Featured Facility - Lake Martin Recreation Area, AL

Lake Martin Recreation AreaMaxwell AFB, Dadeville, AL

We stopped here for the night in December, 2009. Although we didn't have any problems finding this recreation area, we've updated the directions provided here to make them a little clearer to follow. However, when we arrived, we couldn't find the campground office. The office isn't located near the entrance. Either we missed the signs pointing to the office, or there are none. After driving through the area, we finally found the office down at the lakeside and marina.

The office staff was friendly and found us a short-term site. They save about 9 sites (out of 76) for short-term guests. The remaining 67 sites don't have a stay limit. Driving through the recreation area is a small challengge in a large rig. I would suggest not coming here with a large rig. We drive a 36' motorhome and tow a Jeep. We couldn't drive down over 50% of the roads in the campgrounds. The entire area is heavy trees, narow dirt roads, and tight turns. Luckily, we did find our RV site.

While driving through the recreation area, we noticed the place was almost 100% occupied, except for the few short-term RV sites. However, there was nobody here. It seemed most people rent the sites long-term and leave their RV. Many RV's had permanent buildings and patios built and attached to their RV. There's many personal boat docks built on the lake. Next to our RV site was a small dock with a sign on it reading "Private dock - DO NOT ENTER". This shocked me! Isn't this a USAF Recreation Facility? Why are people allowed to build PRIVATE docks and buildings? In my opinion, this is no longer a recreation area available to all qualified military personnel. It's become a private retreat for 67 families, leaving their RV's there permanently.

Typical Long-term RV Site Lake Martin
Lake Martin Private Dock

The recreation area offers boat rentals during the summer and there are a few picnic areas spread out. There is a combination of paved and dirt roads. The RV sites are gravel/dirt with a picnic table abd BBQ. They were in the process of upgrading all RV sites to 50amp electric. Wireless Internet and some snacks are available at the Marina office.

To me, their policy of allowing people to rent the sites for an unlimited length of stay, allowing renters to build private structures, and allowing them to leave their RV's on site unattended for months at a time is completely unacceptable to me. I wrote a letter to the Maxwell AFB Base Commander, but never received a reply. The office staff was slightly understanding, but said they would rather have a guaranteed and repeat income from the "homesteaders".

For day use or renting a cabin, the Lake Martin Recreation Area would be a good place to relax. Otherwise, this is one military recreation area that I have no desire to return to with an RV.