Lake houses in Lewis Smith Lake
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Lewis Smith Lake fishing houses
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Your guide to Lewis Smith Lake
Welcome to Lewis Smith Lake
Sprawling over 21,000 acres and boasting 500 miles of shoreline, massive manmade Lewis Smith Lake (or just “Smith Lake”) is a water wonderland that offers a dizzying array of recreation options. Anglers flock here to try their luck at snagging spotted bass, sharing the crystal-clear waters with paddle boarders, kayakers, and swimmers, while adventure seeking cliff-divers take daring plunges from towering rock formations. Shoreline parks offer playgrounds for kids, and open-air pavilions host festivals and live music.
As you navigate the lake, you may pass “The Castle,” a quirky four-story waterfront mansion that resembles a medieval fortress, complete with rows of arched windows, a brick tower, and an imposing stone wall. And while you can find just about everything you need on the waterfront, from restaurants to gear rental, venture beyond its shores and you can explore acres of hiking trails and waterfalls in the abundant forests that ring the lake.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Lewis Smith Lake
Spring and summer, when temperatures are warm or downright hot and humid, are the ideal time to enjoy the cooling waters of Lewis Smith Lake. These months also usher in festival season, when surrounding towns throw spirited outdoor gatherings, and local businesses host waterfront firework shows and concerts. Every April the nearby town of Cullman throws a strawberry festival where you can sample the fruit baked into pies, blended into margaritas, and folded into more inventive concoctions, such as a strawberry pretzel salad. Fall can be a great time to visit if you prefer milder yet warm weather, and when temperatures dip in winter, you can still pull on a jacket and idle away a few hours fishing on the lake.
Top things to do in Lewis Smith Lake
William Bankhead National Forest
To the west of the lake lie 180,000 uninterrupted acres of pristine wilderness known as “the land of a thousand waterfalls.” In addition to those dreamy natural wonders, you’ll find bluffs, canyons, and old-growth forests. Hiking, birdwatching, kayaking, and horseback riding are all options here.
Natural Bridge Park
This privately owned park in the city of Haleyville is home to an unusual rock formation: a 148-foot-long arch formed of sandstone and iron ore. Reportedly the longest natural bridge east of the Rocky Mountains, visitors are not allowed to tromp across its span, but you can hike underneath it.
Ave Maria Grotto
Brother Joseph Zoettl lived at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman for nearly 70 years and devoted much of that time to constructing miniature replicas of important religious and famous sites from around the world. Zoettl’s intricate recreations are built of stone, cement, seashells, and broken glass and pottery, and blanket the site of a former stone quarry. Visitors can wander, Godzilla-like, through his tiny world on a pathway that carries you past 125 teensy buildings, including St. Peter's Basilica and the Colosseum.