In the first decade of the 21st century, Birmingham is building again on its natural resources, but this time it’s not to fire steel-making smokestacks. Instead, where railroads ran and mines once burrowed into mountains, the healed landscape is being repurposed for hiking and biking. New and expanding venues around the city are providing more opportunities not only to get outside and exercise but also to appreciate the labor and industry that built the city. Within a short drive from Birmingham, you can find yourself on an Appalachian mountain peak or on the banks of the Cahaba River as it broadens to snake through the Coastal Plain. You can visit old growth forest in the Sipsey Wilderness or hike down into the “Grand Canyon of the East” at Little River Canyon. And that's only the start. Across this landscape, you’ll find a level of diversity of plant and animal species, some rare and endangered, that rivals anywhere in the North America.
© 2014 Thomas Spencer/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.