Lake Martin, The Crown Jewel of the South, is located in Tallapoosa County, Elmore County, and Coosa County in Alabama. It is a 44,000 acre lake with over 750 miles of wooded shoreline. Lake Martin was formed after the completion of Martin Dam on the Tallapoosa River. Martin Dam is used to generate hydroelectric power for Alabama Power. The dam was begun in 1923 and completed in 1926. After completion, the lake was the largest man-made lake in the world.
One of the largest artificial lakes in the United States, Lake Martin is a popular recreation destination for swimming, boating, fishing, water skiing, camping, and golfing. Many waterfront neighborhoods and luxury homes are located on Lake Martin. The cities of Alexander City and Dadeville are located nearby.
Lake Martin hosts many events throughout the year, including fishing tournaments and a giant fireworks show on the Fourth of July to celebrate Independence Day. Also included is the Alexander City Jazz Festival which has hosted such acts as Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Los Lonely Boys, Amanda Shaw and Tishamingo. This yearly event is hosted every June in downtown Alexander City as well as on Lake Martin at the Lake Martin Amphitheatre.
Lake Martin includes many popular attractions, including several small islands. The lake has several landmarks, such as the Kowaliga Bridge, Willow Point Country Club, with a golf course, and several marinas, but perhaps the most recognized landmark on the lake is Chimney Rock, a large rock formation that resembles a chimney. The actual Chimney Rock is located several hundred yards away, and the name for the rock most people call Chimney Rock is Acapulco Rock. The spot is visited by thousands of boaters yearly, park at "The Rock" to watch people climb up 60 feet and jump off into the water. While many have enjoyed the thrill of jumping from these rock formations, a few jumpers have been seriously injured, paralyzed, or killed after jumping.