The Magic City's Best Cycling Routes for Fall Foliage

Eddie Freyer
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The winding roads, mountainous terrain, and multitude of bike paths surrounding Birmingham offer cyclists in the area plenty of unique routes that will be perfect for riding this fall. Here are RootsRated’s four recommendations for rides that offer great scenery, foliage, and family-friendly cycling.

1. Lakeshore Trail

The Lakeshore Trail is a paved biking and walking roadway along Shades Creek that has little elevation and totals a modest 5.2 miles roundtrip. It is the perfect destination for a family ride, moving alongside Lakeshore Drive, with only one road crossing and very little auto traffic. The short but scenic trail takes cyclists through the suburb of Homewood, and though it’s only minutes from downtown, it feels surprisingly secluded.

2. Railroad Park

Max Wolfe

The trails that move through Railroad Park are both urban and wild. Located downtown, this old railroad intersection has turned into a great place to escape the city without actually leaving the city at all. Masterfully designed, this park is filled with lakes and streams, which are interconnected by meandering trails and pathways. There are also large grassy fields, playgrounds, water fountains, and restrooms, making it a great place to take the whole family — especially, if you do so on a Birmingham Barons game night, as the Regions Field ballpark is located right next to Railroad Park. After you get done riding, Good People Brewing is an easy spin from the park and a great place to hang out and have some brews.

3. Chief Ladiga Bike Trail 

Timothy J

The Chief Ladiga Bike Trail is a flat and relatively simple rails-to-trails route that is located at the tail end of the Appalachian mountain range, just outside of Anniston, AL. Stretching 33-miles from Alabama to Georgia, this trail is a great place to enjoy early fall colors and a laidback ride. Though the trail is a pretty far drive from downtown Birmingham (90 miles to be exact), it is well worth the trip, as you’ll be treated to a secluded ride with nice scenery and easy pedaling. It’s a perfect weekend destination, whether riding alone or with the family.

4. Oak Mountain State Park

Eddie Freyer

With its miles of mountain biking, BMX track, and multitude of meandering roads throughout the park, Oak Mountain is a cyclist’s dream come true. An all day trip is definitely required at this renowned state park, as you’ll want to ride as many of the roads and pathways as possible. Ranging from long stretches of flat surface to some pretty grueling uphills, riding from one end of the park to the other is something most average cyclists can handle, and something that few forget.

Even if you do not choose one of the aforementioned trails, Birmingham is still a remarkable city to cruise around in and enjoy some fantastic cycling routes. And there’s arguably no better time to do so than during the fall.

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