Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Red Mountain Park, Naturally

Lilting voices of songbirds, scampering feet across the dry forest floor, suddenly flushing wings - the well groomed trails of Red Mountain Park in Birmingham are replete with wildlife, though perhaps only the quiet and fastidious will see it.

Panorama of the Eureka Mines Trail leading to Ishkooda #13 Mine
The main entrance to the park leads to several trailheads, from which you can choose from a variety of trails that range from narrow, winding and climbing to broad, converted railbeds. While signs are in the process of being installed, those that are in place are very informative and helpful; in fact, I was able to navigate several miles of trail relying largely on the extant signage and my sense of direction. The trails that are open or close to it appear very natural but are easily found and navigated; eventually, trails will cover the more than 1000 acres that comprise Red Mountain Park.

Once on the trails and enveloped by forest, it's easy to forget that not ten minutes ago, you were on I-65 in the middle of Birmingham. Red Mountain Park is a utopia in the midst of mayhem. You might think I'm overstating it, but only because you haven't bee out here. The sounds of traffic disappear the further in you get, and if not for the occasional plane flying over, you'd forget that you're still surrounded on all sides by a major metropolitan area. And if you do manage to get lost or even injured, don't fret; there is cell phone reception throughout the park. Because, remember, you're still in the middle of Birmingham...I thought you might have forgotten.

And for those who are interested in adding some fun and adventure to their visit to Red Mountain Park, there's something for you too. A zip-line and ropes course is in the midst of being constructed. Platforms are up in the trees allowing for patrons to catch an elevated view of the forest and appreciate their woodsy isolation from a higher vantage point.

Red Mountain Park will be a splendid place for hikers to seek seclusion or families to find an enjoyable day together. It is neither so far away as to require a whole day nor too much planning. But be sure to pack a snack or two and some water, because once you're here, you'll likely choose to stay longer than you had intended.

Up next, we will be exploring some of the industrial remnants the park has to offer, here.

Small pond lively with Birdlife near Redding Mine 

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. Since this park opened shortly after my write-ups, it has become a staple in the area for running groups, family outings, and those who just generally enjoy hiking and being outdoors.