Claiborne Lake is the most primitive of the Alabama River Lakes. Nestled in Alabama’s southwest hill country, the lake encompasses over 60 miles of the Alabama River, stretching from the Claiborne Lock and Dam to Millers Ferry Lock and Dam.
Claiborne Lock and Dam was completed in 1971 but was opened for navigation in November, 1969. It has no power installation.
Although the lake remains mostly within the original river banks, Claiborne provides extensive opportunities for water-related recreation, such as boating, fishing, swimming and skiing. There are also plenty of good sites for picnicking, camping and hiking. One of the most beautiful views of the lake can be seen at Silver Creek Park; a rugged foot trail at Gullet’s Bluff Provides access to a splendid waterfall.
Much of the lake’s surrounding park land is being allowed to revert to its natural state, providing habitation for the abundant wildlife, including the rare Red Hill Salamander, a threatened species that lives only in this section of the state.
While most of Claiborne Lake is rustic, the project does offer 11 developed areas featuring beaches, campgrounds, picnic areas, trails and boat launching ramps. Annual attendance figures for the area are well over of a million people.
- Authorized: Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945
- Purpose: Navigation, recreation
- Year Completed: 1976 (opened to navigation in 1969)
- Cost: $28 million
- Area of Reservoir: 5,850 acres
- Hydro Generating Capacity: None