Nestled in Alabama, Lewis Smith Lake, commonly referred to as Smith Lake, is ranked as Alabama's deepest and America's third cleanest lake. Smith Lake spans an impressive 21,200 acres and stretches over 642 miles of shoreline. This expansive three-fingered lake boasts a breathtaking rocky shoreline, making it a haven for water sports enthusiasts, avid swimmers, and those who love to unwind on boat docks. Moreover, it's a fishing paradise, with anglers often praising its rich aquatic bounty. The lake owes its inception to the 1961 construction of the Lewis Smith Dam by the Alabama Power Company. This dam not only facilitates hydroelectric power generation but also enhances river traffic on the Sipsey fork of the Black Warrior River.
Nestled in Alabama, Lewis Smith Lake, commonly referred to as Smith Lake, spans an impressive 21,200 acres. This expansive three-fingered lake boasts a breathtaking rocky shoreline, making it a haven for water sports enthusiasts, avid swimmers, and those who love to unwind on boat docks. Moreover, it's a fishing paradise, with anglers often praising its rich aquatic bounty. The lake owes its inception to the 1961 construction of the Lewis Smith Dam by the Alabama Power Company. This dam not only facilitates hydroelectric power generation but also enhances river traffic on the Sipsey fork of the Black Warrior River.
Ranked as Alabama's deepest and America's third cleanest lake, Smith Lake stretches over 642 miles of shoreline. This vast expanse attracts countless boating, fishing, and swimming aficionados. Additionally, the lake's natural beauty is accentuated by its diverse wildlife - from deer and turkey to the occasional black bear. For those exploring real estate opportunities near serene water bodies or seeking an idyllic outdoor retreat, Lewis Smith Lake promises an unparalleled experience. The harmonious blend of its picturesque vistas, thriving wildlife, and myriad recreational activities guarantees a fulfilling lakeside escapade.
Miles of shore line
Average Yearly Daytime Temp
Many professional fishing tournaments are held on Smith Lake because the fishing is so sensational. You will regularly see fishermen cruising the lake throughout the entire year. If you don’t like catching… you can actually feed the fish at Rock Creek Marina: 256.747.8915
Here are some great links to fishing on Lewis Smith Lake:
Search by Lifestyle at Smith Lake
Neighborhoods at Smith Lake
Most homes have the front of the home facing the road, and the back faces the lake. Lots range from flat, to a cliff overlooking the water. Some homes are built close to the water and others are farther away – all of this is very dependent on the steepness of the land. It is much easier for a car to go up and down a hill than people, so many lots that are slopped or even steep, and as a result have long steep driveways down to the home. If the home is on a cliff, then you will have stairs down to the water.
One of the features of a home with a rock water front, you typically have very clean and clear water.
For access to the water for your watercraft, review the tab called "Watercraft".
The lake has many channels – 9 large ones, and many smaller ones. There are 4 major bridges over big water (Duncan Bridge, Big Bridge, Bailey Bridge & Sway Back Bridge), and 3 smaller bridges over channels. Due to these channels the drive time from one point to another can take time. It is not uncommon to drive 45 minutes to get to a home you can see on the other side of the lake. Many roads are paved to the homes but some are dirt roads.
The lake has 7 Marinas that offer different services. Some of the services you can find at the marines are: Fuel, bait, tackle, service, parts, storage, rentals, and more. Some have food services. Here is a list of the marinas:
They range in size from a simple single bay dock, to very elaborate multi bay, multi-level docks. All docks FLOAT, none of them sit on the shore or bottom of the lake. Because they float, they have a walkway out to the dock. Typically, the docks are approx. 35’ from the shore. Based on this distance from shore, you should know the water depth of the dock so you will know if the dock will be on the shore when the water level goes down in the winter. Many docks have a boat lift system, powered by air. The lift has large tanks under the rails that cradle the boat. A hose goes from a pump on the dock to the tanks and when turned on, the system raises the boat out of the water. Most docks have a roof over the boat stalls. You can also purchase a “touchless” cover for the boat stall, that with a push of a button, the whole boat is covered to keep it dry, clean and out of the weather.
