Planning a staycation this Labor Day weekend in Birmingham?
Visit your local park.
Fun fact: According to a 2018 Trust for Public Land report, Birmingham has 118 city parks, totaling 3979 acres.
There are a lot of parks—big and small—to choose enjoy in the Magic City. ranging from the .33 acre Hanover Circle just off Highland Avenue to George Ward Park’s 84 acres.
Here is Birmingham Park and Recreation’s master list.
Everyone has their favorites. As a 30-year resident, here is my list of five to check out this weekend. Enjoy!
One Pratt Park
Established in 2019, One Pratt Park is Birmingham’s newest greenspace. Influenced by Railroad Park , the park has a great walking loop and the best and steepest slides for kids (they may not be usable right now because of the pandemic). The landscaping is also fantastic and will only get better once the recently-installed trees and plants mature. I highly recommend a visit.
Address: 709 Dugan Avenue, Birmingham (Pratt City), AL 35214
Tom Bradford Park
If you’re looking for a nice place to get your steps in and re-energize with a picnic, visit Tom Bradford Park on the eastern end of town near St. Vincent’s East Hospital. I particularly like the small pond you can quietly walk around.
Address: 1 Bradford Park Drive, Birmingham, AL 35234
East Lake Park
Hoping to view some wildlife this Labor Day? My favorite spot for walking is around the lake at East Lake Park. With all sorts of birds using the lake as a landing strip or as their home, it’s no wonder it’s part of the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail.Of course, Ruffner Mountain, which is not a city park, but is supported by Birmingham, is nearby.
Address: 8101 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35206
Friends of East Lake Park
Kelly Ingram Park
When I welcome visitors to the Magic City, Kelly Ingram Park is my go-to place. This historic spot in part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument. In years to come, I truly believe the park, along with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 16th Street Baptist Church and many other churches and buildings in the area will become much like Independence Hall National Park in Philadelphia.
Address: 500 17th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203
Kiwanis Vulcan Trail
The Kiwanis Vulcan Trail is another great place to hike. I love walking from Vulcan to Greensprings Avenue. One reason is the great views (best when the leaves have fallen in the winter). and periodic views are not too bad (best when the leaves are down in the winter). Another reason—the chance to see the big guy in Birmingham’s sky—Vulcan. Visit Vulcan Park and Museum for the best view.
Address: 1852 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard South, Birmingham, AL 35209