The leaves are changing and you’ve been hit by that inevitable itch to get outside. Whether you’re looking to pass an entire day or desire a nice stroll while you sip on your pumpkin spice latte, you’re never too far from an outdoor escape in Birmingham. There’s a reason that Outside Magazine named Birmingham One of the Best Towns of 2017. If you’re having trouble finding the place to start, here are a few of our favorite Birmingham trails.
 

 

For the Serious Hikers

Oak Mountain State Park

Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama’s largest state park, covering nearly 10,000 acres of land. With 50+ miles of trails to choose from, Oak Mountain gives you the option of a short loop or an overnight trip. Must-see spots in Oak Mountain include the King’s Chair lookout and Peavine Falls.

Trail Map: https://www.alapark.com/sites/alapark.com/files/OakMountainTrailMap.pdf

 

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Red Mountain Park

Red Mountain Park’s name comes from the color of the iron ore that fueled Birmingham’s economy through the early-20th Century. Converted to a park in 2007, Red Mountain is full of remnants and artifacts from its mining history. The trails at Red Mountain vary from flat to calf-burning. Plan a hike to Grace’s Gap for a scenic overlook or head to one of the old mine entrances for a glimpse into history.

Trail Map: https://redmountainpark.org/activities/trail-map/

 

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Ruffner Mountain

Ruffner Mountain also got its start in the mining industry. All 14 miles of trails at Ruffner are pedestrian-only (no need to look over your shoulder for mountain bikes) and provide a perfect escape for people who enjoy trail running or hiking. Your hike at Ruffner isn’t complete without heading up the Overlook trail for a mountain-top view of downtown Birmingham.

Trail Map: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57111822ab48dea221d56240/t/58e7c7859f7456e87e3ab1d8/1491584902725/Trail_Map_2017.pdf

 

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Moss Rock Preserve

Nestled in the heart of Hoover, Moss Rock Preserve is a favorite among rock climbers for its bouldering opportunities. However, Moss Rock offers more than a field of boulders. It’s also home to nearly 12 miles of hiking trails. With waterfalls, large rocks and mostly-shaded trails, Moss Rock Preserve is the perfect set of trails to pass an afternoon.

Trail Map: http://www.hooveral.org/DocumentCenter/View/1627/Moss_Rock_Preserve-FINAL_NOT-GEOREFERENCED?bidId=

 

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For the Casual Stroll

Rotary Trail

The Rotary Trail is the latest outdoor addition in the heart of the Magic City. Replacing an unused stretch of railroad tracks, the Rotary Trail is a half-mile route that connects Railroad Park to Sloss Furnaces. The most recognizable (and Instagrammable) feature of the Rotary Trail is the sign at the front that draws inspiration from a historic sign at the Birmingham train station that greeted visitors from 1926-1952.

 

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Vulcan Trail

With the trail head beneath the world’s largest cast-iron statue, the Vulcan Trail is a 2-mile trail known to be a favorite for joggers, hikers and bikers. This mostly-shaded trail provides unique views of the city along the ridge of Red Mountain.

 

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Railroad Park

Railroad Park, often referred to as “Birmingham’s Front Lawn,” is a 19-acre green space that sits between North and South Birmingham. With 360° views of the city, an open lawn for activities and a ¾ mile lap around the exterior of the park, Railroad Park is the hub of many exciting things happening in Birmingham. Money Magazine recently named it the Best Park in Alabama.

 

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Once you’ve finished every hike on this list, head over to Trek Birmingham to see more of Birmingham’s parks and trails.