Since the pandemic hit, keeping fit both mentally and physically has become more important than ever. However, finding new places to get out of the city and clear your mind can sometimes be a struggle. That’s why we’ve put together just a few of our favorite trails in the greater Birmingham area.
Homewood Forest Preserve
Just a 10 to 15 minute drive from downtown Birmingham, concealed within the busy neighborhoods of Homewood, this forest preserve is perfect for a brief retreat into nature. There’s a bridge at the entrance made by a local Eagle Scout and if you’re interested in wildlife, you may even be lucky enough to find one of the preserve’s famous spotted salamanders. Friends of Shades Creek are also offering guided one hour hikes at Homewood preserve starting from January 30 as part of the 2022 Salamander Festival. Click here for more information.
Red Mountain Park
If you truly want to escape from the city and immerse yourself in nature, try taking one of 17 trails offered by Birmingham’s own Red Mountain Park. With a history as rich as the mountain’s red dirt, it’s hard not to appreciate what the mountain stands for in regard to Birmingham’s historic mining community. You can learn more about this at the park’s iron ore mining sites, as well as being able to enjoy mountain biking, picnic areas, and six acres worth of the largest dog park in Alabama. With so much to see, Red Mountain is definitely worth a visit, especially because you can bring your furry friends too!
Vulcan Walking Trail
If you’re looking for a trail which can be completed by all ability levels, this walking trail is perfect for an afternoon stroll and catch up with friends and family. Only a 10 minute drive from downtown Birmingham and with stunning views across the city from the vantage point at the beloved Vulcan statue, this trail is not to be overlooked. Nicely shaded by trees and with runners, dog walkers, and bikers often spotting wildflowers along the side of the path, this is a trail which should be remembered for the hotter months of summer.
Irondale Furnace Trail
Surprisingly, this charming yet off-road trail in the heart of Mountain Brook is mostly unknown to people. However, if you want to add a new local jogging route to your list or just fancy an evening stroll, be sure to look out for Irondale’s historic blast furnace which dates as far back as to the Civil War. Mountain Brook’s hidden trail also features a Creekside path which makes sitting on one of the trails many benches at sunset even more of an enchanting experience.
Moss Rock Preserve (pictured above)
If you’re looking for something slightly more moderate in difficulty level, Moss Rock Preserve could be waiting to be explored by you. Popular with rock climbers, the preserve’s boulder field is a local favorite which appeals to climbers of multiple abilities. There is also a nice range of pretty waterfalls which flow well within these winter months, and it is reported that around 111 different species of birds can be found here. For birders, climbers, hikers, dog walkers, and joggers, Moss Rock Preserve has something for everyone.