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Fun is the name of the game at central Alabama's Lake Jordan. Offering 6,800 acres of water and 188 miles of shoreline, Lake Jordan has become home to numerous fishing tournaments, aquatic events and family outings, making it one of Alabama's favorite lakes. Visitors will find that the Appalachian's southernmost hills create a country setting while Alabama's Metropolitan Tourism Region provides nearby urban attractions. Found only 25 miles north of Montgomery and 65 miles south of Birmingham, Lake Jordan is a welcome retreat for city dwellers interested in a weekend getaway or country residence.
Lake Jordan, also called Jordan Lake, is one of seven reservoirs on the Coosa River, which is impounded by the Alabama Power Company. Most of the lakes and dams constructed by Alabama Power are named after their employees or associates; Jordan Lake is named for the mother of two Mitchell sons associated with the development of Mitchell Lake and Dam. In 1928 Alabama Power completed the construction of Jordan Dam with the intent of harnessing Jordan Reservoir's hydropower. Bouldin Dam was added in 1967 and was connected to Lake Jordan and the Coosa River by two canals. After the connection, Alabama Power began providing more than hydropower -- Lake Jordan now provides flood control, irrigation and drinking water, recreation, and fish and wildlife habitat in Elmore County.
Well over 20 public and private recreational developments can be found along the Jordan-Bouldin shores. Campgrounds and swimming areas are found around Bouldin Lake area with numerous picnic areas and playgrounds open along both shores. Alabama Power maintains the Jordan Dam Overlook where visitors can observe the great expanse of Lake Jordan stretching 18 miles toward the horizon. A challenging hike and bike trail climbs through the rolling hills along Swayback Bridge Trail. Here, wildlife enthusiasts often spot deer, turkey and other small woodland creatures roaming the shores of Lake Jordan. Hunting is prohibited around the Jordan-Bouldin developments.
Two of the public boat ramps are Bonner's Point, located on the western shore, and Rotary Landing on the eastern shore. Both provide docks are handicap accessible and include trailer parking. Multiple marinas found around Jordan Lake provide private launches, docks and services that cater to an angler's needs.
Fishing piers are maintained by Alabama Power, but boat fishing is the number one attraction on Lake Jordan. According to Alabama's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Jordan Reservoir has some of the state's best fishing, ranking sixth out of 20 reservoirs with five or more tournaments. Additionally, Jordan Lake boasts superb bass catches, ranking second for average pounds caught daily and fourth for average fish weight. In fact, bass dominate much of the fishery with the Coosa River spotted bass and largemouth bass often exceeding 18 inches in length. With depths running from an average 39 feet to a maximum of 115 feet, this haven for fishing enthusiasts also holds bluegill, redear sunfish, black crappie, white crappie, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, threadfin shad and gizzard shad. Please see the link to fish consumption advisories (below).
A blissful lakeside lifestyle is available around every cove and inlet on Lake Jordan, but the lake is also home to regularly-scheduled athletic events. Powerful rapids named the "Devil's Staircase" now lie under Jordan Lake Dam, but whitewater still runs through the Coosa River. Immediately downstream from Jordan Dam, the Whitewater Challenge draws hundreds of kayakers and thousands of visitors each year. The Coosa River Challenge combines mountain biking, trail running and river paddling along its course. Equally challenging is the new Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge, where swimmers test their endurance on a one-mile swim. For those who prefer a land-based challenge, "Attack on Swayback" is an annual mountain bike race that climbs and winds its way over 12 miles of Lake Jordan's Swayback Bridge Trail.
Developed as a hydropower project, Jordan Reservoir now combines healthful activity with natural beauty and a gentle lakefront lifestyle. The well-developed shore of Lake Jordan is lined with lush landscaped lawns leading to well-tended vacation rentals and real estate properties. Lake Jordan Home Owners & Boat Owners Association (Lake Jordan HOBO) has been working since 1992 to promote, protect and preserve this lakeside lifestyle and it shows. Whether you come to float the cool water on a hot Alabama day or test your bass-fishing skills, Lake Jordan provides the perfect place to start and end your day.
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