Five-Star Trails Birmingham  by Thomas Spencer

Five-Star Trails: Birmingham Guide Book

by Thomas Spencer (Menasha Ridge Press)
Five-Star Trails Birmingham  by Thomas Spencer
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.

Trails from the "Five-Star Trails: Birmingham" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 35.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 35.

Opened in 2002, this 30-acre botanical garden owned by the city of Hoover was once the home of Eddie and Kay Aldridge. Eddie and his father owned a plant nursery and were particularly renowned for pat ...
Vestavia Hills, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
This 10.8-mile loop from  Thompson Creek Trailhead in the northwest portion of the Sipsey Wilderness features well-known landmarks of the wilderness, including Bee Branch Falls, rock formations and ...
Vinemont, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.8
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This riverside hike in the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge gives you access to canoe launches, swimming holes, fishing spots, and great views of the river. Between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day ...
West Blocton, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Everyone needs to make a pilgrimage to the highest point in Alabama: Mount Cheaha’s peak, in Cheaha State Park. Climb the stone observation tower, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, for a 360-d ...
Delta, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.5
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This hike, which starts in Cheaha State Park and ventures into the Talladega National Forest’s Cheaha Wilderness, offers a contrast between the two flanks of the same mountain—an eastern side with gen ...
Delta, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.7
This out-and-back trek, a total of 6 miles on the Chinnabee Silent Trail, hits at least two of Cheaha’s scenic highlights: Cheaha Falls and a magnifi cent series of cascading falls known as Devil’s De ...
Lineville, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.4
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During the run-up to and observation of the 50th anniversary of 1963’s civil rights confrontations, the city of Birmingham launched the Civil Rights Heritage Trail, an effort to take history to the st ...
Blanche, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
If you really want to hike the Appalachian Mountains, you need to start at Flagg Mountain, which, at 1,152 feet above sea level, is the chain’s southernmost peak. This introductory hike offers great v ...
Sylacauga, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.7
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Right off US 31 north of Cullman, this 500-foot-deep canyon preserve offers quick, convenient access to a woodland wonderland of rain-fed waterfalls, rock formations, and old-growth flora and fauna. ...
Decatur, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
This hike takes you from a Civil War–era iron furnace through one of the finest suburban developments of the 20th century to a commercial village in the midst of a 21st-century update. You’ll not onl ...
Mountain Brook, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
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You’ll find yourself wondering, Am I really in Alabama? Over the course of millions of years, Little River has cut a spectacular gorge in the plateau of Lookout Mountain, leaving exposed sandstone blu ...
Blanche, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
The Shades Mountain Boulder Field at Moss Rock Preserve draws climbers from around the Southeast. From the trailhead off Preserve Parkway, it’s a very short walk to see the weather-worn boulders, som ...
Vestavia Hills, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
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This loop starts with convenient parking at Simmons Middle School and follows Hurricane Branch upstream as it tumbles out the narrow valley between Pine Mountain and Shades Mountain. In wet weather, i ...
Vestavia Hills, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Leaving from the Sulphur Springs lot, this hike descends the slopes of Shades Mountain, picking up Hurricane Branch near its origins and following it into the center of Moss Rock Preserve at the Bould ...
Vestavia Hills, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.7
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Madams and mayors, a soldier of the American Revolution and a leader of the civil rights movement, plantation owners and industrialists, victims of riots and murder and cholera, all resting in peace i ...
Birmingham, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.7
This route is intense because of its uphill climb and the scenic rewards it provides. It’s a great hike for fall colors, providing sweeping scenic vistas. In wet weather, cascading streams tumble dow ...
Helena, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
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This hike, which starts on the Yellow Trail and returns on the White, covers rolling, wooded terrain for the first mile and a half until it reaches Maggie’s Glen. A mile later, you reach the shores o ...
Chelsea, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.6
This is the classic family starter hike: a nice drive with spots along the way to stop and take in mountaintop views; a short, steep hike through longleaf pine down into a gorge rich with mountain la ...
Chelsea, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
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This hike features segments of both the Blue and White Trails, traveling through the highest points in the park and off ering great views along the way. It’s a vigorous walk that can be done in one l ...
Helena, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
This trip includes a hike at Palisades Park and a driving circuit of three covered bridges located relatively close together in Blount County. These bridges are not only historic but also feats of n ...
Pinson, AL - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.5
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