The Lakeside Life Blog
Lewis Smith Lake Alabama | Smith Lake Alabama
12/1/2022 0 Comments
Things to Do at Smith Lake
Access: First of all you have to get here. Traveling to the lake is quick and easy:
Cullman - access the Cullman County side of the lake primarily off I-65 from Exits 299 (to Hwy 69), 304 (to Hwy 437, Hwy 438 & Hwy 222) & 309 (to Hwy 278)
Walker - enter the Walker side from I-22 into Jasper and through Curry AL
Winston - the Winston side can be accessed through Cullman and Walker, both head into Arley, AL (The Heart of Smith Lake), or through Hwy 278 on the far northwest side from the Double Springs, AL area.
For reference, distances are:
from the popular 299 Exit from I65 are: about 40 minutes to Birmingham AL (40 miles), about 1 hour to Huntsville AL (60 miles), and about 2 hours & 20 mins to Nashville, TN (150 miles).
Once you have an address of where you want to go, everything is accessible via GPS, but keep in mind that most of the lake is still very rural, so traveling around can be tricky. There are still some dirt/gravel roads in the area, as well as some hard pack roads. If you're veering off main highways and don't have a 4-wheel-drive, just be mindful of road conditions in inclement weather.
Activities: there are so many activities to enjoy on Smith Lake. We'll list a few of our favorites below.
Also, check out the bottom of our blog on Lewis Smith Dam and Powerhouse for information about visiting the Alabama Power Company Lewis Smith Dam and Powerhouse.
If you would like more information about our area, we encourage you to check with the local Chamber of Commerce for each city/county and/or the tourism boards in those areas. In true southern style and hospitality, they will all graciously provide even more detailed and factual information about their specific areas.
We have gathered these facts from numerous sources for the benefit of our community, so please feel free to offer any edits. Call/text us at 256-708-7679 or email us at email@example.com
6/27/2022 0 Comments
4th of July Events on Smith Lake
NOTE: THIS BLOG WILL BE UPDATED ANNUALLY - SO AS SOON AS DATES BEGIN TO FIRM UP FOR 2023, CHECK BACK IN!
Every Independence Day on Smith Lake is a great holiday, rain or shine; but after tough years through the pandemic, this year’s holiday is bound to be a good escape for everyone as things have been finally getting back to some sense of normal for travelers.
Get ready to have some fun this year on Smith Lake for the 4th of July. Most folks are planning a long weekend due to the holiday falling on Monday, so there will be an influx of friends and family to entertain all weekend, and there is plenty to do all around our large lake. We're all praying for summer storms to hold back for the weekend's events.
Check out our LOCAL INFO listings for everything from restaurants to shopping and much more. Our Cullman, Walker & Winston County areas welcome you with open arms, and would love to have you spend some time shopping locally for your weekend of entertaining. Also, visit our Smith Lake #spotsonsmith checklist to make sure you see some of our favorite spots on the lake while out boating.
There are several big fireworks shows that have been reported so far, see the list below.
(You can find other events on our CALENDAR page - so please let us know of any other events need to be added and we'll have them added as soon as possible.)
"@" tag us on social media OR send in photos of the events you attend to our email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you want us to post the photos on social media or if you’d like to be on the blog or magazine.
(Please let us know of any other events that need to be added to the list for the weekend).
Did you know March is National Craft Month? We have many talented crafters right here in the Smith Lake area, not to mention all over the State of Alabama. Spring craft shows will be in full swing soon. We hope you find time to get out and enjoy a few festivals this season. You will LOVE what they have to offer, unique custom products made lovingly by hand, and with a talented artistic eye for detail. Hard to come by in an age of mass production.
In fact, one particular local festival will have MANY regional crafters in attendance very soon - The 34th Annual Bloomin' Festival on the grounds of gorgeous St. Bernard Preparatory School in Cullman, AL. Mark the dates, April 21-22, 2018, and plan to attend. It's a must-do in our area. You can get more information about the festival on their Facebook page: @bloominfestival
We also want to take a moment to shout out at least a FEW of our Smith Lake area crafters as well. There are many - but these are a few in particular that we have noticed on social media just recently. We have found they are extremely talented in their niche, and fortunately for us, they are accessible and convenient - right here in the area - lakeside!
Meet John & Jill Strickland - Cullman area residents - Jill is a wife & mother, a crafter and so much more. Not only can Jill sew all kinds of beautiful custom items, but she and her husband John also build small wooden furniture such as adirondack chairs, benches, picnic tables, swings and bedswings. John enjoys the wood work, and he puts a lot of hours and love into each piece he creates. They have a special personal reason behind much of their work, it is a loving grief therapy for this incredible family. Look for an upcoming article in The Lakeside Life magazine about the Stricklands, their little growing company, and their family journey. Proceeds from their work benefit the WSCC Future Foundation Scholarship Fund in the name of John Connor Strickland. Contact them now, and they can help create you a one-of-a-kind piece that you'll treasure for many years to come. You can find them on Instagram: @johnwjill - please look them up very soon!
