With a cool autumn breeze blowing across the rocky outcropping known as the King’s Chair, and the hardwood trees glowing with brilliant fall colors, you really get a true impression of the city of Birmingham. On the horizon, you see the skyscrapers that mark the city as a bustling business center. But there is another side of the Magic City that is often overlooked — the natural beauty that encircles it.
Enveloping the city are gently rolling mountains, tumultuous white water and tranquil flatwater rivers and streams, and much more. There are myriad ways to visit these natural wonders.
Visitors to Birmingham have a seemingly endless variety of outdoor activities to pursue. Let me introduce you to eight of the best that you shouldn’t miss on a trip to Birmingham.
You will be surprised at how many miles of hiking trails are located near and around the city. Your first stop for a walk in the woods should be Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham. Only 30 minutes from downtown, Oak Mountain has 25 miles of incredible hiking trails that lead you to spectacular views. The most challenging hike, but the one with the best view, is to the King’s Chair, a 4.2-mile loop that takes you to a tall rock outcropping with a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and valley.
Your hike begins on the Blue Trail from the park’s north trailhead. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is a $5 a day use fee for adults, $2 for seniors age 61 and over, and…