Imagine the perfect paved running trail: mottles of sunlight breaking through the canopy and falling onto a two-lane, well-maintained paved path along the southern banks of a river where barge traffic and paddlers intermingle among the echoing howl of a passing train. In the distance, a wooden trestle railroad bridge towers over the lazy current of the Black Warrior River. Deciduous and evergreen trees offering the perfect amount of shade above park areas with children playing, public restrooms, and scenic vistas. This ideal trail exists and is known to the lucky few who are able to frequent it as the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk.
What Makes It Great
Located very near downtown Tuscaloosa with accessible parking and amazing scenery, this paved trail regularly draws visitors, tourists, and locals alike. Family friendly park areas, generous two-lane paved surfaces, and pet friendly policies make this location a must-visit. You may find yourself struck by the ease with which one is able to run the 4.5 mile loop and decide to stay for a while--a decision made easy with the option to rent bicycles, kayaks, fishing gear, and hammocks from Gumz near the historic Bama Belle riverboat.
Another sight sure to catch the eye of visiting trail runners is the wooden trestle railroad bridge just west of the Lurleen Wallace overpass. According to the Tuscaloosa News website, "The M&O Railroad trestle is a wooden and steel truss bridge that was constructed across the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad in 1898." This bridge is a historically significant marvel of engineering, which is still in use today.
What trail run would be complete without a stop at local shops and businesses? On Saturdays during the harvest season, a genuine smorgasbord of farmer's market goodies greets one and all passersby. Trail running has never been so well-catered.
Come for the exercise, stay for the sights, and be pampered by the support of unique, local offerings.
Who is Going to Love It
This paved trail is best suited to those looking for a little morning, afternoon, or early evening jaunt through a well-manicured trail system. Visiting town on business and want to get a slice of the best of what t-town has to offer? This is the place.
The Tuscaloosa Riverwalk is fun for all ages, incredibly beautiful, and one of the best things that one can do in town for free.
Looking to stay fit while staying at one of the many hotels during the very popular football season? Run, walk, or jog off those fun sodas in the morning and save yourself the hassle of dealing with stand-still traffic post-game.
New to town and looking for a memorable experience to share with friends and family? You need not look any further.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking is readily available at either end of the riverwalk. Simply locate Capitol Park, Queen City Park, or Manderson Landing along the south banks of the Black Warrior River for ample space and generous services.
As always, clean up after your pets, keep children within eyesight, and stay to the right.