Safe Travel Resources: COVID-19 Travel Information
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Safety Tips On How To Prevent Spider Bites

Brown Recluse Spider

Black Widow Spider

No, it’s not Halloween. Many people shiver at the thought of spiders. In Alabama, there are five species that are harmful including the black widow, the northern black widow, the brown recluse, the Chilean recluse and the Mediterranean recluse. While most spiders produce venom to subdue their prey, few spiders have venom that presents a threat to humans. The brown recluse spider, the size of a quarter and identified by the violin shape on its back are native throughout the United States, including Lake Martin. They like to hide in dark secluded spaces that are dry and warm. When looking in your home, look for webbing around cardboard boxes, in shoes or drawers of clothes. Outside, they reside in wood piles and brush. Black Widows also reside in our community. Females feature a red hourglass on their abdomen and weave a thick tangled web. Widows dwell in quiet areas such as stumps, water meter boxes, sheds and lawn mowers. To avoid being bitten, reduce clutter in dark spaces, inspect and shake out linens, boots and clothes. When working outside, wear gloves and inspect equipment with a flashlight. Our team treated a gentleman who was bitten by a black widow when he sat on his tractor seat where a black widow was nesting. Spiders are not typically aggressive but if bitten, the toxins from the spider can trigger an inflammatory response and cause the tissue to die. People may have different reactions to the bite. Symptoms usually develop 2-8 hours after a bite. Initially the bite is mildly red but on closer inspection, may reveal fang marks. Within a few hours, it may blister, become more painful and develop a ring surrounding the area or have a “bull’s-eye” appearance. The best practice is to immediately use a marker to draw a circle around the perimeter of the wound to see if the redness or swelling continues to expand.

It is important to indentify the spider and understand its bite must be treated by a medical professional in a timely manner. The skin is your fortress. Waiting for a bite to “heal on its own” may only delay the painful healing process. Taking appropriate action is key. If you are extremely brave, bring the “slightly squashed,” dead spider in a bag with you to the doctor for proper identification.. If you are bitten, call the Russell Medical Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine clinic at 256-215-7450 so that our specialized wound care team can help start the healing process. There are effective treatment plans available to advance the healing process.

The biodiversity of species on Alabama’s Freshwater Coast is what makes our community incredibly rich in beauty. Many spiders are harmless. Because of their broad appetite, spiders prey on mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches thus reducing the numbers of other pests. One of the most exciting ways to learn more about species identification and wildlife in the lLake Martin area is to take an energetic guided tour with Russell Lands On Lake Martin Naturalist Marianne Hudson on the Russell Forest Trails. Marianne was recently awarded the Conservation Communicator of the Year by the Alabama Wildlife Federation. She served as the Assistant Director of the Southeastern Raptor Center and in 2017 joined the Alabama Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division as a Conservation Outreach Specialist. She leads highly educational tours in which she identifies a variety of plant and animal life, including the beautiful Golden Silk Orb Weaver Spider. To learn more about here nature hikes, go here.

Golden Silk Orb Weaver

Being vigilant can help keep your family safe and healthy!

Thank you to Russell Medical Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine for sharing this helpful information!

Lake Martin Businesses Are Taking a Pledge to Keep You Safe When You Travel

2020 has been quite the year, to say the least.  We understand if you are not ready to travel yet, and we will be here ready to welcome you when you are.  However, if you are ready to get out and explore, we want to help you find ways to do that in the safest way possible.  Your health and safety is important to us, and we want you to be able to enjoy our great outdoors, attractions, restaurants, lodging, and everything else the Lake Martin area has to offer.  The Alabama Tourism Department has put together information to help you Take It All In Responsibly.  They have worked with local businesses and attractions around the state and asked them to take a pledge to make a commitment to keep YOU safe.

Some of the ones in our area that have signed the pledge are:

Adventure Center at Russell Crossroads

Creekside Lodge

Harold Banks Canoe Trail

Lake Martin Machine Gun

Smith Mountain Fire Tower

Whippoorwill Vineyards

Wind Creek State Park

Their pledge to you:

  • To train staff in proper cleaning and sanitization specific to our industry.
  • To post extensive signage on health policies.
  • To wear face coverings.
  • To facilitate and enforce social distancing and capacity guidelines.
  • To regularly sanitize public areas and frequently touched surfaces.
  • To conduct wellness screenings of employees.
  • To follow CDC guidelines and those of our industry for health safety policies in their establishment.
  • To provide contactless reservations, payments, and communications whenever possible.

The Alabama Tourism Department is also asking you to make a pledge as well when visiting Sweet Home Alabama.

Your pledge to us:

  • To plan ahead but be flexible and patient with staff and other patrons.
  • To refrain from physical contact with staff and other patrons.
  • To wear face coverings in public as required.
  • To maintain a safe social distance from others in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • To wash and sanitize hands frequently.
  • To limit the size of travel parties or gatherings to the location-specific maximum.
  • To stay home if you have a cough, fever, or other symptoms.
  • To use a credit or debit card and contactless registration as much as possible.

