As a part of our ongoing series about our lakes and the people, events and happenings that make them so special, please read on to learn about some of the best places to visit along Lake Harris.

Lake Harris may be made up of more locals than visitors but if a peaceful retreat is what you seek then you should check out this lake. Cabins and cottages of all shapes and sizes perfect for a girls’ getaway, family reunion or fishing trip can be found for rent..

You will more than likely have to grill out or cook in during your stay, but local Tricia Stearns, a writer for Lake Wedowee Life, singled out Home Team Pizzeria for its excellent pizza crust and burgers. (Home Team Pizzeria, 109 Main St. S., Wedowee, AL 36278; 256-357-4992)

Four things to know and do on a visit to Harris Lake

Meet the young at heart.

While you are out on the lake, you might see Kees Collee, the “Crazy Dutchman,” and Patt High, the “Wild Woman.” They are the Lake Wedowee Air Junkeys. Despite being in their 70s, the Junkeys are young and wild at heart, driving an outlandish boat that looks like it came from Jimmy Buffett’s personal fleet. When they’re not in their colorful ride, the Junkeys are wake kiting, skiing or organizing cardboard boat regattas for the Randolph County Animal Shelter. The Junkeys also put on ski fun days for fans, with the most recent being Aug. 1. If you were there, you saw about 15 boats and riders showing off in celebration of Patt’s husband’s 80th birthday. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more enthusiastic pair on the lake. To see more of their fun adventures and watch some of their videos, visit highairs.com.
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Make your house a home.

To appoint your home with lake décor, check out A “Brand” New Look Antiques & Collectibles on Main Street in Wedowee. Owner Barbara Brand is a certified interior designer who has cultivated a charming collection of furnishings and accessories. She has arranged her shop in vignettes to help inspire visitors. (A “Brand” New Look, 105 Main St. S., Wedowee, AL 36278; 256-357-4525)

Birding at some of the best spots.

For a weekend day trip, check out Alabama Birding Trail for good spots around Lake Harris.

Fox Creek is a perfect bird habitat. There are more than 1.5 miles of walking paths fully developed, with another mile or so of rustic trails available for more intrepid trekkers, and much more in the works.

In summer, you should see swallows, purple martins, belted kingfishers, wading birds and wood ducks. If you’re lucky, you may even see an occasional osprey or bald eagle.

Nearby, but not on the lake, is the Wedowee Kiwanis Park. It offers easy access and a loop you can walk to find a wide range of additional species to view.

Lake Wedowee, AL: Paddlin' 4 Paws Cardboard Boat Regatta, held at Chimney Cove, 88 Fireside Dr., Wedowee, AL  36278: Contestants compete in boat races in home-made cardboard boats, rafts, kayaks, made from cardboard, duct tape; 10 heats for size and number of competitors in boats; also inner tube races before boat races. Final race, #10, is Demolish Derby, where the last boat not sinking wins. Pat High, with red-white-blue hair, is 2013 chairperson, in Demolition Derby, also seen with checkered flag waving winning crafts for some races; large crowd around shore line.

Build and float a box for charity.

A great time to visit Lake Harris is during the annual Cardboard Boat Races event, typically each May. This fun, family-friendly event raises funds for the Randolph County Animal Shelter and Randolph County Schools. It’s held at Lakeside Marina, Market and Grill and features a dunking booth, silent auction and pet parade. The event is centered around a race where the prized “Plundering Pirate” award is bestowed upon the last boat floating with its crew intact. For information on entering and dates for 2016, visit the Randolph County Animal Shelter website.

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