While Birmingham’s trails keep Alabamians moving, sometimes it’s good to get away, change up the scenery, and find new dirt to kick up. If you’re looking for a quick getaway, plan a day trip to the Trussville Sports Complex, which is just a 30-minute drive from Birmingham.
Even though fields for soccer, baseball, and football occupy the majority of the Trussville Sports Complex, more types of outdoor recreation have been incorporated over the last few years. There are now fantastic trails for hiking and mountain biking, a recently cleaned boulder field, and a disc golf course. To help you plan a trip to the complex, we’ve put together suggestions for your itinerary.
Ride the BUMP Bike Trail
Maintained by BUMP, the bike trails that make up the nearly 5-mile loop at the Trussville Sports Complex include obstacles that challenge riders of all skill levels. For intermediate and advanced riders, there are single- and double-track sections with compact twists and turns, plus climbs over protruding roots and rocks. There is a section of the track that runs along the Cahaba River, and you’re allowed to ride the trails in both directions. You can even ride at night for a more challenging experience.
The Trussville track is home to the BUMP-hosted Dead Dog Mountain Race every October. It draws about 200 racers every year and is the last race of the season of the Alabama Mountain Bike Series. While the current trails were opened more than 10 years ago, they’re well maintained, and work is currently being done to expand the track to include new routes and a connector to the local greenway.
Climb the New Boulder Field
Recently opened, the boulder field within the sports complex consists of five to six large boulders. To reach them, start at the disc golf course and follow the trail until you spot the boulders. Beginners will feel comfortable here, as the boulders are easily accessible, and the landings are friendly. And while there are problems suitable for beginners, more advanced climbers will also find a challenge on the overhung lines and technical face climbs. While most of the boulders have been cleaned and there are potentially more than 20 problems here, these boulders had gone unused until 2017. You can blaze your own trail by bringing your own brushes to clean off a new problem.
This boulder field was opened with the efforts of the Access Fund and the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. They worked with the city of Trussville in 2017 to open the field and bring the sport of climbing closer to the community.
Run or Hike the Loop Trail
A 2.9-mile loop with 300 feet of elevation change makes this a perfect place to work on increasing your pace, and the friendly terrain combined with scenic forest make it enjoyable. Or, if your legs are still feeling the effects of the earlier bike ride, just take a leisurely hike through the woods.
Play a Round of Disc Golf
After an intense ride and challenging climbing session, now is the time for a friendly game of disc golf. Keeping with the nature of the mountain biking and bouldering aspects of the sports complex, the Greg Carter Memorial DGC will test your skill. This is a scenic yet technical course that crosses streams, traverses hills, and winds among boulders. Because the 18-hole course is mostly well-marked, it’s easy to navigate, and holes range from difficult drives into heavy woods over elevation to long drives over grass.
Refuel Before You Head Home
By now, after hours on the trails and competition on the course, you’ve certainly worked up an appetite. If a traditional Southern meat-and-three is what you crave, check out Joel’s. This Trussville institution serves homestyle favorites that will quickly replenish the calories lost from your climb or ride. Nothing kickstarts a desire for fried chicken and collards like a day outdoors, and Joel’s delivers. If you need something on the light side, the Three Earred Rabbit serves freshly made sandwiches, homemade soups, and salads to get you back home with a full belly.
Written by Hap Pruitt for RootsRated Media in partnership with BCBS of AL.