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Archive for the 'Lake Martin Area Info' Category

The Tunnel to Somewhere

Unlike some crazy civil engineering projects I’ve seen, this tunnel under Highway 63 has major significance for the Lake Martin area.  Most of you know that there’s been road construction near Russell Crossroads for about 3 years now now.  Part of this construction project is a nifty tunnel.

Highway 63 Tunnel, Lake Martin, AL

This tunnel is a really big deal for Russell Lands and therefore, Lake Martin real estate.  It’s a huge part of Russell Lands’ plan to link together their waterfront neighborhoods of Windermere, Windover, Windermere West and The Ridge to west side of Highway 63’s Willow Point.  The central hub of all of this will be Russell Crossroads.

Right now the idea is to open the tunnel road to hikers, runners, bikers, golf cart and horse riders. I love the it.

I think this will be especially transformational for Windermere, Windover, and Windermere West which do not have neighborhood amenities.  After the trails and roadways are complete and christened for use, homeowners in Windermere, Windover, and Windermere West will  figure out that Saturday morning coffee at Catherine’s Market is a five minute golf cart ride away. Big things will happen.

I can envision a lot of other things happening along this trail system.  The fact that you don’t have to cross Highway 63 opens up a realm of possibilities.  Willow Point people can ride to The Ridge Marina on their golf carts.  People in The Ridge can mountain bike through the tunnel and explore Russell Forest trails.  Homeowners in Windermere and Windover neighborhoods can do all this, plus go to SpringHouse restaurant or Willow Point Country Club.  The ease and sense of community will be a great thing.

This really reminds me of Sandestin in the late 1970s.  If you are old enough, like me, to remember the original Sandestin, it used to only be a residential development on the bay side, and an unconnected beach on the gulf side.  You had to get in your car to cross Highway 98, and the whole thing was disjointed.  Then they put a tunnel under the highway, developed out some commercial space, and suddenly everything in between flourished.

I’m not saying the Russell Lands is about to have a mega development like Sandestin, but I am saying that all of these neighborhoods are going to truly be able to use Russell Crossroads.  I think it will increase property values in all of these developments.  Russell Lands has pumped millions into this project, but homeowners will reap the benefits over the next 5-10 years.

Path to Highway 63 Tunnel IMG_3071 Tunnel at Russell Crossroads

If you’d like to know more about homes in the above mentioned neighborhoods, check out my Neighborhoods page, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to contact me via email. I can help you with any property for sale in the Lake Martin MLS, regardless of who has it listed.  

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A Typical StillWaters Neighbor at Lake Martin

I take Lake Martin wildlife pictures all over the lake, but I need to create a specific photo file for “Wildlife I Have Seen in StillWaters.”  Lake Martin is a rural area, so animals coexist with lake lovers on all sides.  StillWaters is a huge gated golf/lake community with on and off the water homes, townhouses and condos, and it seems that wildlife like the deer I spotted last week call it home, too.

StillWaters Button Buck Feb 2013 - 04

This one was grazing on the side of the road as I drove to a new listing of mine in StillWaters, 100 Harbor Point Place Unit 613.  If you look closely you can see the early formation of his antlers.  It’s amazing how deer were created to blend in so well with their environment.  You can barely see his back in the photo below:

StillWaters Button Buck Feb 2013 - 02

If you like the idea of being in an established, gated golf  and waterfront community, and enjoy neighbors of all kinds, StillWaters might be a good fit.  If you’d like access to all StillWaters’ amenities, but prefer to leave the yard work and home maintenance to someone else, check out my listing, 100 Harbor Pointe Place Unit 613.  It’s a 2 bed/2 bath off-the-water condo with a deeded boat slip, and it’s right across the street from Harbor Pointe Marina.

It’s currently listed for $131K – a great deal when you consider its location within StillWaters and all of the amenities owners can access.

Here’s one more parting shot of our friend and StillWaters neighbor.  If you’re interested in homes or condos in StillWaters, or real estate anywhere on Lake Martin, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or contact me by CLICKING HERE.  I’d love to be your realtor.

StillWaters Button Buck Feb 2013 - 07

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Lake Martin: A View From Above

I spotted these pics on Lindsey Harris’ Twitter feed, and thought they were super cool. I don’t get to see Lake Martin from this vantage point very often.

Her cousin, Eric, took Lindsey and a friend for a Sunday afternoon joyride over Lake Martin in his plane.  I always want to know what kind of camera people use, and Lindsey said she used her Canon t3i to take the pictures.  She graciously said I could share them with you.

