Yes, the Magic City has exciting businesses and start-ups, and we’re definitely the new “foodie” capital of the south. But, did you know that Birmingham has many beautiful and easily accessible green spaces and parks? The leaves are changing, there’s a nip in the air, so get outside!
Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve: One of the largest privately held nonprofit nature preserves, Ruffner Mountain is a perfect escape from the city. Hike the 14 miles of beautiful trails, and enjoy the changing colors of fall throughout the park. There’s some history here too; the mountain was once mined for iron ore forged in Birmingham’s famous Sloss Furnaces.
Red Mountain Park: Like Ruffner, Red Mountain also was formerly an iron ore mine. The 1500-acre green space has become a hot spot for joggers and hikers. There are gorgeous views, leafy bike trails, and the perfect dog park for your four-legged sidekick! Zip lining fanatic? Yep, you can even reserve a night zip with your buddies.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens: Admission to The Botanical Gardens is always free, and it’s open year round, every day from dawn to dusk. You’ll find 30 different gardens winding throughout the lush 67-acre park. Take a book, and a light picnic and get lost among the plants. Check out the classes, changing exhibits and events the Garden hosts year round.
Avondale Park : Looking for a great place to wet a line, or feed some ducks? Families enjoy the lake, playground, the amphitheater, and trails of this neighborhood park.
East Lake Park : This green space is a 67-acre park in the East Lake neighborhood. Enjoy fishing in the centerpiece of the park, a 45-acre lake. Joggers, walkers, and families enjoy the trails, and the nearby playground and swimming pool.
Oak Mountain State Park: Just south of Birmingham, the largest state park in Alabama, has grown to 9,940 acres. With 50 miles of trails, Oak Mountain is the prefect destination for mountain bikers. The park also features a pump track and BMX course. Water sports, boat rentals, an 18-hole golf course, and the rugged camp sites attract visitors from all over the south. There is also a worthwhile wildlife rehabilitation and education program at Oak Mountain.
Visit Birmingham’s Park and Recreation website to find pockets of green space in many neighborhoods throughout our city. https://www.birminghamal.gov/parks-and-recreation/
What are some of the places you enjoy when you need to escape for a quick breather?