The Best places for a Hike In and Around Birmingham, Alabama
There's nothing better than hitting a trail and taking a hike. From observing Mother Nature in all of her splendor to just breathing in the fresh air and soaking up the sunshine – and perhaps even having a run-in with some friendly animals; hiking is a wonderful way to pause the craziness of your day-to-day life and get some much-needed exercise.
If you live near Birmingham and you're looking for some new spots to explore, lace up your hiking boots, grab your backpack, and check out these incredible hiking trails that can be found in and around the city.
Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve
Located in the beautiful South-East Lake neighborhood, an area that’s bursting with history, the Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve begs to be explored. Offering more than 1,000 acres of undisturbed land, you'll feel like you've left the city. The trails are comfortable and allow for a stroll and offer incredible views of the flora surrounding the area. Head out to take a hike in the fall, when the trails are bursting with color, or during the spring, when everything comes back to life. Some hikers chose to visit during the winter months when you'll be able to enjoy some solitude on the trails.
Red Mountain Park
The name "Red Mountain Park" of this beautiful hiking location is derived from the iron ore that fueled Birmingham's economy during the early part of the 1900s. In 2007, Red Mountain was turned into a park, and it houses the remnants and artifacts of the mines that used to be active here. The trails here range from flat and semi-steep elevations that will be sure to get your heart pumping. While you're here, don't forget to head to the scenic overlook of Grace Gap, to take in incredible views of the area below, or check out one of the many entrances to the mines.
Moss Rock Preserve
Located in the heart of the Hoover, Moss Rock Preserve is a beloved location for those who enjoy rock climbing. That's because it's loaded with towering boulders, which you are welcome to scale. There's more than just rock climbing, though; there are also 12 miles of hiking trails to explore. The trails provide welcomed shade, as well as breathtaking waterfalls, where you can take a dip to cool off.
Rotary Trail is truly unique, in that it isn’t your typical hiking trail. It’s situated along a stretch of old railroad tracks that span a half-mile long and connect the Railroad Park to the Sloss Furnaces. At the trailhead, you'll find a picture-worthy sign designed to mimic the sign that welcomed visitors to the Birmingham train station between 1926 and 1952.
Last but not least is the beautiful Railroad Park, which locals have dubbed "Birmingham's Front Lawn." This 19 acre stretch of green open space lies between North and South Birmingham and serves as a spot for locals to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy some downtime without having to go very far. You can take in panoramic views of the city while strolling, speed walking, or running along the ¾ mile track that runs along the outer edges of the park.
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