You’ve probably noticed a change in your surroundings over the last couple of weeks. The cold tones of winter have melted away to be replaced with a panoply of the brightest greens and purest blues you’ve ever seen. Spring has sprung in Birmingham and there’s no better time to be outside in our city! Birmingham has a wealth of public outdoor space and its calling your name.
Situated at the very center of downtown, Railroad Park is the heart of the outdoor energy of our city. The park occupies 4 full city blocks and has been the catalyst for much of the growth our urban core has seen since its opening in 2010. Lovingly known as the city’s “front yard,” the lives of its residents are on full display. Grab the hand of someone you love and wander the landscape as trains glide by like kinetic sculpture. Find the workout of your life and some unexpected friendships at one of the park’s free exercise classes. Whatever you do, come and experience for yourself the range of activities Railroad Park has to offer.
If you’re looking for more of a walk on the wild side, you need look no further than the edge of the city center. Two former mining camps have been repurposed as nature preserves that offer more rugged experiences for the bold among us. Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve has a network of wooded trails that will make you forget you’re in the middle of one of the city’s resurgent neighborhoods. Red Mountain Park is one of Birmingham’s newest outdoor spaces. Thrill seekers will enjoy the park’s many adventures, including the Red Ore zip-line tour.
The Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System is the name given to a vision for connecting the many cherished outdoor spaces Birmingham has to offer. Far from a pipe dream, the first of the systems many trails has been constructed and is open to the public. The crown jewel of the trail is Rotary Trail Park, where the trail runs four blocks through a former rail line that is sunken many feet below street level. Set to open next week, Rotary Trail Park is unlike anything you have encountered in Birmingham or beyond.
Your outdoor opportunities are not limited to those listed here. Walk along the historic, tree-lined Highland Avenue. Take in the urban theatre all around you as you dine street-side at a downtown café. It doesn’t really matter what you do so long as it’s outside. A brand new Birmingham is waiting for you.