Boat docks are tied to the shore with large steel cables, plus the walkway holds the dock in place. Some have large heavy weights that sit on the bottom of the lake and are tied to the dock with heavy steel cables. As the water level changes, so much the cable tension on the dock. Many docks have power, fresh water, and much more depending on your needs.
Boat docks on Smith Lake float, meaning they rise and fall with the lake level. Being that the level fluctuates 14 feet from summer to winter, your boat dock can be damaged if you do not keep the cables at the right tension.
1" of rain brings the lake level up 12"!
If you are considering purchasing property that does NOT have a boat dock or property with a smaller dock than you want. You need to talk to Alabama Power about installing a dock or expanding your dock. A permit is required from Alabama Power. Contact Alabama Power at 205-384-7385.
Here are some of the links for the companies that make boat docks and water craft lift systems:
There are 14 boat ramps that the public can use to put-in and take out watercraft on the lake. Plus, many of the communities have their own private ramps. Some homes come with a ramp into the water. There is no limit to the type, size or speed of the watercraft allowed on Smith Lake. The most popular watercraft that we see on Smith Lake are are pontoon/triton boats, jet ski’s, bass boats, and wake boats. Alabama requires that all watercraft operations of persons 12 years of age and older have a boaters license. Click here to take the test. https://www.boat-ed.com/alabama/
All watercraft that can function under power are required to be registered. You can visit the license department in Cullman or Jasper for your boat license. Or you can access the state website.
PLEASE NOTE: Smith Lake is in DRY Counties, meaning that if you get caught drinking alcohol on the lake, the fine can be over $500!
The standard height of the lake is at 510 ASL (above sea level), with the low being at 496 ASL (typically during the winter). During heavy rain the lake has risen to as high at 525 ASL, so you should know the elevation of the home you are looking at to make sure it will not flood in the heavy rain.
The dam has an overflow (spillway) point of 522 ASL, meaning that when the water level get to 522' the water will start to travel over the "Spillway". The warning height is 524', at this point the lake is flooded and any home you are looking at should be above 525' ASL.
Also, the level has gone down to 491 during a heavy drought. So, you also want to ensure that the property you are buying has year-round water – if that is your goal.
All boat docks on Smith Lake float, meaning they rise and fall with the lake level. Being that the level fluctuates 14 feet from summer to winter, your boat dock can be damaged if you do not keep the cables at the right tension.
Here is Alabama Power’s web site for hourly updates on the lake and dam functions. https://apcshorelines.com/lake/smith/
As we discussed above the water level when it recesses can cause some lots to lose their water and the dock can end up on the shore, or all your water will be gone until the rain brings back the water level. This is what is known as seasonal water. Homes at the end of some of the channels will have this situation.
In some cases you can have your part of the shoreline dredged so you can bring the water up to your dock. There are a few companies on the lake that can do this work. Call us for more details.
Here is the web site for the history and details of the water level.
Water - Most homes on the lake have public water supply, but some of the areas are still on private well water.
Waste Water - None of the homes on the lake have public sewer. All homes must have a septic system, some need a pump system where others have a gravity system. Some of the developments have a common septic system, where the individual homes have a small tank that has a pump-and-grind system in the tank that sends all the waste out to a pipe in the street that feeds a large septic system.
To learn more about septic systems please review our BLOG:
Electricity - Power is available all over the lake, and the power rate is much lower than what you might have at your home. The rate is approx. $.12 per kw.
Internet - Internet access is available in some areas of the lake, the two major high speed internet providers are Cullman Electric "Sprout Internet" and Spectrum Fiber Internet. If high speed internet is not available you can use a cell hot spot, or satalite internet, plus a few other options.
TV - TV services are available if you have internet and a smart TV, if not, then Direct TV or DISH TV is the choice.
Irrigation - If you are going to have an irrigation system, you might want to consider using a pump in the lake to power the system. This is a less costly way to water your lawn and gardens.
For more details on water, power, generators, septic system, etc. for your home, go to our BLOG part of the web site and choose "Resources/Need to know".
