A short drive from the University of Alabama, Lake Harris is a beautiful location to hike and explore. Hosting high cliffs, two dams, hiking trails, a beach, and lots of water to swim, you'll never get bored of this Tuscaloosa hotspot!

Lake Harris opens one hour prior to sunrise and closes one hour after sunset. No camping is allowed nor are motor vehicles allowed on this serene lake. From Lake Nicol Road, turn onto the dirt trail, Lake Harris Road. Follow Lake Harris Road for approximately three miles until you encounter the lake entrance. You can park in the first parking lot on the left located by the cliffs or continue down the road to the second parking lot near the beach. 

The lake features a 1.76 mile out-and-back hiking trail that leads you over cliffs perched above the lake and across two dams. From the first parking lot overlooking the cliffs, follow the trail on your left. Be sure to stop and take in the view at the numerous rock overlooks. In .2 mile, you will cross the first dam. Once you cross the dam, follow the trail left passing the second dam. You will be able to cross the stream below the second dam and hike back up to the opposite side of this dam. 

From the lower parking lot, you can also hike across the narrow land bridge onto a peninsula covered with trees. A trail circles the peninsula while trees provide shade and numerous places to set up a hammock.

Lake Harris is a tranquil area to relax. Whether you want to watch the sunset over the lake, go for a short hike, or jump in the water, Lake Harris has something for everyone! 

Pack List

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Water
  • Camera (optional)
  • Portable Hammock (optional)
  • Swim Wear and Towel (optional)
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RT Distance 1.76 Miles
Elevation Gain 169 Feet
Activities Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area


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