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Where can you find the best color-explosive fall drives around Birmingham? Here are six that will make you say “Wow!”
Have you been to Bluff Park in Hoover recently? If not, it is worth some time behind the wheel. This 150-year old “Mountain Town” towers 500 ft. above Birmingham with its community sitting upon the summit of Shades Mountain.
Mountain? That must mean good views, right? Absolutely!
With its lush, quiet neighborhood and gorgeous historic homes intermingling with bustling pockets of local businesses, Bluff Park is an ideal spot for a relaxing weekend drive.
As many in the greater Birmingham area say, those who live in Bluff Park never want to get off the mountain. The question is, will you?
- Distance from downtown Birmingham to Bluff Park: 16 miles
- Set your GPS: Bluff Park, Hoover, AL 35226
Long scenic drives are always pleasant, but a drive through Mountain Brook on a crisp fall day can be just as satisfying.
Located on the outskirts of Birmingham, the historic city of Mountain Brook offers the vibrant culture of a big city with the charm of a small town.
Home to many brick sidewalks, hilly terrain and twisty roads, when you pepper in the yellows, oranges and reds of leaves, you have the ultimate drive.
Plus, if you want to stretch your legs, there are lots of local bakeries, diners and boutiques to check out.
- Distance from downtown Birmingham to Mountain Brook: 6-8 miles
- Set your GPS: Mountain Brook, AL 35223
Talladega Scenic Drive
Talladega may be known for Motorsports, but it also offers one of Alabama’s primary recreational driving routes—the Talladega Scenic Drive.
Most popular during the fall season, the Talladega Scenic Drive covers one of the primary areas in Alabama for viewing fall foliage. While most of the mileage spent on the stretch of highway is located in the Talladega National Forest, winding curves also guide you through the Horseblock and Talladega Mountains as well as through the heart of Cheaha State Park.
Cheaha State Park is one of the highlights of the Talladega National Forest. Located on top of Cheaha Mountain, the park sits at the highest point in Alabama—2,407 ft. above sea level.
When you venture on the Talladega Scenic Drive, there is no better place to be than at Cheaha State Park. One glance and you’ll be awe-struck by the view of the Appalachian Mountains, rock outcroppings and small rural settlements nestled among the expanse of trees.
The Talladega Scenic Drive stretches 26 miles total around 45 minutes-one hour for a straight drive. However, the drive does offer six overlooks to stop and park, so if you want to take in those extended breathtaking views, you should plan for a longer drive.
- Distance from downtown Birmingham to Talladega Scenic Drive: 73 miles
- Set your GPS: 19644 Hwy 281, Delta, AL 36258
Little River Canyon
In the mood for an adventure-filled road trip? Then you’ll want to make plans to visit Little River Canyon. Located in Fort Payne, AL, Little River Canyon is less than a two-hour drive from Birmingham—the perfect distance for a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
During your drive, you’ll experience nature like never before as you view forested uplands, waterfalls and canyon rims and bluffs. After a lengthy drive, you’ll definitely want to stop for some fresh air—maybe even a little hiking.
Luckily, there are many lookout points where you can park and enjoy the scenery. Be sure to bring your pup along for the ride because Little Rock Canyon is dog-friendly.
- Distance from downtown Birmingham to Little River Canyon: 138 miles
- Set your GPS: 4322 Little River Trail NE, Fort Payne, AL 35967
Trussville may be one of the fastest-growing cities in Jefferson County and Alabama according to Wikipedia, but it still encompasses a nature-inspired landscape that makes for many relaxing and leisurely drives.
One, in particular, can be found off Hwy. 11 along Cherokee Drive. This calm road leads you along lazy curves, a walking trail and an abundance of color-changing trees.
Continue along this road and you’ll find yourself enveloped in a hilly neighborhood covered in foliage, plus a park or two along the way. Be warned, the sudden desire to take a nice fall walk or throw a frisbee with your friend or dog will be strong.
- Distance from downtown Birmingham to Trussville: 15.5 miles
- Set your GPS: Cherokee Drive, Trussville, AL 35173
Oak Mountain State Park
Did you know you are just a short drive away from the largest state park in Alabama? I’m talking about Oak Mountain State Park. Located in Pelham, the park is just 20 miles from Birmingham making it the ideal spot for a day trip or short adventure.
What started as a 940-acre park atop Double Oak Mountain in 1927, Oak Mountain State Park has grown exorbitantly, now stretching a vast 9,940 acres. Wow!
When you visit Oak Mountain State Park, there are plenty of exciting things to do—camping, biking and bird watching. There is also a Demonstration Farm with miniature horses, donkeys, goats, chickens and pigs that you can feed for $1 per bag of food.
Though there are many reasons to visit Oak Mountain State Park, the stunning physical landscape is what will make your trip a truly unforgettable experience.
- Distance from downtown Birmingham to Oak Mountain State Park: 20 miles
- Set your GPS: 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham, AL 35124
While You’re At It
While you’re taking in the curves and beautiful color at Oak Mountain State Park, stop by Driver’s Way. Is it located off the same exit on Highway 65. Our friends at Driver’s Way will give you a great offer on your existing wheels and get you into your pick of their huge pre-owned inventory. With a new ride, you’ll enjoy the fall color even more.