When communities are developed sometimes they have covenants and other restriction docs that govern the property. In some cases, they can have a Home Owners Association (HOA) or a Condo Association that provides the rules for living in that community. When you see the word “Restricted” on the listing or the property documents that means this property comes with rules. You should ALWAYS read all the docs for the property BEFORE you make an offer to purchase.
If you are looking at raw land, again they also can come with restrictions. The owner of the land creates these restrictions because they are trying to control the types of homes/business that are put on the land.
DEED RESTRICTION - is the document that when you purchase the property the Deed Restriction defines what rules are applied to the property. These Deed Restrictions are passed along to all buyers today and into the future. Examples of Deed Restrictions:
No Mobile Homes
No RV or Camper Trailers
No Un-Registred Vehicles
No Dogs over 25 lbs
No homes under 1500 sq. ft.
No Detached Garages
No home business
No Commercial Business
No Commercial Vehicles with Graphics
No Farm Animals
Lewis Smith Lake
Better known as Smith Lake, this 21,000-acre stunner on the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River is known for being one of Alabama’s cleanest and clearest lakes. So for the skeptical swimmers, this is the perfect place to take the plunge. One of the best places to do that is at Indian Head Rock, a large rock jut-out that’s popular for folks looking to take a dive. To stay in the thick of the action, check out Smith Lake Park, a massive park with pools, campgrounds, a beach, and events all year long.
One of America’s largest manmade lakes, Lake Martin is a popular second-home spot for many Alabamians seeking a waterfront escape. Located in and around Alexander City, the 44,000-acre lake is surrounded by wooded shoreline, making it a great place to spot birds and other native wildlife. If you go, do as the locals do and have a meal at lakefront casual dining spot Kowaliga or treat yourself to Southern fine dining at SpringHouse.
Logan Martin Lake
The 280-mile-long Coosa River cuts across the eastern half of Alabama and spawns lakes in every direction. One of its most popular offshoots is Logan Martin Lake, located 30 miles east of Birmingham. Logan Martin Lake is a hub for recreational water activity due to its depth of more than 100 feet in many places. The lake is especially popular for bass fishermen, who love to explore the lake’s abundance of coves and tributaries.
Alabama’s largest lake, Guntersville Lake clocks in at around 69,000 acres. Located in northeast Alabama, the lake is best visited at Lake Guntersville State Park, where you can do everything from fish and boat to waterski, kayak, and hike. The park is located right down the road from charming downtown Guntersville, where you might want to spend an afternoon shopping and checking out the local dining scene.
Located in three states, Pickwick Lake makes its Yellowhammer State appearance in Florence. The 50-mile-long lake is known for its excellent smallmouth, largemouth, and spotted bass fishing, with the hub of activity happening in the Shoals section of the lake, located directly downstream of Wilson Dam to the end of Seven-Mile Island.
This 12,000-acre reservoir is smaller than many of Alabama’s other lakes, but it’s every bit as beautiful. Located just 35 minutes south of Birmingham, the lake is a popular spot for day trippers and weekend visitors alike. With seven public access areas, five of which have docks for boats, there’s plenty of room to get out and explore the well-stocked lake.
Often referred to as the “Crappie Capital of the World,” Weiss Lake is one of the best places in the country to fish for crappie and largemouth bass. The 30,000-acre lake is formed by the Chattanooga River, Coosa River, and Little River. Its banks are dotted with campgrounds, motels, and rental cabins, so you’ll have plenty of options for places to make home base.
The damning of the North River in west-central Alabama created this lake in 1970. Since then, it’s become a popular destination for all types of water recreation. From fishing and boating to swimming and tubing, the 5,800-acre lake offers plenty of room to roam.
Source: Southern Living
Ready for a life-changing lakeside experience? The King Team specializes in Lewis Smith Lake real estate, offering you a chance to own a piece of Alabama's deepest and America's third cleanest lake. From fishing to water sports and boating, embrace the unparalleled blend of natural beauty and outdoor recreation. Contact The King Team today and find your dream property along the 642 miles of Smith Lake's breathtaking rocky shoreline.