Looking for ideas on how to complete your 16.6? Check out these recommendations:
6 trails with 16.6 miles of hiking in the Birmingham area:
- Oak Mountain State Park, Peavine Falls Short Loop- 1.2 miles, rated moderate. This trail is a loop and is one of the many routes to Peavine Falls. Entrance fees to visit the park is $5 for adults and $2 for children. Oak Mountain State Park offers a variety of activities if you would like to pack a lunch and spend the day there.
- Ruffner Nature Preserve, Overlook Trail via Quarry Trail- 2.8 miles, rated easy. This is an out and back trail that features an overlook of a quarry and downtown Birmingham. To take a different route on the way back to the parking lot, turn on the Silent Journey trail (less difficult) or the Ridge and Valley trail (more difficult) trail.
- Red Mountain Park, Grace's Gap Overlook- 3.9 miles, rated moderate. This trail is an out and back featuring old mines, wildflowers, a treehouse, and an overlook. Red Mountain Park's trails are mountain biker friendly if you are wanting an experience that is not on foot.
- Moss Rock Preserve, Moss Rock Preserve Trail- 3.0 miles, rated moderate. This trail is a loop that features a creek, waterfall, and boulders. This trail is within an urban community and is a hotspot for many local rock climbers. The trail can be tricky at spots so bring a map and watch the trail's markings!
- Oak Mountain State Park, King's Chair Loop- 4.2 miles, rated moderate. This trail is a loop and features a stream and an overlook known as "King's Chair." Entrance fees to enter the park is $5 for adults and $2 for children. The hike up the blue trail is steep and this is the most difficult trail on this list so bring extra water and snacks. This is a very rewarding trail but if you aren't up for the elevation gain check out the extension to the Vulcan Trail below or head back out to Red Mountain Park to explore more historical mines.
- Lane Park, Vulcan Trail- 1.7 miles, rated easy. This trail is an out and back and is perfect to watch the sunset over downtown. The trail is paved and begins underneath the Vulcan statue. If you are looking to add a couple of extra flat miles the trail actually extends about a mile once the paved road ends making the trail a little under 4 miles round trip.
Learn more about these trails here.
Flat Walking and/or Biking Paths
- Railroad Park- Wanting to complete 16.6 laps for the EHB 16.6 Challenge? Railroad Park might be longer than your typical high school track but is much more exciting. To keep your journey interesting, there is a variation of loops at the park that can be walked, biked, skated, or jogged. This would be a perfect spot to have a picnic or check out a local cafe for a bite to eat or coffee.
- Rotary Trail- Located a couple of blocks from Railroad Park is the Rotary Trail. Being about half a mile, this path is perfect for a 16.6-minute lunch time stroll. It can even be connected to the Jones Valley Trail. If you’re looking to cover more ground you can connect Railroad Park, the Rotary Trail, and Jones Valley Trail.
- Shades Creek Greenway Trail- This path is wide, paved, and has zero turns making it extremely biker and skater friendly. This route runs parallel to Lakeshore Drive starting at the intersection of Greenspring Highway and ending by the Brookwood Mall. The path is about 5.1 miles if you travel from one end to another and back. Wanting to travel even further? Look into using the sidewalks in front to Brookwood mall to link it to the Jemison Nature Trail.
- Jemison Nature Trail- This trail is a combination of sidewalks and dirt trails and is about 3.4 miles from the starting point, out, and back. The trail runs next to a creek and parallel to Mountain Brook Parkway. This path is perfect for someone wanting to connect to nature without a lot of climbs or strenuous terrain that can be experienced on many hiking trails.
- Magic City Half Marathon Route- The Magic City half marathon has an excellent route to tour downtown Birmingham. This route is 13.1 miles and was initially made for runners but can also be biked (preferably not during high traffic hours). See a link to the course below.
- Oak Mountain State Park Roads- Oak Mountain State Park is known for its mountain biking trails, however, the roads throughout the park are also biker friendly if you are wanting to bike 16.6 minutes, laps, or miles without going off road. There is a $5 fee to enter the park. If you are interested in their mountain biking trails check out the link below that also includes a map of their trail system.