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Beyond Labor Day

Fall is the best season at Lake Martin

Published: 08.31.2023

For many people, the Labor Day weekend is a season-ending blast on most Southern lakes. While that may be true on other lakes, we think that Labor Day marks the beginning of the best season on Lake Martin—autumn!

While autumn is not always hot enough to show off your new swimwear on a daily basis, the weather is still warm enough to spend quality time on the water. In fact, air temperatures drop enough in September and October that you can actually enjoy being outside. (You will forget all about those three weeks this August with triple-digit heat indices!)

While the air temperature may be dropping, the water temperature is maintaining that summertime warmth. It is like the best of both worlds—comfortable air and invigorating water temperatures! It’s just the opposite of spring, where the air temperature is beginning to warm and the water still has quite a chill.

Driest time of year

While the temperature is slightly cooler, the air is usually dryer, too. The driest season of the year on average is mid-September through mid-November. There is less rain and lower humidity during this period, which allow for more outdoor activities, sometimes with a light sweater or coat.

Property owners on the lake spend more time enjoying those outdoor living features they have on their lake properties. They’ll even get to build a fire in that outdoor fireplace or firepit. And, there is nothing like watching the “big game” on your big-screen TV on your screened porch



Prettiest time of year

Lake Martin is one of the least developed lakes in the South, and it is wrapped with mature forest. That means the shoreline is the most colorful and dramatic you are likely to see in the South. Picture this scene on a still day: a colorful tree line above the lake reflected on the crystal-clear water. It just does not get any better than this!

Lake level transition

Prior to the new operating guidelines for Lake Martin water levels, Labor Day was the last weekend that the lake stayed at full, summer-pool levels. Alabama Power Company (APCO) now has new operating guidelines for the lake that include a provisional extended season for lake levels. This new enhancement is what APCO calls the “fall extension.”

This new rule states that, if several criteria are met, the drawdown of the lake for the winter season is delayed until mid-October. The criteria are fairly technical; but generally speaking, if the summer has higher-than-normal rainfall—especially in August—there is a good chance that the fall extension criteria would be met, and lake levels would be much higher in the fall.

The last two years, we enjoyed a fall extension, and we have noticed that more and more people are at the lake during the fall months. This might be the most popular rule change since the SEC decided to hold a championship game for football!

At the time of this writing, APCO has not announced whether or not there will be a fall extension. The most recent comment from them was that it “was possible” but criteria would be checked and a decision made on September 1, 2023. We think it is likely that we will have our third year in a row with 45 extra days of “summer water.”

Lots to do here

We don’t close down our businesses in the fall. Marinas still fuel and launch boats, our restaurants are still open, golf courses beckon, hiking trails give access to forest, there is still music on The Town Green, and many more special events occur.

Oh, and there is football on Saturdays just 50 minutes to the east. Doesn’t that team from Tuscaloosa and the one from Athens come here this year?

See you at the lake!

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