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Menasha Ridge Press
:: Five-Star Trails: Birmingham
Five-Star Trails: Birmingham
In the first decades of the 21st century, Birmingham is building again on its natural resources, but this time it’s not to fire steel-making smokestacks. Instead, where railroads ran and mines burrowed into mountains, the healed landscape is being repurposed for hiking and biking. New and expanding venues around the city are providing more opportunities not only to get outside and exercise but also to appreciate the labor and industry that built the city.
Birmingham is not only a collision point in history but is also a crossroads of biological and geological diversity. Within a short drive of Birmingham, you can find yourself on an Appalachian Mountain peak or on the banks of the Cahaba River as it broadens to snake through the Coastal Plain. You can visit old growth forest in the Sipsey Wilderness or hike down into the “Grand Canyon of the East” at Little River Canyon. And that's only the start. Across this landscape, you’ll find a level of diversity of plant and animal species, some rare and endangered, that rivals anywhere in the North America.
So get off the couch, skip the same-old-same-old and hit the trails. You’ll be rewarded.
About Thomas M. Spencer
Born in Birmingham, Thomas M. Spencer grew up hiking and camping in his native state, and for the past 20 years he has crisscrossed Alabama as a reporter for the
The Birmingham News
, specializing in coverage of the outdoors and the environment. Spencer is now the senior research associate at the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama based at Samford University. An Eagle Scout, Spencer was a founder of the Friends of Red Mountain Park and serves on the board of the Cahaba River Society. He lives in Birmingham, AL.
Thomas M. Spencer
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