Welcome to Alabama's Freshwater Coast

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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.
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