Spotlight on Autauga & Elmore: Culture & Recreation

From agricultural arenas and artesian wells in Prattville to the impact crater in Wetumpka, this area has something for everyone to enjoy.

Wetumpka Impact Crater. Photo courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department



Prattville, once called “The Fountain City” because of its many artesian wells, still offers public wells at Heritage Park, the Prattaugan Museum and at the tin-roofed wellhouse on Doster Road. And the R.H. Kirkpatrick Agricultural Arena in Autaugaville hosts rodeos, calf roping, dog agility trials and even moto-cross racing.


Canoe, kayak or tube down Autauga Creek on a 13-mile trail through Prattville and Autauga County.


Get a glimpse of the past in the Daniel Pratt Historic District, one of the first master-planned communities, designed by its namesake in the 1830s. Make sure to see the Daniel Pratt Gin Co., among the largest gins in the world when it was built in 1833. Visit Old Prattvillage & Prattvillage Garden to see beautifully restored homes and historic businesses. Or check out the local history and genealogy resources at Prattaugan Museum. The 1830-era home Buena Vista was the first Autauga County entry on the National Register of Historic Places. Dating from 1849 to 1886, the Pratt Cemetery is the resting place of Daniel Pratt, artist John Gulick and others.


View a gallery or take a class at the Prattville Cultural Arts Center, nestled along Autauga Creek. Or catch a show at the Prattville Way Off Broadway Theatre.


Some 230 nesting boxes along the Autauga Bluebird Trail attract blue birds and others.

- Sponsor -


Parks abound in Autauga County. Pratt Park, in old Prattville, features a pond, walking trail, amphitheater and splash pad next to “A Child’s Place” playground. Cooters Pond Park, on the banks of the Alabama River, offers boat ramps and docks, a riverside walk, dog park, nut grove and playfields. Wilderness Park includes a stroll through a giant bamboo forest. Heritage Park, in historic downtown Prattville, offers views of the Autauga Creek dam, millpond and the Daniel Pratt industrial buildings.


Prattville Pickers offers vintage items and local makers’ goods in an old sewing factory while Memories Flea Antique Mall and J&G’s Flea and Antique also feature unexpected finds.


The crown jewel of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Capitol Hill features three 18-hole courses on 1,500 acres.



Visit the sites that HGTV’s “Home Town Takeover” refurbished during its six-episode visit to Wetumpka. The five-mile-wide Wetumpka Impact Crater is considered among the best-preserved marine craters in the world. It’s mostly on private land, but you can see it from U.S. 231. And Jackson Lake Island boasts hiking trails, resident goats and the set of the movie “Big Fish.”


Wetumpka is home to 10 or more galleries and hosts an Art Walk on the first Friday of each month and an Art Expo in Gold Star Park. The Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery honors the Elmore County artists and showcases work of other local artists. A historic train depot has been transformed into the Wetumpka Depot Theater, offering Broadway favorites, moving dramas and even original plays.


The Alabama Nature Center offers a hands-on discovery hall, class space, wildlife displays and a theater showcasing central Alabama nature. Watersports and fishing are popular here along the

Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, where they merge to form the Alabama, and also on Lake Martin and Lake Jordan.


A kayak competition, boating events and live entertainment are highlights at the Coosa River Whitewater Festival sponsored by the Coosa River Paddling Club. And don’t miss the Millbrook Revelers Mardi Gras Festival and Parade, billed as the largest Mardi Gras celebration north of Mobile.

Fort Toulouse National Historic Park. Photo courtesy of Alabama Tourism Department/Chris Granger.


Historic Fort Toulouse and Fort Jackson National Historic Park trace regional history with exhibits and living history events. Once the community’s post office, the Elmore County Museum showcases the area’s cultural heritage. The Elmore County Black History Museum has given new life to the building that once housed the only area high school for African Americans, creating a museum of tribute to the Elmore County Black community’s families, schools, churches and quilts.


Follow the Wetumpka Riverwalk along the Coosa River; hike or bike on the Swayback Bridge Trail; take to the water on the Alabama Scenic River Trail along the Coosa and Alabama rivers and connecting Northwest Georgia with Mobile and the Gulf. Or test your angling skills on the Alabama Bass Trail, running from Lake Jordan to the Mobile Delta. The Piedmont Birding Trail includes two viewing locations at Gold Star Park and Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson, with a variety of habitats and elevated sections.


Towering over the Coosa River, the Wind Creek Casino features more than 2,000 games with hotel and restaurants on site.


Gold Star Park, on the banks of the Coosa River, offers trails for walking and birding, play areas and a boat landing, while Village Green Park, in downtown Millbrook, provides space for recreation, events or walking. Or check out the baseball, softball, archery, football, track and playground spaces at the Wetumpka Sports Complex.


The latest Alabama business news delivered to your inbox