Can you spot some Lake Martin landmarks?  If you have any cool pictures of Lake Martin from above or below the water, send them to me and I’d love to post them.  Or, if you have them on a site like Flickr, here’s a link to my Flickr account.


If you’re interested in Lake Martin real estate, give me a call at (33st4) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to contact me via email.  It doesn’t matter is you’re in the earliest stages of dreaming about a future lake home, or if you’re ready to buy in the next week –  I work with people for weeks, months, and often years.  Give me a call and put me to work!

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All Trails App Maps the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trails on Lake Martin

Around Lake Martin, if I can’t be in a boat, put me on a hiking trail.

The cooler months at Lake Martin are perfect for hiking.  We’ve got lots of elevation here, and I never miss an opportunity to remind my kids that Lake Martin is at the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountains.  These trails include great views from high points, and woodsy paths that take you right down to the water.

If you want more info on hiking the Cherokee Ridge system of trails at Lake Martin, go to CRATA.org.  This is the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association’s website, and they’re the folks who maintain these trails.  Please don’t call me – I am but a realtor who likes to hike.

I also wanted to review and plug a cool smartphone app that I downloaded from AllTrails.com.  AllTrails is a database for thousands of trails across the U.S., plus it allows you to map and save your own trails, and view and rate trails that other hikers have entered. FYI –  I hiked the Chimney Rock Loop trail and here’s what the app recorded:

Pretty cool!  I hope to enter more trails and share them with fellow Lake Martin hikers.  If you get out there, try the AllTrails app and let us know where you’ve been!  A comprehensive record of Lake Martin trail hikes would be a useful tool for hikers, plus it would be a great marketing tool for businesses looking to attract new visitors to the area.

If you see a great Lake Martin property for sale while on your hike, give me a call at (334) 221-5862 or click here to contact me and put me to work.  I’d love to be your realtor, and I’d love to help you find your Lake Martin home.

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Extreme Sea Wall Failure Part 2: Rebuilding

In the first installment of this three part series (Extreme Seawall Failure at Lake Martin), we looked at a wooden sea wall in the Jacksons Gap area that had completely failed.  Scott Henderson of Henderson & Coker Contractors in Alex City is rebuilding a new concrete seawall in its place, and he was nice enough to let me peek at the guts of this project. During the summer, when Lake Martin is at full, or nearly full pool, we only see the tops of these hugely important structures.  There’s a lot going on beneath the surface, though, and winter is the time to check it out.

A lot of folks are surprised by the cost of a new seawall, and I think this video will give you an idea of why it’s so expensive, and what’s involved: a whole lot of work, and the kind of work that is best left to the experts.  But if you do it right, like the homeowners of the wall under construction in this video, you won’t have to do it twice.

If you’re thinking about buying a waterfront home or lot on Lake Martin, it’s important to check out the condition of the existing sea wall, or get an estimate for a new sea wall.  Home inspectors do not include sea walls in the scope of their inspections, so call a professional contractor and let him check it out for you.  And, as always, you must contact Alabama Power for approval of ANY shoreline projects, including seawalls.

I’d love to help you find your Lake Martin home, so give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or click here to contact me, and let’s get to work!

Related Posts:

Extreme Sea Wall Failure on Lake Martin 2012

Lake Martin Concrete Sea Wall Construction 2011

Lake Martin Concrete Sea Wall Construction 2011 Part 2

Lake Martin Concrete Sea Wall Construction 2011 Part 3

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Extreme Sea Wall Failure on Lake Martin

This is a failed sea wall.  No doubt about it.  When the waters of Lake Martin are at full summer pool, structural problems like this may by hard to spot.  But when the lake level is lowered in the winter, mayhem is revealed.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that winter is a great time to work on these issues.  Henderson & Coker Contractors of Alex City have been hired to replace this failed wooden seawall with a concrete sea wall, and they’ve agreed to let me video the process.  I followed a project of theirs in 2011 where they built a new seawall around a large peninsula that had never had a seawall.  This time I thought it would be interesting to see how they deal with replacing an existing seawall.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of this series and I bet you’ll have a new appreciation for the importance of a seawall, and the importance of a professional sea wall installation.  So much of the value of a Lake Martin waterfront property is tied to the dirt it sits on.  It pays to get it right.

While I don’t build sea walls at Lake Martin, I do sell homes.  I’d love to be your realtor, and I’d love to discuss Lake Martin real estate with you.  Give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or CLICK HERE to contact me.

