail 

Located inside Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, the moderate 2.8 mile shady nature trail connects battle, barricade, and village sites to views of the Tallapoosa River.  This hike includes historical waysides and opportunities for solitude and reflection.  This is also a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail.  For more information, go here.  

James M. Scott Deadening Alpine Trail

This is the most challenging CRATA trail with a 4.2 mile loop that has unique rock formations and spectacular vistas of Lake Martin, thickets of mountain laurel, and rhododendron.  You can also take the crossover route and hike only 3.1 miles.  In addition, there is an emergency trail to the parking lot at this location.  This is also a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail.  Get the trail map here.  

John B. Scott Forever Wild Trail

This trail is 4.7 miles and weaves along the Tallapoosa River through old growth hardwoods and along several beautiful flowing creeks.  This is also a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail.  Get the trail map here.  

Smith Mountain Fire Tower Trails

This is the tallest elevation and most spectacular panoramic view on Lake Martin, complete with a 90-foot lookout tower, picnic area, and educational displays.  The Walker Bynum Smith Mountain Tower Trail is a steep 0.4 mile climb to the base of the tower.  The Lakeshore Trail is 2.4 miles.  From near the top of the mountain, the Lakeshore Trail makes a steep descent before winding along Lake Martin’s undeveloped shores.  The David M. Forker Island Hop Trail stretches 1.4 miles to the boat dock.  When Lake Martin is lowered to winter pool levels, it is possible to walk another quarter mile, crossing a series of islands inaccessible at full pool.  Little Smith Mountain Loop Trail is a 2.6 mile difficult and potentially dangerous trail, but has spectacular views and rock formations.  This is also a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail.  Get the trail map here.  

Wind Creek State Park Trails

Located inside Wind Creek State Park, The Reunion Trail stretches 3.8 miles in length and traverses both hardwood bottoms and pine forest.  The Campfire Trail is a 1.8 mile long moderate trail with several steep inclines.  This is also a part of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail.  Get the trail map here.  

Nature’s Way Preserve Trail

This trail is 3 miles long, and has lake overlooks and interpretive signs to assist in learning more about the lake’s natural environment.  Get the trail map here.  

Russell Forest Trails

Weaving through the lush pines and hardwoods surrounding Lake Martin, you can enjoy more than 100 miles of trails inside the 25,000-acre living Russell Forest. Download the Russell Lands App for interactive trail maps, or get the trail map here.

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