7 nature events in Birmingham to kick off your 2023

nature events
Alabama Audubon on the Black Belt Birding Tour summer 2019. (Alabama Audubon / Facebook)

Is your new year’s resolution to go outside more? Maybe you got a bird feeder for Christmas (like me!) and you want to learn about the unique art of birding. Birmingham is one of the best places to go out and explore nature from the botanical gardens to the dozens of parks. Keep reading for four nature events that we can’t wait to try out this winter.

1. Winter birding classes | Hoover Library

Ruby crowned Kinglet Robert Goss Alabama Birding Trails 7 nature events in Birmingham to kick off your 2023
Ruby-crowned Kinglet. (Robert Goss / Alabama Birding Trails Facebook)

Back by popular demand, Greg Harber from Alabama Audubon will be hosting two different winter birding nature events at the Hoover Library. The first session will be all about winter water birds found in surrounding refuges and lakes while the second session will focus on winter finches and songbirds found at feeders. This is a great class for those interested in learning more about birding and to prepare you on what to look for.

2. Nature at Noon | Birmingham Botanical Gardens

birmingham botanical gardens
Explore the Birmingham Botanical Gardens for beautiful nature, birds and even turtles. (Emma Johnston / Bham Now)

Formerly known as Gosse Nature Walks, Nature at Noon is back for 2023. The first walk will be at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, led by Scot Duncan, a lifelong birder and conservation scientist.

This recurring nature event is the perfect activity for those who want to go outside and see Birmingham birds and nature but only have a limited time to do so. See the native winter birds such as golden-crowned kinglets and white-throated sparrows on your lunch break.

There will be binoculars provided for the walk and beginners are welcomed!

3. Sunrise Hike to King’s Chair

Oak Mountain
King’s Chair at Oak Mountain State Park. (Alabama State Park / Facebook)

Start 2023 with gorgeous views at King’s Chair in Oak Mountain State Park. Led by park naturalists and OMSP partner extraordinaire Zach Andrews, there is no better way to explore nature in Birmingham. Here’s what you should bring:

  • Camera
  • Flashlight
  • Hiking pole/stick
  • Snacks
  • Water

NOTE: This hike is open to all ages but is considered an intermediate to advanced hike and is not stroller friendly.

4. Freshwater Land Trust + Cahaba Brewing run group

Hugh Kaul Trail in Birmingham
Hugh Kaul Trail (Freshwater Land Trust / Facebook)

Every Wednesday at 6pm (weather-permitting), Freshwater Land Trust hosts a run club along Hugh Kaul Trail. Join them for a 2- to 4- mile run or walk along the trail. All paces are welcome. Stay for a Cahaba beverage or bite from The Current food truck afterwards, or pick up some bingo cards for Cahaba’s Goodwill Night Bingo at 7PM.

5. Forest Bathing in Bankhead National Forest

Who wants to explore Bankhead National Forest? (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

If you are willing to travel north a little bit, visiting Bankhead National Forest is a must. Hosted by Wild Alabama, forest bathing is a meditative 1.25-mile hike that allows you to focus on your senses and rest within the beauty of nature. Wild Alabama recommends bringing a pen and sketchbook to document what you see and how you feel.

6. Birmingham cleanup with Black Warrior Riverkeeper

Serve your city with Black Warrior Riverkeeper this MLK day. (Black Warrior Riverkeeper)

Looking for a way to get outside and serve the Birmingham community on MLK day in 2023? Alabama Rivers is teaming up with Black Warrior Riverkeeper to host a Birmingham cleanup. Meet fellow Birminghamians and keep our city clean from waste while enjoying the winter breeze.

BONUS: Watch the 2021 Southern Exposure Film

Southern exposure film
Black Warrior Riverkeeper executive director Charles Scribner and Jefferson County Library Cooperative Board of Directors president Allison Scanlan. (Keith Eggleston)

Not a fan of this frigid weather? Invite some friends and family over to watch the 2021 Southern Exposure film. This film consists of four shorts that explore the nature, conservation and preservation of Alabama.

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Emma Johnston
Emma Johnston
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