One and Only: Lake Tuscaloosa

Whether you’re looking to get outside for an adventure, for a relaxing time on the water, or you simply want to stay cool amidst the rising Alabama heat index and stifling humidity this summer, Tuscaloosa is home to many large bodies of water. Lake Tuscaloosa is the largest and is often taken advantage of in the summer for recreational activities such as swimming, boating and fishing. With newly available watercraft rentals, Lake Tuscaloosa is now more accessible to the public than ever before.

The construction of Lake Tuscaloosa was finished in 1970, the lake built as a reservoir for the rising population of Tuscaloosa. According to the City of Tuscaloosa’s website, the 5,885-acre reservoir holds approximately 40 billion gallons of water and can provide close to 200 million gallons of safely withdrawn water a day. The lake is Tuscaloosa’s primary source of raw water for human consumption.

Home to many residents of the city, Lake Tuscaloosa boasts magnificent houses on large plots of privately owned land. Despite the privacy of much of the land surrounding the lake, the city has several public boat ramps and put-ins, such as Binion Creek Landing Park in Northport and Sharpes Landing, located north of the city. There is also a public boat landing off of New Watermelon Road called Rock Quarry Park Boat Landing. Pontoon boat rentals are available seven days a week at Smith’s Marina, and the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority now rents canoes, kayaks and paddleboards for visitor fun.

Fishing is allowed on the lake, and although the fish forage is limited, fisherman can catch a variety of bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and more. In addition, Lake Tuscaloosa is visually pleasing, the flat of the water contrast to the jagged cliffs and towering greenery surrounding it.

Take the time this summer to enjoy all the lake has to offer. Make sure to visit the one and only Lake Tuscaloosa.

For more information on the lake’s history, visit the City of Tuscaloosa’s website. For more information on watercraft rentals, visit