One of the beautiful vistas found in Red Mountain Park. Seen here is a view of Downtown Birmingham from “Grace’s Gap”.
How great would it be to have acres of woodlands, hiking trails and zip lines in your own backyard? It seems like that could only be an outdoor enthusiasts’ dream, but our friends on the Red Mountain Park Commission, Friends of Red Mountain Park and the Red Mountain Park Staff have made all of that, and more, a reality! Dive a little deeper and see what it is that makes Red Mountain Park a “gem” of the Birmingham community.
Red Mountain has a rich history that began with its wealth of resources. The mountain was the home of a highly technical mining outfit that was overseen by US Steel. Over the years, cheaper ways to mine became available, and after nearly 100 years of mining operations on the mountain, US Steel officially closed the doors to production in 1962.
The land then sat virtually untouched for nearly 50 years. Having been stripped of most of its greenery and woodlands, the land needed time to repopulate its habitat and wildlife. To the benefit of the mountain’s vitality, the area flourished. In 2007, with the help of the Freshwater Land Trust and other devoted parties, US Steel made one of the nation’s largest corporate land donations in U.S. history. They sold the approximately 1,200 acres of land to the Red Mountain Park and Recreational Area Commission at an extremely discounted price and then provided an additional $1 million dollar donation. Since this point in time, Red Mountain Park has become an outdoor playground for outdoor enthusiasts. On the doorsteps of downtown Birmingham, the park offers 11 miles of hiking and biking trails, the Red Ore Zip Tour, the Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest, several mining ruins, 3 treehouses, the Remy’s Dog Park, and the Kaul Adventure Tower that is currently under construction and slated to open this Fall.
Remy’s Dog Park (Opening September 6th, 2014)
Remy’s Dog Park is the culmination of gracious donations, dedicated volunteers, and community involvement. Over 250 community volunteers cleared 6 acres of land to allow for the three separate “bark park” areas, including spaces for small dogs, large dogs and special needs dogs (elderly, shy, injured or recovering). This makes Remy’s Dog Park the largest of its kind in the state! Each designated off-leash area hosts shaded areas, open fields, and water sources making it the perfect pet friendly environment. Remy’s Dog Park is set to open Saturday September 6, 2014. The park will allow visitors at 9am and a special ribbon cutting ceremony with donor Ken Jackson and Mayor William Bell will begin at 11am.
Kaul Adventure Tower
Bringing a whole new level of high flying, treetop fun! The Kaul Adventure Tower project that is currently under construction will deliver a climber’s paradise. An 80ft tall structure will feature 8 climbing lanes, some peaking at 72ft! You can rappel down from 72ft and 36ft, or zip your way down superman style. Prepare yourself for another awesome adventure at Red Mountain Park.
Red Ore Zip Tour
A high-flying adventure through the treetops! The Red Ore Zip Tour offers a bird’s eye view of the wilderness, mining history, and 3 treehouses as it crosses the park. Hike, Sky Bridge, zip line, rope swing & rappel through the park with nothing but the wind in your hair and the trees at your back.
Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest
This high ropes adventure course offers 20 unique treetop obstacles ranging from tight ropes to climbing walls to swinging bridges. Whether you like a good challenge or you’re a bit of a daredevil, this course will surely keep you on your toes.
Hiking & Biking, Mine Ruins & Mountain Tops
You can’t go wrong with 11 miles of hiking trails, 7 miles of biking trails and 2 miles of flat trail terrain ONLY 15 MINUTES from downtown Birmingham. It’s like having a personal forest in your backyard! Beautiful vistas at Grace’s Gap and Ishkooda Overlook frame the city and Jones Valley while a series of hiking trails take you past old mine ruins and natural features. It is no wonder that Red Mountain Park has contributed so much to helping Birmingham get named one of the “greenest” cities in the nation.
Directions to Red Mountain Park here.
Tuesday Night Trails
This event is one of Alabama Outdoors’ own partnerships with the folks at Red Mountain Park. Every summer for the past 3 years, RMP and AO have offered up a FREE opportunity for runners of all skill levels to join in trail running the scenic trails at Red Mountain. Camaraderie, perspiration, and laughter are just the tip of the iceberg at this weekly Tuesday night event. Prepare yourself for the numerous trail races around Birmingham, or just come out for fun! The free trail runs start up in late spring (March/April) and finish up around Labor Day (September).
Archaeological digs, zip line tours, overnight campouts, creating artwork, and survival skills are just a few activities that filled Red Mountain Park’s various summer camps. This past year 4 different week long camps were featured: Adventure Camp, Archaeology Camp, Art Camp, and Nature Camp. Each week gave the campers a different opportunity to learn specialized (and fun!) skills. There is a place for everyone to learn something new!
Red Mountain Park truly is a valued member of the parks located in and around Birmingham. They have already contributed so much and yet they consistently have been striving to provide more accessibility and activities to the area. It is an incredible pleasure to be able to partner with Red Mountain Park and all that they represent in the outdoor community!
Find your next adventure at Red Mountain Park!