Run: Trak Shak Wednesday night social run
If you prefer the asphalt vs. red clay dirt, this weekly favorite in Homewood should be part of your regular repertoire. Well attended, it includes a wide range of distances (3, 5 and 8 miles) as well as various pace-groups, so everyone can find their place in the pack. The shaded route meanders past the parks and cottages of Homewood, a charming suburb crawling with kids.
Recover: The ride ends at the Trak Shak with free beer (and, incongruously, pork rinds). But for a real recovery meal like pulled pork tacos on handmade tortillas and craft margaritas with fresh-squeezed lime juice, walk a few blocks to The Little Donkey (that’s English for “burrito”). Rehydrate a couple doors down with a craft ice pop at Steel City Pops.
Run: Village Loop
This run highlights the four “Over the Mountain” villages, separated from downtown Birmingham by Red Mountain . You’ll feel like you’ve taken a step back in time as you explore Mountain Brook, Crestline, English Village and downtown Homewood. Both the 6-mile and 8-mile routes provide plenty of challenge as they undulate along the rolling foothills that make up the terminus of the Appalachian Mountains.
Recover: Our favorite post run recovery meal is SAWs barbeque , which smokes some of the best pulled pork in town. If you didn’t think sides could be noteworthy, you haven’t tried Mike Wilson’s greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, and barbecue beans. For a taste of ‘cue native to ‘Bama, try the chicken with white sauce. And: Don’t. Miss. The. Banana. Pudding.
Run: Moss Rock Preserve
If your running shoes have more traction than cushion, then we’d suggest you head over to Hoover for one of the best trail running options around. This time of year the spring flowers are blooming and after one of our frequent spring rains the creek and waterfalls are pumping. The trails have plentiful loops that you can stitch together for whatever distance route you want. And you can usually spot climbers attacking problems in the boulderfields.
Recover: Walk across the street after your run for a pint of local craft beer and recovery dinner at The Boot. This family-friendly neighborhood bistro-bar has great burgers and salads, and a full bar. And this is the time of year when they close the fireplace and open the patio. Come early or you might have to wait for a table.