Wetumpka is a city in and the county seat of Elmore County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,528. In the early 21st century, Elmore County, long a rural area, became one of the fastest-growing counties in the state. The city is considered part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Area.
Wetumpka identifies as "The City of Natural Beauty". Among the notable landmarks are the Wetumpka crater and the Jasmine Hill Gardens & Outdoor Museum, with a full-sized replica of the Temple of Hera of Olympia, Greece. Historic downtown Wetumpka was developed on both sides of the Coosa River, and Fort Toulouse-Jackson Park was built near it.
|Nickname(s): City of natural beauty|
Location in Elmore County and the state of Alabama
|Coordinates: 32°32′27″N 86°12′28″W|
The area around Wetumpka was the heart of the Upper Creek lands, whose largest towns were located on the banks of the Coosa and at its confluence with the Tallapoosa River, at Wetumpka and Talisi (now Tallassee), respectively.
Culture, natural history, and recreation
Three major films have been filmed on location in downtown Wetumpka.
Wetumpka is the home of "Alabama's greatest natural disaster." A meteorite, estimated to be 1,000 feet (300 m) wide, hit the area about 80 million years ago. The hills just east of downtown showcase the eroded remains of a 5-mile (8.0 km) wide impact crater that was blasted into the bedrock, with the area labeled the Wetumpka crater or astrobleme ("star-wound") for the concentric rings of fractures and zones of shattered rock can be found beneath the surface. In 2002, Auburn University researchers published evidence and established the site as an internationally recognized impact crater.
This outdoor museum was built in the 1930s on the estate of the Fitzpatrick family, who spent many years in Greece collecting replicas of ancient statuary to adorn their formal gardens at Jasmine Hill. Today the gardens are run as a non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting the arts and Greek culture. Frequently the site of local weddings, its attractions include a full-sized replica of the Temple of Hera at Olympia. Jasmine Hill Photo Gallery.
Wetumpka and the Coosa River annually play host to the Coosa River Challenge, which began in 2003 and regularly draws 150 to 200 participants. The race, a modified triathlon, starts at the Swayback Bridge Trail with a cross country run, a mountain bike leg, and paddling on the Coosa River to finish at Goldstar park in downtown Wetumpka.
The Swayback Bridge Trail is home to the annual mountain bike race, "Attack on Swayback".
Wetumpka is popular with white water sports enthusiasts, attracting paddlers from all over the country. The city hosts the annual Coosa River Whitewater Festival, and was the site of the 2005 U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Nationals. The Coosa River Paddling Club has constructed Corn Creek Park, which offers public access to the river, along with nature and walking trails.
Poarch Creek Casino
The Poarch Creek Indians, the only federally recognized tribe in Alabama, have built a casino on land abutting the city. The tribe have announced plans for a major expansion of the casino to include a $246 million hotel, a second casino, and many other attractions in the complex as well. The new casino complex will employ over 1,000 people and have a 20-story, 285-room hotel named Wind Creek Wetumpka.