Looking for an affordable and quick summer getaway? It may be easier than you think. Check out one Alabama Power’s five day-use parks. Located on five lakes, these parks are open to the public, cost-free and offer sweeping views of the lake and plenty of opportunities for fun and relaxation.
D.A.R.E. Power Park at Lake Martin
Six miles west of Dadeville, down the wooded, rolling Young’s Ferry Road, hides a sandy beach cove known as D.A.R.E. Power Park. Despite its seclusion, the park is a popular spot for locals and in-the-know passersby — both by vehicle and vessel — to take a break, stretch their legs and enjoy the serene nature that envelops the Lake Martin shoreline.The 30-acre park is one of the largest managed by Alabama Power and boasts a number of amenities, including a beach, boat launch, public restrooms, an amphitheater, grills, picnic tables, pavilions and docks.
9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
May 1 — Memorial Day: Open Saturday and Sunday only
Memorial Day — Labor Day: Open daily
For more information about D.A.R.E. Power Park or to reserve park pavilions, contact the park office at 256-825-8386 or the Lake Martin Shoreline Management Office at 256-825-0053.
Flat Rock Park at Lake Harris
Despite its moniker, Flat Rock Park — a popular sunbathing and fishing spot on the shores of Lake Harris — has not always been a flat rock. Flat Rock Park opened in 1995, the 25 acres of smooth-top granite grabbed the eye of project designers in need of material rugged enough to tame the waters of the Tallapoosa River. Thousands of visitors flock to this unique park each year. Amenities include pavilions, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, swimming and fishing areas and a nature trail.
9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
May 1 — May 31: Open Saturday and Sunday only
June 1 — Labor Day: Open daily
Sept. 2 — Sept. 30: Open Saturday and Sunday only
For more information about Flat Rock Park, contact the park office at (256) 396-2338.
Ten Island Park at Neely Henry Lake
People driving across Neely Henry Dam on St. Clair County Road 26 can also see one of the most storied pieces of land in the state — Ten Island Park. Evidence of settlement at the site dates back to Paleo, Archaic, Woodland and Mississippian Indian groups, and there is historical speculation that Hernando de Soto used the site to cross the wild-flowing Coosa River in the early 1540s.
5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For more information about Ten Island Park, contact the park office at (205) 472-0481.
Logan Martin Dam Park at Logan Martin Lake
Located on the eastern edge of the embankment that holds back the lake topped by the aptly named Logan Martin Road, Logan Martin Picnic Area provides visitors a relaxing spot to take in views of the lake, its dam and an occasional run of skiers through the lake’s most visited slalom course.The park’s 19 structures include a fishing pier, grills, pavilions and picnic tables.
Dawn to dusk
For more information about Logan Martin Dam Park, contact the park office at (205) 672-2332.
Barrett’s Park at Lake Mitchell
While Barrett’s Park is nestled in Lake Mitchell’s remote Hatchet Creek area, the park already provides boater access and parking, a pier and boardwalk along the water, public restrooms, grills and picnic tables. Fishermen especially like to use the park to launch their boats due to its convenience, so much so that the park has even seen bass tournaments launch from its shores.It’s an ideal place for families to come and enjoy the lake. People can be seen grilling, fishing and swimming at the park.
Dawn to dusk
For more information about Barrett’s Park, contact the park office at (256) 396-5093.
Learn more about Alabama Power’s recreation sites at https://apcshorelines.com/recreation/.