Choosing a Place to Stay at Lake Martin

Enjoy an awesome view of Lake Martin from the Hank Williams Cabin. Yes-you can actually stay where Hank himself stayed!

What does your ideal trip to Lake Martin look like?  Ask anyone, and the answers you get could be completely different.  For some, travelling with their close family members could equal perfection, while some prefer to bring the whole extended family along for the fun.  Others may choose to leave the family at home, and make it a Girls Trip or Guys Getaway.  Some may take an opportunity to have a romantic weekend with their special someone.  But still there are those that just want to have peaceful, quiet alone time, surrounded by the tranquility of nature.  There is no right or wrong answer to the question, but how you answer that question determines how you will pick out the perfect lodging option for your trip.  It’s important to put some thought into this question to make sure you have the best trip ever when you visit Lake Martin.  No worries though-there are plenty of great options of places to stay in the Lake Martin area-and there is an option for every possible travelling situation that you can think up.

Here are five things to think about before making a decision on where to stay on your next trip to Lake Martin:

  1. Who all is coming along?
  2. How long is your trip?
  3. Will you be eating out or do you prefer to have the amenities of home and be able to prepare your own meals?
  4. Does your dream trip involve waking up to the lake outside your door, or are you ok with driving a few minutes to see water?
  5. Do you prefer a more luxurious or rustic experience, or are you looking for something unique?

The Hank Williams Cabin

If you answered unique on #5, this one is for you.  You can experience a great spot in country music history, and stay at the Hank Williams Cabin. The music legend stayed in the cabin and composed the song “Kaw-liga” in August 1952, reaching #1 on the country music charts in 1953. The cabin was built in 1946 and was restored to it’s original condition in 2001 as a tribute to Hank Williams and his music. It looks just the way it did when Hank himself was there. The cabin is on the property of Children’s Harbor, a non-profit that provides free camps to seriously ill children. Money raised from rentals of the Hank Williams Cabin goes to help keep funding their mission of providing these opportunities for children.

Hank Williams Cabin-Alexander City


Hampton Inn-Alexander City, Alabama


Creekside Lodge and Conference Center-Dadeville, Alabama

There are a variety of hotels in the area-some even offering free breakfast.  You probably won’t be doing a lot of cooking in your room, but there are plenty of great restaurants in Alexander City and Dadeville, and you could definitely eat out someplace different for every meal.  If you want to explore our culinary diversity, a hotel is a great option for your trip no matter how many people are in your party, or who you are travelling with. Our hotels provide a comfortable stay and are frequently used by solo travelers, those traveling for business, sports teams, fishermen, families, and groups of friends.   You can reach out directly to the properties to set up room blocks if you need more space for more people.  With the exception of Creekside Lodge, most of our hotels are located in town, and are just a few minutes away from the lake.  Really, here a few minutes means just that.  You are never too far from water when you are here.  You will also be just a couple of minutes away from Alexander City’s historic downtown, which is also something you are going to want to add to your list of things to do.

Hampton Inn-Alexander City

Super 8- Alexander City

Quality Inn- Alexander City

Days Inn- Alexander City

Bob White Motel- Alexander City

American Inn Hotel-Alexander City

Creekside Lodge at Lake Martin-Dadeville

Vacation Rentals

Lake Martin VRBO rental


Lake Martin Airbnb Rental

Do you prefer to have all of the luxuries of home available to you during your stay, and do you prefer to be able to prepare your meals at home?  If so, a vacation rental in Lake Martin could be a good option for you.  Houses and condos are available in all shapes and sizes, and many have lake access.  While all are unique and offer different amenities, most offer all the things needed to prepare and serve any meal you would at home.  Many also include washers and dryers so you can wash clothes if needed while on your trip.  Some even include fishing equipment, car seats, strollers, games and toys, etc.  These are really great for longer term stays since you will feel like you are at home, but can also be used for a weekend getaway.  Just make sure you check to see if there is a minimum stay involved, as some may require that you stay 2 or more nights.  Since they are all different, each will be able to accommodate a different amount of people.  However, if you are travelling with others, and want to be able to all be together in a communal area, while still maintaining your own privacy, you will like the vacation rental atmosphere that usually offers a traditional living room and dining room, but separate bedrooms and often separate bathrooms.  By using the online booking platforms, you have the ability to communicate directly with the owners.  You can message back and forth and ask questions about the house or condo before you even book.

Airbnb Lake Martin

VRBO Lake Martin

Bed and Breakfasts

Mistletoe Bough Bed and Breakfast-Alexander City, Alabama


Paradise Bed and Breakfast on Lake Martin-Dadeville, Alabama

If you enjoy a unique travel experience or a romantic getaway, you may want to check out one of our beautiful Bed and Breakfasts in Lake Martin.  Each of our bed and breakfasts offer a wonderful homemade breakfast to start your day.  Mistletoe Bough Bed and Breakfast is located in downtown Alexander City.  If you are a history buff, you will love this place-this Queen Anne mansion was built in 1895 and is on the National Historic Register.  It has been restored to the feeling of that era, and is a beautiful step back in time.  If you prefer to be on the water, Paradise Inn Bed and Breakfast on Lake Martin is a great option.  They are located right on the lake, and offer complimentary use of a paddle boat, kayaks, floats, and fishing equipment.  You can even bring your own boat and tie up to their private dock.  If you are planning a romantic getaway, you would certainly make your sweetie’s day by choosing one of these.  If you are travelling with more people though, talk to the management from either house about the possibility of renting multiple rooms.