Meet Sandra Heaven "Heaven & Earth Pottery" & Diane Sharron "Creations in Clay" #brushycreekpotter - These two lovely ladies are residents of the Arley community, and they are volunteer pottery teachers at Meek High School & Middle School. Sandra has been an art instructor most of her life, having taught art classes at Wallace State for over 25 years. A few years ago, not long after moving to Smith Lake from Mississippi, Diane signed up for a class as a student with Sandra, and became a quick study. The two ladies formed a bond and a pottery partnership.
They enjoy different styles, Sandra primarily enjoys turning clay pieces on the pottery wheel, and Diane enjoys free form clay design. All of their pieces are so unique and detailed. The glazes are painstakingly hand mixed - there's an art just in the chemistry of these mixes. They can obtain glazes from traditional colors & types to deep, rich, rustic tones and styles of "dipping" - the possibilities are endless with these artists. It seems there is nothing they can’t do with the glazes that help take the pieces to that next level of beauty. All pieces are lovingly designed with the artists' fine eye for detail - incredibly beautiful! In addition to the classes they offer for the Arley school system, they also offer private group lessons as well.
Obviously you can request custom pieces, but even better - sign up for a class very soon - no better therapy in the world than "arting" - AND you get to take your very own handiwork home. Their shop is located on the school grounds, and they offer very reasonable rates, with class times that are sure to match your schedule. Contact them any time - Sandra Heaven @ 205-384-4332 www.heavenandearthpottery.com and Diane Sharron @ 601-260-9697 or on Instagram: @dianesharron - be sure to watch for a future article in the magazine on this local studio, you'll be amazed other awesome things these ladies do for our community!
Christine Williamson - a spicy Cajun transplant in our midst - originally from New Orleans, but now, luckily for all of us, she made her way to this area and is now a part of our Smith Lake family. She still has family in New Orleans, and it will always be “home" as well, but home is where the heart is, and she's definitely got a soft spot now for the lake community. Christine is an incredible seamstress, we think that she could execute nearly any item you can imagine involving sewing. She is currently completing her new sewing studio as we write this. She'll finally have a designated space all her own so her creativity has room to breathe. We can't wait for our studio visit soon, she's very close to moving in all her supplies right now, and getting everything nicely organized.
As she awaits the completion of the new studio, she is excited to plan new projects for the future, and has already taken on some custom quilt designs. She obviously makes quilts for sale, and builds commissioned quilts, but also sews custom items like tote bags, coasters, ornaments and stockings. Custom orders are always welcome! Her artistic goal is to combine function and beauty, she is always looking for vintage and unique fabrics, and will advise you what can be done with your own materials upon consultation. Make plans to go visit Christine as soon as you can. Find her on Instagram and Facebook: @upclearcreek - or try email email@example.com
McFee's Wodshop is the creation of Bryan and Carol McFee in Crane Hill, AL. They are both wood turners. Carol is a "spindle" turner. She makes bud vases, handles for bottle openers, ice cream scoops, pizza cutters, back scratchers, and similar items. The vases are all sizes, and we recently did a giveaway for a matched pair that were hard to let go. They were small, dainty and so beautifully detailed. We fell in love. Bryan primarily turns bowls. GORGEOUS bowls with veins of surprising colors in the wood grain, each one unique and precariously turned and polished to perfection. He also makes coffee tables and end tables. He takes special orders if it is something that he feels he can "do justice to."
They use only local hardwoods that they harvest themselves. Most of the trees that they use are dead, dying, or already on the ground. Occasionally they will remove a tree when asked to. As the trees die, decay sets in. In wood turner parlance this is called spalting. It creates the beautiful colors and lines that are so prominent in their work. Bryan jokes "We throw the wood out in the front yard until it starts to grow mushrooms, then we know that the wood is ready!" This does sometimes create problems if the decay goes too far. Then it gets "punky". This means that it is too rotten to work with. It is always a fine line between "just right" and "too far gone."
They love for people to drop by and visit them in their shop. In true southern fashion, they have a lot of extra chairs for company. They are a beautiful couple, you will love every second of time you get with them. Check them out on Facebook today: @McFees Woodshop and you may contact Bryan by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 205-541-0658.
Again, please look up ALL of these fine artisans on social media, and make sure you tell them you were sent by The Lakeside Life Team. We love our local crafters and artists - all of them - far and wide throughout Alabama! If you know of someone we haven't met yet, please send them our way by emailing us at email@example.com or send us a PM/DM on Facebook or Instagram: @thelakesidelife .
Also, be on the watch for more information on these fine Smith Lake people in future content from The Lakeside Life Team. It's fun for us to learn more about the talented folks in our midst - but take it a step further - reach out to them for some custom unique pieces that will become treasured family heirlooms in years to come.
See ya lakeside!
The Lakeside Life Team
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