National Trails Day is coming up soon! Nature lovers will be hitting the trails nationwide on Saturday, June 5th. Here in Birmingham, there are ample ways to celebrate our incredible local trails. We chose some of our favorite hiking spots around the Magic City to celebrate.
Red Rock Trail
The Red Rock Trail encompasses 125 miles throughout metro Birmingham. The quickly growing trail system will connect every resident in Jefferson County to a green space within less than a mile of their home. If that’s not a reason to celebrate National Trails Day, I don’t know what is!
We talked to Carolyn Buck, the Red Rock Trail System Director, for some trail recommendations.
Buck recommended Moss Rock and Turkey Creek Nature Preserves for longer hikes and mountain biking. For a more family-friendly option, she suggested the Five Mile Creek Greenway that starts in Fultondale and runs through Gardendale. Finally, Railroad Park and the Rotary Trail are great options for a more urban feel.
- Location: The Red Rock Trail system runs throughout Birmingham. Head to https://freshwaterlandtrust.org/find-a-trail/ to find a trail near you.
Red Mountain Park
Red Mountain Park offers stunning views of Birmingham and a hidden history. On National Trails Day, the park’s Executive Director, TC McLemore, will share Red Mountain’s secrets. He’ll be taking a tour group to Mine No. 11 and back. Along the way, he’ll reveal more about the industrial history of Red Mountain. The hike starts at 9 a.m. at the Venice Road Entrance map kiosk. The tour is free for Red Mountain Park members and $5 for all non-members. It’s sure to be a fun and educational way to celebrate National Trails Day!
- Location: 2019 Venice Rd, Birmingham, AL 35211
This National Trails Day, take a walk on the wild side at Sipsey Wilderness. Sipsey is Alabama’s largest wilderness area, and it’s full of stunning waterfalls. Wild Alabama’s Stewardship Coordinator will be leading an introductory hike through Sipsey’s extensive trails on National Trails Day. From 9-2, a tour group will go along Borden Creek and the Sipsey Fork. The 3 mile round trip will pass by late blooming wildflowers, songbirds, moss covered boulders and gently flowing creeks. Space is limited to 10 people, so sign up today! Email Kim Waites at email@example.com for more information or to reserve your spot.
- Location: Bunyan Hill Rd, Moulton, AL 35650
Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain is Alabama’s largest (and perhaps my favorite) state park. The park has approximately 25 miles of stunning trails, so there are endless ways to celebrate National Trail Day at Oak Mountain! I take the Kings Chair Loop for my favorite view in the park. Oak Mountain is open from 7 AM to 6 PM, and there’s a $5 entrance fee.
- Location: 200 Terrace Dr, Pelham, AL 35124
Ruffner Mountain is an iconic Birmingham hiking spot. It’s especially renowned for its biodiversity–make sure to look out for everything from turtles to flying squirrels. The Overlook Trail at Ruffner Mountain provides stunning views, so check it out! The preserve will be open on National Trails Day from 7 AM to 7 PM.
- Location: 1214 81st St S, Birmingham, AL 35206
For more on iconic outdoors destinations around Birmingham, check out https://bhamnow.com/2021/05/10/railroad-park-is-celebrating-10-years/.