Moab, Kauai, Boulder, Laguna Beach…. and Pelham, Alabama. Which one of these doesn’t belong? Well if you’re talking about Runner’s World Magazine's 25 Best Trail Runs in America, they’re all on the list. Yep, that’s right. Pelham—right up there with some of the most iconic trail running destinations in the country. And you know what? Pelham is on the list for good reason.
What Makes It Great
Within Pelham’s city limits, Oak Mountain State Park yields 51-miles of single track that will keep a trail runner busy for days with many route options that can be linked together for a run with a different character each time. Explore a new combination each day, and you’ll turn those 51 miles into what feels like hundreds. (In a good way).
There’s everything from an easy 3-mile loop that winds around stunning Double Oak Lake, to a 17-mile backcountry loop with more than 1300 feet of elevation gain. Creeks, waterfalls, hardwood forests, pine-studded ridge lines, and rocky overlooks are just some of the highlights along the way.
Want to get a little bit of everything crammed into one run? Start at the south trailhead and take the Lake Trail clockwise around the lake. Cross over the road at the end of the trail and take Seven Bridges to Camp Road. Turn right on this dirt road and then hang another quick right onto the Yellow Trail. Follow this all the way back to the trailhead for an 8.5-mile taste of Oak Mountain trail running.
Who is Going to Love It
Runners of all abilities and distances - not to mention nature lovers.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Follow I-65 N to22nd St N inBirmingham. Take exit 125B fromI-20 E/I-59 N.
Continue on22nd St N. Drive to24th St N to the park entrance. Adult admission for the park is $4, children $1.