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Hiking Into History May 18, 2008

Posted by cbuchanan in Uncategorized.

According to the Birmingham News, 175 people took the first public tour of Red Mountain Park today–and I was one of them. There sure were a lot of people there–it was amazing to see that kind of turnout, though I don’t think the hike organizers were expecting quite that many!

Anyway, it was a great experience. The park land is purchased, but it’s not open yet, since there are no real access points, restrooms, and other useful things like that. These tours are designed to introduce people to the park property, get them thinking about the possibilities, and encourage their support for the park. I was already a fan of this park, but when this project is complete–well, wow, Birmingham will have an amenity that other cities will definitely envy.

We hiked for about two hours along approximately 3.5 miles of trails and old railroad beds from when the area was full of iron-ore mines. The cool, dense forest arched overhead, and wildflowers dotted the sides of the trails. At the ridgetop we had great views into Jones and Shades valleys–it’s one of those spots where you realize that Red Mountain does reach the elevation of an actual mountain. Plus we passed a deep air vent to an abandoned ore mine and the overgrown ruins of a mining facility. That’s apparently just scratching the surface of what the park land contains, in terms of both natural spaces and historical remnants. The main trail we followed will eventually be paved, forming an eight-mile loop around the park for walkers, runners, and bikers.

The Friends of Red Mountain Park will host more public hikes this summer–one per month–and you can see the dates by following the above link. Go ahead and sign up for one. It’s your chance to explore a great new Birmingham space–and start imagining how cool it will be when you can stop by there any Sunday afternoon.



1. nick timkovich - May 20, 2008

hey Charles! I’m glad you made it to the hike on Sunday. You’re right, we weren’t expecting quite that many people. We will be next time, though!

Thanks for the press in the UAB mag. Please let us know if we can do anything else for you.

all the best,

Friends of Red Mountain Park

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