There’s nothing better than enjoying a hike during the fall. With the brisk breezes, changing colors, and nostalgic sights, scents and smells, you can’t really beat it. And Birmingham is lucky enough to boast quite a few destinations that are perfect for the entire family. Here are 7 of our favorites:
This nature preserve located only nine miles from downtown has spectacular views of Birmingham and over 12 miles of hiking trails in the park. The trails are for hikers and runners only, with no biking or motorized vehicles allowed, and most of the trails are generally pretty easy to hike. It’s also dog friendly, so you can make a true family adventure.
This park is considered an historic park of Birmingham, with remnants of iron ore mining from when the city was one of the south’s foremost steel producing cities. It is nestled within the city limits only 6.5 miles from downtown. There are a lot of different kinds of trails within the park, from easygoing gravel paths to more challenging singletrack trails, so you can make it a short afternoon jaunt or spend all day exploring.
Known for its fantastic bouldering, Moss Rock Preserve also contains some great hiking opportunities. Only 12 miles from downtown, this is an excellent place to do some day hike exploration. The Scenic Loop is three and a half miles long, and there is a total eight miles of trail all told. Within the 350 acres of Moss Rock are babbling creeks, giant boulders, and deciduous forests. The trails might be somewhat challenging for younger kids, but nothing too serious.
4. Hurricane Creek Park
This fairly new park is a well-kept secret around the Tuscaloosa area, and is only 52 miles from Birmingham. The park has 249 acres of pristine wilderness with three miles of creek frontage. Trails meander and wind through the park, and hikers can see some great high views of the creek from large sandstone cliffs. The trails here range from very easy to somewhat difficult and are shared with bikers. This is a great trail for dog owners and is a very biologically diverse area full of different tree species.
This trail is quick hike with a great opportunity to go for an easy trail run, and it has some great sights to see this fall. The small park is located in Mountain Brook and runs along Shades Creek. Located on the trail is an old mill house from 1926. The entire route is only four and a half miles, making it ideal for an evening hike or run after a long day in the office or a weekend morning stroll with the family.
The five miles of trail that runs along the crystal blue waters of Turkey Creek is what makes this place such a great hiking destination. And during the fall, the trees here are in full fiery force. Located in Pinson, only 17 miles from downtown, it is the perfect place to explore with the kids, as you can let them learn about the three species of endangered fish that reside in the creek itself.
7. Oak Mountain
Alabama’s largest state park has 51 miles of trails, ranging from casual and easy to challenging and difficult. Visiting the park definitely requires a full day, as there’s just so much to explore. Oak Mountain is a place to visit over and over again to hike each and every trail, and because it’s only 30 miles from downtown, doing so is pretty easy to do.