I’ve been in Alexander City for more than two years and spent two great summers here, but there’s still so much I haven’t done. The life of a sports editor is a busy one; I’m constantly running from one event to another, trying to cover all our area sports as best as possible and attempting to find the most interesting stories out there.

The one less frantic time of the year is the summer. Of course there’s always stuff going on on the local sports calendar. Football teams are going through summer workouts, volleyball and basketball teams have their summer playdates and we can’t forget about youth baseball and softball all-star season, which is right around the corner.

But compared to having a handful of basketball games every night or running from softball to baseball to soccer all in a matter of hours, the summer is a little bit more relaxed. So this summer I want to take it upon myself to do some of the things on Lake Martin and around the area I haven’t gotten a chance to yet. Think of it as a summer bucket list.

One of the big things that brought me to Alex City was its hiking. During my three-day interview here, I did a couple trails at Wind Creek and also hiked to the top of Smith Mountain Fire Tower. I’ve kept up with my hiking, doing a lot of the trails around the fire tower multiple times, but there’s one I’ve held off on that’s on my summer to-do list: The Deadening Trail. I’ve heard it’s one of the tougher in the area, and it’s nearly 4 miles from point to point, but the views, I’ve been told, are amazing and it’s worth the trek.

The views from the Deadening Trail include Chimney Rock, which brings me to my next item on my to-do list. Lake Martin is still so unknown to me. I always attend a lot of events, so I’ve been to a lot of places on the lake — Russell Crossroads, Chuck’s Marina, The Ridge, of course Kowaliga — but actually being on Lake Martin is still relatively foreign.

When I went on an assignment last year with Kenneth Boone, he was kind enough to take me on a whirlwind tour of the lake, showing me Jim Scott’s garden, Chimney Rock and Goat Island. But I still haven’t spent a lot of time at any of those places. So one thing I’d like to do this summer is get out on a boat and just explore — see what there is to see. There’s still some places too I’d like to venture to this summer in and around Lake Martin, including the Landing, Niffer’s and Waverly Local.

Wind Creek State Park also has so many new things to offer, and I want to make it a point to spend more time there this summer. I’d like to rent a kayak and just get out on the water or maybe even go camping for the weekend. The hiking is great there as well, plus I still haven’t been on the zipline and the little girl in me can’t wait for the mini golf course to open next week.

I’ve always been into history as well and for some reason, I’ve never made my way out to Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, so that’s definitely on the list.

Plus, you can’t forget about the endless event staples the area has to offer. Right around the corner is Art on the Lake and the RXR Fest and before we know it, Sun Festival and Jazz Fest will be here. Every year, I get such a kick out of the medallion scavenger hunt for Sun Festival, and although I’m not allowed to win because The Outlook gets the clues early so they can be published in the paper, one day I’m going hunting.

We live in a beautiful area full of culture, history and places to see. I could definitely add more to this list, such as visiting Martin Dam and taking the Intro to Sailing course at Dixie Sailing Club and checking out the Lake Martin Rodeo in July and seeing this summer’s play put on by ACTII. But this list could be never ending if I allowed it to be.

Be sure to check out some of the amazing things this area has to offer this summer; take advantage of the slower pace and the warmer temperatures. Get out there and see Tallapoosa County and Lake Martin; I bet you’ll be surprised there’s something for everyone.

And if there’s something I’m missing on this list — some must-see or must-do I haven’t mentioned or perhaps don’t know about — please reach out and let me know. I’m always looking for new adventures in this place we call home.

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.