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Explore Lake Martin: Smith Mountain Fire Tower Hike



Smith Mountain Fire Tower
Smith Mountain Fire Tower

Bed and Breakfast owners are often times travel guides as well. We help our guests find great little spots to eat, steer them toward activities they will enjoy, and fill them in on the history of the area. Many of our visitors are looking for places to get outside and enjoy the beauty of Lake Martin and Alabama. Hiking is a great way to get out and explore. One of the most popular hiking trails in the area is the Smith Mountain Fire Tower hike, and until last week, I had never been. So, I'm excited to share our experience with you.

Last Sunday was a gorgeous day, but it was a little too windy for a boat ride. After scouring the internet for live music in our area, we came up empty handed. So, I suggested we go on a hike and Eddie was all for it. We headed out to Smith Mountain Fire Tower located in Jackson's Gap, AL. From Mistletoe Bough, it's about a 20 minute drive.

There's a large parking area at the trailhead. We parked and quickly got started. Several others had the same idea as we did on this gorgeous day as we met several fellow hikers and even one trail runner along the way. The hike itself was what I would call moderate. There were a few areas that could have been really slick and muddy if hiking in the rain, or shortly after, but all in all, it was enjoyable and well marked with white arrows.
Trail Head
Trail Head of Smith Mountain Fire Tower

After reaching the summit, you have the option of climbing the fire tower. There is A LOT of information about the fire tower, a former ranger station that on site, and Native Americans that once lived in the area, so take some time to read either before or after heading to the top of the tower. The view is spectacular. You won't be sad you did it. The tower is 90 ft tall and is the tallest elevation and most panoramic view of Lake Martin.


panoramic view of Lake Martin, Alabama
Lake Martin at the top of the fire tower.


After all the rain we've had recently, the lake was a little muddy, but that didn't take away from the view in the least. This hike is about a half mile to the base of the tower, and there are other hikes you can do from that point. The Lakeshore Trail is 2.4 miles. When Lake Martin is lowered in the winter, it's possible to walk another quarter mile crossing a series of islands that aren't accessible in summer months. Exploring our beautiful area with a hike to Smith Mountain should definitely be on your bucket list.


Lake Martin Panoramic View
Lake Martin-View from Smith Mountain Fire Tower




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