Harris-Nicol Water Recreation and Trails

Updated Oct 20 2020

Latest News

Project status: the master plan work has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will resume when safe to do so


Elevate Tuscaloosa seeks to improve access to Harris Lake and Lake Nicol and expand the recreational opportunities at each lake to attract locals and visitors to explore over 1,800 scenic acres of preserved park land around the lakes. The process begins with developing a master plan that will envision the future of the lakes. The master plan will provide design standards for any improvements made to the lakes, options for improvements that could be made, and a proposal for phasing in the improvements over time.

Harris Lake was built in 1929 to provide a new drinking water source to residents, who were drinking water from the Black Warrior River previously. The lake is comprised of 220 acres and about 1 billion gallons of water. Harris Lake was created by damming Little Yellow Creek and used two true arch dams, the first of their kind built in the state of Alabama. 

Lake Nicol was built in 1936 as an additional source of water supply. The lake is comprised of 384 acres and holds about 3.3 billion gallons of water. Both lakes are owned by the City of Tuscaloosa. While both serve as backup sources of water supply to Lake Tuscaloosa, the two lakes serve primarily recreational purposes now. Both are located within a thirty minutes’ drive of Tuscaloosa City Hall.

Goals and Impact
  • Expand recreational opportunities for Tuscaloosa families

  • Highlight the natural beauty the Tuscaloosa area has to offer

  • Attract visitors to Tuscaloosa


Hover to see details


Cost Summary






Pending Planning/Design

hide cost details

Financial Information
Cost Details
Overall Funding

Funding Summary

Elevate Tuscaloosa Fund:


Other City Funds:


External Funding:


hide funding details

Funding Details

We would love your input!


Fill out the form below to contact Elevate staff.

© 2019 by City of Tuscaloosa.