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In Search of Striped Bass on Lake Martin, Part 3

In continuing my quest to catch a Lake Martin striped bass on my fly rod – on purpose – I offer this following video.  In it, guide David Hare of Alex City Guide Service gives advice to people like me who are crazy enough to try it.

I say crazy enough to try it, not because fly fishing for stripers around here is death-defying.  I say it because after I’ve seen David catch them on live bait, I’m probably a fool to try this.

David is admittedly not a fly fisherman, but he is an expert on striped bass at Lake Martin.  That’s why I figured it would be profitable for me to ask him these questions.  Hopefully they are helpful to you, too, and if you have any tips for me on fishing for striped bass in Lake Martin, or any other fresh water lake in the South for that matter, please comment below.  I would appreciate it.

Like I’ve said before, if you have any questions, please do not call me.  You will get a lot of dumb answers.  Please contact David directly at (256) 401-3089  or via their Facebook page.

If you didn’t catch Parts 1 and 2 of David’s interview, here are their links:

In Search of Striped Bass , Part 1

In Search of Striped Bass, Part 2

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Signature Coffees, MooWalla, and Paninis at 1220 Cafe in Tallassee

1220 Cafe in Tallassee may not be a waterfront bistro, but it is located on one of the gateway corridors to Lake Martin.  Tallassee natives and veterans of the restaurant industry, Pam and Noah Griggs, opened 1220 Cafe as a “fast casual” restaurant, and since I’d heard so many good things about it, I decided to check it out myself.

I was really surprised by how big it is.  They have a lot of room both inside and outside, so even if you see a lot of cars in the parking lot, they can fit you in.  In small towns you often find local places that simply reheat frozen foods from distributors, but not here. They have put a lot of thought and effort into creating foods that are fresh and unique.  Noah’s mom has even contributed the recipes for many of the homemade desserts.

My parents travel through Tallassee all the time and my mom is an avid coffee fan.  Neither she nor my dad will pass by without stopping, and the 1220 Cafe folks make them a special frozen coffee drink that is not on the menu – that’s something that doesn’t happen at a chain eatery. And, at Lake Martin you can count the number of restaurants with cool cappuccino machines on your toes, so this is definitely a special experience for this area.

Next time you’re on the south side of the lake, or driving through Tallassee on the way to the lake, check them out.  You can also find them on Facebook.

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In Search of Striped Bass on Lake Martin, Part 2

Here we talk about bait.  In any kind of fishing that I know, the first question everyone asks is, “What are they biting?”  Whether you chase trout in Townsend or bonefish in Belize, that’s what you want to know.  It is no different here for striped bass fishing on Lake Martin.

Here David Hare of Alex City Guide Service talks about exactly what kind of bait he uses to score big stripers out of Lake Martin.  First of all,  he makes it clear that in his experience, he thinks live bait is the way to consistently catch big fish.  He doesn’t use just any live bait – he throws shad, suckers, and other bait fish out there of gargantuan size.  These things are so big that I would be proud to catch them on purpose.

Because many of these bait fish are not native to Lake Martin, David often travels up to 50 miles away to cast net for them.  Once back at Lake Martin, he has an intricate system of live wells to keep them alive, fishy, and frisky for long periods of time.  Talking about this with David has opened my eyes to a whole new world of fishing that is truly a hybrid of the spotted bass fishing I did growing up and the fishing done by our salty neighbors to the south. 

Hope you enjoy this video of the David talking about the bait he uses for striper fishing on Lake Martin.  If you have any questions, please do not call me.  You will get a lot of dumb answers.  Please contact David directly at (256) 401-3089  or via their Facebook page.

If you didn’t catch the first installment of David’s interview, here it is:  In Search of Striped Bass , Part 1

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“Hey Honey! How Are You?”

Life is good in River Oaks.  Lake Martin Voice clients, Liz and Glenn, bought a waterfront home in River Oaks about a year ago, and I went by to catch up and see the improvements they’ve made.  Liz was kind enough to share why she loves River Oaks and the north lake area in general.  She especially enjoys how kind folks around here can be . . .

If you’d like to know more about River Oaks, CLICK HERE to see my River Oaks Neighborhood page.  Here you’ll find history on the development, maps, a video tour, and most importantly, a live feed from the MLS showing homes and lots currently for sale.  I have Neighborhood pages for most of the neighborhoods and areas of Lake Martin, and they are great research tools.  Look for the blue Neighborhoods button near the top of my website, right under the big picture.

If you have questions about River Oaks, or any area on Lake Martin, give me a call at (334) 221-5862, or click here to contact me.  I’d love to talk Lake Martin with you, and I’d love to help you find your lake home!

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