Looking for a new place to frolic? 7 parks in Birmingham you need to visit

East Lake Park
A fishing pole is all I’d need to be happy here. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

When you think of parks in Birmingham, what comes to mind? Railroad Park? Highland Park? Rotary Trail? Birmingham has no shortage of public parks—in fact, in 2018 the Trust for Public Land found that Birmingham had 3,979 acres of land spread through 118 public parks! We took a closer look at 7 unique spaces to check out.

1. W.C. Patton Park

W.C. Patton Park
The view from the outdoor amphitheater and W.C. Patton Park. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now
  • Address: 3969 14th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35234
  • Hours: 7AM to 5PM, every day
  • Acreage: 21.1 acres

First up on the list is a fairly recent addition to Birmingham’s park register. Located in East Birmingham, W.C. Patton Park is just a short drive northeast of downtown Birmingham. At the park, you’ll find lots of open space for activities, an amphitheater perfect for outdoor concerts and a beautiful walking trail surrounding an artificial lake.

Each year, Magic City Smooth Jazz presents a “Jazz in the Park” series at several local parks—including W.C. Patton! Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and settle in for a free performance of local jazz.

2. One Pratt Park

One Pratt Park
One Pratt Park has a fun outdoor amphitheater too! Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now
  • Address: 709 Dugan Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35214
  • Hours: 7AM to 7PM, every day
  • Acreage: 6.5 acres

According to Bham Now’er Pat Byington, One Pratt Park is one of the best “comeback stories” in Birmingham. Over a decade ago, Pratt City was ravaged by a devastating F5 tornado during the April 27, 2011 Tornado Outbreak.

After eight years of construction, Pratt City unveiled a new and beautiful park—named One Pratt Park. In the park, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you busy. Whether you’re explore the large, open green space for a spot to picnic, going on a walk around the park or watching your kids play on the slides, climbing walls and more, One Pratt Park has enough to keep you occupied for as long as you want to stay!

3. George Ward Park

George Ward (Green Springs) Park sign and trees in Green Springs
Welcome to George Ward Park. Photo via Cheyenne Trujillo for Bham Now
  • Address: 1901 Greensprings Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35209
  • Hours: 8AM to 8PM
  • Acreage: 83.73 acres

Named for former Birmingham Mayor George Ward, George Ward Park is the perfect local park for sports enthusiasts. Located just off Green Springs Highway, George Ward Park has a number of amenities for locals, including:

  • A 2.6-acre, fenced-in dog park.
  • A tennis center with eight hard-surface tennis courts.
  • Six baseball fields, five of which are arranged in a flower-like pattern around the Green Springs Villa center.
  • A 24-hole disc golf course

4. Bessie Sears Estell Park

Bessie Estell Park
You can catch me reading a book under this pavilion. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now
  • Address: 901 8th St S, Birmingham, AL 35205
  • Hours: Null
  • Acreage: 5.20 acres

For our next park, we’ll travel down the road just a minute to Bessie Estell Park. Located in Glen Iris right next to the UAB Intramural Field, this park is named for Bessie Sears Estell, a long-time educator and the first African-American woman to sit on the Birmingham City Council.

At the park, younger guests will have a blast playing soccer or hanging out at the playground. Plus, the circular pavilions, covered with vines, are the perfect place to get lost in your favorite book. And the best park? The entire park is designed to be wheelchair accessible.

Bessie Estell Park
Just next to Bessie Estell Park is the St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church, one of the prettiest churches in Birmingham (in my humble opinion). Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

5. East Lake Park

east lake park
East Lake Park is one of the most scenic areas in Birmingham, so bring a camera! Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now
  • Address: 8101 4th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35206 
  • Hours: 8AM to 8PM
  • Acreage: 60.22 acres (plus 45 acre lake)

Did you know that East Lake Park is one of the oldest parks in Birmingham? Since 1886, this enthralling 60.22-acre city park and its 45-acre lake have drawn visitors from across the Southeast. In its past, East Lake Park featured attractions such as a petting zoo, a casino, pleasure boats, an aquatic theatre, a ferris wheel and even a massive water slide chute!

Nowadays, East Lake Park is a popular spot for walkers, runners and birdwatchers. In fact, East Lake Park was officially listed on the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail in 2012. More often than not, you’ll find folks fishing from the bank or the three large piers. Additionally, East Lake Park boasts a playground, several tennis courts and even a swimming pool.

6. Ensley Park

Ensley Park
Planning a family gathering post-COVID? Set up a picnic at Ensley Park! Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now
  • Address: 2800 Avenue K, Birmingham, AL 35218
  • Hours: 12PM to 8PM (Mon., Tues., Wed.); 9AM to 5PM (Thur.); Closed Fri., Sat., Sun.
  • Acreage: 30.8 acres

Located a little west of downtown Birmingham, Ensley Park is another hit for local athletes. With two baseball fields, ten tennis courts (try saying that five times fast), a soccer field and more, Ensley Park has something for everyone.

Ensley Park
The tennis courts at Ensley Park. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

In addition to sports, the Ensley Parks and Recreation Center is a great place for outdoor picnics—so grab your basket and blanket and play a visit.

7. Vulcan Trail 

  • Address: 1852 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard South, Birmingham, AL 35209
  • Hours: 8AM to 8PM, every day
  • Acreage: 1-mile long walking trail

Although its easy to miss this trail during your trip to Vulcan Park & Museum, Vulcan Walking Trail is worth a visit. This 1-mile long trail is perfect for runners, walkers, bikers—you name it. In fact, fellow Bham Now’er Matthew Niblett and I have completed a few early-morning jogs on the trail. Trust me—the view from Vulcan Walking Trail at sunrise is worth waking up early.

Want to explore all of Birmingham’s 118 public parks? Check out the Birmingham Parks and Recreation website to learn more and be sure to tag @bhamnow when you visit!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

Articles: 726