5 hikes on Birmingham’s Red Rock Trail System: including the new section of the High Ore Line Trail

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High Ore Line Trail. Photo courtesy of the Freshwater Land Trust

We’ve had some gorgeous weather in Birmingham the last few days. You know what that means–it’s time to get outside before it’s hot and muggy.  To make your planning easier, we’ve compiled a list of must-do hikes in and around Birmingham on the Red Rock Trail System, a network of more than 120 miles of trails in Jefferson County.  Read on for more info.

High Ore Line Trail

High Ore Line Trail bridge. Photo courtesy of the Freshwater Land Trust
  • Opened in 2016, this trail starts at the Jefferson County Department of Health’s western clinic in Midfield.
  • The trail follows an elevated rail line, which makes for some spectacular views.
  • The Freshwater Land Trust helped the city of Birmingham secure a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant in 2012, a 10-million-dollar grant designed to improve infrastructure and create opportunities for alternative transportation.
  • Four neighborhoods will now be connected to Red Mountain Park, with the three-mile connector and new entrance to the park set to open in June.
Freshwater Land Trust members touring the High Ore Trail. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

“The additional entrance to the park will provide people with a trail that’s flat and accessible. They can start on the High Ore Line Trail and continue into Red Mountain Park for a more natural hike.”

Carolyn Buck, Red Rock Trail System director

5 Mile Creek Greenway

Five Mile Creek Greenway in Fultondale. Photo by Jeremy Richter and courtesy of the Freshwater Land Trust
  • This flat, gravel trail has ample shade for hot summer months.
  • It starts at Black Creek Park in Fultondale (park there!).
  • There’s a new two-mile section opening next month in Gardendale. Stay tuned!

Wildwood Preserve

Wildwood Preserve in Homewood. Photo courtesy of the Freshwater Land Trust
  • This trail is owned and managed by the Freshwater Land Trust and located at 1298 Forest Brook Circle, Birmingham, AL 35226.
  • At 0.5 miles long, it’s a great family-friendly option.

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve

If traveling is out of the question, head over to Turkey Creek Nature Preserve in Pinson, Ala. for some fly fishing, hiking and swimming (Brr.) Photo by Christine Hull
Turkey Creek Nature Preserve in Pinson. Photo by Christine Hull for Bham Now
  • This nature preserve is located 20 minutes north of Bham in Pinson, Ala. (3906 Turkey Creek Road, Pinson, AL, 35126).
  • It’s home to one of the most biologically diverse habitats in central Alabama.
  • There are 466 acres to explore!

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

Winter hiking at Ruffner–I’m ready to go back and enjoy this nicer weather!
  • This nature preserve has 14 miles of trails ranging in difficulty.
  • There are some pretty cool views of the city.
  • The mountain was mined for iron ore until the middle of the 20th century.
  • It’s located at 1214 81st Street South, Birmingham, AL 35206.

The ultimate goal of the Red Rock Trail System is to connect Red Mountain Park and Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve one day. If you’d like to help make this vision a reality, consider donating to the Freshwater Land Trust.

This is just a sample of the Red Rock Trail System. To find more trails to explore, visit this link.

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Taylor Babington
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