5 favorite Birmingham city parks to visit Labor Day weekend

One Pratt Park in Pratt City built in the aftermath of the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

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

One Pratt Park in Pratt City built in the aftermath of the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

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

Tom Bradford Park in East Birmingham. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

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

Beautiful East Lake Park in Birmingham, one of the city’s oldest parks. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

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

Birmingham Alabama
Four Little Girls at Kelly Ingram Park – photo by Pat Byington

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

Kiwanis Birmingham
View of Vulcan from Kiwanis Centennial Park, photo by Pat Byington

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

Tell us your favorite Birmingham park or greenspace.  Email us at hello@bhamnow.com or make a comment on social media @bhamnow.  You’ve got 113 additional parks to choose from!

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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