Mistletoe Bough Bed and Breakfast

Paradise Bed and Breakfast on Lake Martin


RV and camping spots at Wind Creek State Park


Cabins at Wind Creek State Park

With our area being known for the outdoors, we could not talk about places to stay at Lake Martin and not mention camping.  Wind Creek State Park offers some of the best camping in the south.  But let’s be honest, the term camping means different things to different people.  RVing has become a favorite American pastime.  RVers travel the land to find the coolest places to visit and camp, and we are so blessed that we have such wonderful camping in Alexander City.  Wind Creek State Park is home to one of the largest state-operated campgrounds in the United States, having 586 campsites.  157 of those are waterfront and overlook the shores of Lake Martin. All campsites have water and electrical hook ups, and 268 sites have sewer hook ups. This is a great stop to put on your RV bucket list.  If you like camping, but want to really experience the great outdoors by sleeping outside in it, you can do that, as tent camping is also allowed at Wind Creek State Park.  However, there are some that don’t have an RV, and aren’t comfortable sleeping on the ground in a tent.  That’s ok-for those of us who want to enjoy the outdoors, but in a more comfortable way, there are also cabins available for rent.  The cabins overlook the water and are great for a family or friends getaway, as they have two queen beds and a sleeper sofa.  Some of the cabins are also pet friendly, so you can bring the entire family-even the furry members of your crew.  They allow you to have the waterside views and access, with the comforts of central heat and air, a microwave, toaster, refrigerator, and yes, a coffee maker.  You will need that for those early mornings out on the water fishing.  The one thing to know about the cabins before you go though is that you will need to bring your own bed linens, pillows, bath linens, and cooking and eating utensils. 

Wind Creek State Park RV and Camping

Wind Creek State Park Cabin Rentals

The Best Hiking Trails Around Lake Martin

Lake Martin is known for fun on the water, but did you know the area boasts some of the best hiking in Alabama as well? With the cooler weather, and the beautiful color palettes being displayed on the trees, now is a great time to hit the trails. Here are a few of our favorites!

Russell Forest

In this living forest, over 100 miles of trails weave through the lush pines and hardwoods that surround Lake Martin. Five trailheads serve as a starting point for multiple trails that can be used not only for hiking, but also for biking and equestrian recreation. Download the trail map and explore the trails on your own, or take advantage of a guided hike with Russell Lands On Lake Martin’s own naturalist.
Learn more here

Wind Creek State Park

The Alabama Reunion Trail is about 3.8 miles in length, and is rated moderate to difficult. It traverses both hardwood bottoms and pine forest. The trail is actually a loop with its beginning and end in close proximity. Several natural features can be noted, which include an old home site on the northern half, picturesque hardwood bottoms, stands of pine, beds of fern and an abundance of bird and animal life. The Campfire Trail is about 1.8 miles in length and is rated primarily moderate with several steep areas. This trail traverses both mixed hardwood forest and intermittent pine. Midway up the trail, a series of rock outcroppings occurs bordered by an abundance of ferns. Toward the end of the trail, a small stream bisects the path leading south. Stay longer and have a chance to check out these and other trails in the area-camping options, including lakeside cabins, are available at the park.
Learn more here

The James M. Scott Deadening Alpine Trail

This 4.2 mile loop trail is the most challenging of the trails created by the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association, but it is also the most rewarding. You also have the option to take the crossover route and hike only 3.1 miles. In addition to spectacular views of Lake Martin, 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. 
Learn more here

Smith Mountain Fire Tower

The trails at Smith Mountain Fire Tower lead you to a historic, restored fired tower that you can climb and have the best views in the area. Walker Bynum Smith Mountain Tower Trail is a steep 0.4 mile climb to the base of the tower. The total length is 1 mile roundtrip, but it will seem further due to rugged terrain. The Lakeshore Trail is 2.4 miles long, and makes a steep descent before winding gently along undeveloped shores of Lake Martin, returning to the parking lot through mixed hardwood/pine forest. The David M. Forker Island Hop/Boat Dock Trail is approximately 1.4 miles to the boat dock. When Lake Martin is lowered to winter pool levels, it is possible to walk another quarter mile, where you will cross a series of islands that are inaccessible at full pool. The return trail from the boat dock to the parking lot is approximately 1.2 miles. The Little Smith Mountain Loop Trail is 2.6 miles and is known for it’s view and rock formations. However, it is also the most difficult, as it goes along sheer cliffs.
Learn more here

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