Birmingham and its surrounding areas are filled with trails offering everything from easy strolls to challenging hikes, all set against beautiful backdrops. Here are some of the best hiking trails in and around Birmingham.

1. Red Mountain Park

Looking for a great hiking spot without leaving the city? Red Mountain Park is your go-to. Spanning over 1,500 acres, it offers 15 miles of trails that take you through dense forests and historical mining sites. The Eureka Mines Trail, for example, lets you experience Birmingham’s industrial past while enjoying beautiful overlooks. The trails are well-marked, making them perfect for hikers of all skill levels.

2. Oak Mountain State Park

Just a short drive south, Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama's largest state park and an absolute must-visit for hikers. With over 50 miles of trails, there’s something for everyone. The Peavine Falls Trail is a favorite, leading to a beautiful waterfall that’s perfect for a mid-hike break. If you’re up for more of a challenge, the King’s Chair Loop offers breathtaking panoramic views.

3. Ruffner Mountain

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is a hidden gem just a few miles from downtown. This often overlooked spot has 14 miles of trails that wind through what used to be a mining site, but has since been transformed into a nature preserve. The Quarry Trail is a standout, offering a moderately challenging hike with fantastic views of the old quarry and Birmingham skyline.

4. Moss Rock

Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover is a 349-acre natural area famous for its unique boulder formations and range of local plant species. The trails range from easy to moderately difficult. The Boulder Field Trail is particularly popular, especially with rock climbers and hikers, offering a mix of rocky terrain and forest paths.

5. Turkey Creek

Heading north to Pinson, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is known for its clear streams and beautiful trails. The Narrows Ridge Trail is a moderate hike through hardwood forests and along Turkey Creek’s scenic waters. It is also home to the endangered Vermilion Darter.

Cover Photo by Clay Banks