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 that is dotted with shaded pavilions, picnic tables and open charcoal grills. 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 park was developed in 1997 in cooperation with the local community and as a part of the Martin license. Alabama Power partnered with the Drug Awareness Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) programs for fourth-grade students at four Tallapoosa County schools on a contest to let students name the park.
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.
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 as one of five day-use parks operated by Alabama Power. Before that, 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.
The planners built a quarry in 1977 to convert the outcropping into more than 1 million tons of pulverized granite used as riprap, embankment material and mix aggregate for the more than 400,000 cubic yards of concrete poured over 5,000 tons of reinforced steel that would become Harris Dam. A testament to their work, an island of quarried granite can be seen from Flat Rock Park today.
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.
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.
Today, the park provides a place for lake lovers and fishermen to relax, launch boats, picnic and enjoy the calm beauty of one of state’s less trafficked lakes. But before construction began on Neely Henry Dam, backing up the waters of the Coosa River, Ten Island’s natural river ford was a magnet for civilization, exploration and conflict.
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.
It was the Creek Indians who first named the site Oti Palin – or Ten Island – after a series of islands along several miles of the Coosa River. The Creek settled on Wood Island – the southernmost and largest in the chain – which was later incorporated into the construction of Neely Henry Dam.
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.
A mainstay of Alabama Power-operated parks, Logan Martin Dam Park is also one of its more low-key places to relax. The park’s 19 structures include a fishing pier, grills, pavilions and picnic tables and were upgraded after the park sustained tornado damage in 2011. The park is open from sunrise to sunset.
Barrett’s Park at Lake Mitchell
One of Alabama Power’s newest day-use parks, Barrett’s Park on Lake Mitchell continues to grow each lake season. It’s an ideal place for families to come and enjoy the lake. People can be seen grilling, fishing and swimming at the park.
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.