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Best Outdoor Activities in Birmingham

, 8 Options Found

Red Mountain Park consists of 1500 acres (607.02 hectares) full of outdoor fun and excitement. In addition to the 11 hiking trails in the park, there are also zip-lining facilities, historic mines, three tree houses and the Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest and Kaul Adventure Tower. The park is one of Birmingham's favorite destinations for outdoor adventure.

Birmingham's warm climate ensures that something is always blooming at the Botanical Gardens. Enjoy spring azaleas, summer roses, fall leaves and winter camellias as you tour the extensive grounds. Or, step inside the Southeast's largest clear-span glass greenhouse to enjoy orchids and other tropicals. Visit the Japanese Tea House and Garden and the Southern Living Garden, plus vegetable, fern, iris and other special gardens. Other attractions include the Gatehouse Gift Shop, a café and a library. Lectures, demonstrations, concerts and other events occur almost daily; inquire for a schedule. Admission is free. All paths are wheelchair and stroller-accessible.

This outstanding nature center situated on the site of an iron ore mine was closed in the 1950s and reopened as a nature refuge in the 1970s. Visitors to this mid-city refuge can explore the former quarries and ore crushers, hike 10 miles of trails, watch hawks soar, study rock formations and enjoy the wildflowers and wildlife.

Veteran's Park is 82 acres of outdoor fun in Hoover. The park features a whole array of facilities for your convenience, fitness and entertainment. Take advantage of the namesake Veteran's Memorial, the four acre lake, two pavilions, cross country trail, beach volleyball courts and the Butterfly Garden. There are restrooms available in the park, as well as parking.

Rickwood Field was built in 1910 for in the city's professional baseball team, the Coal Barons. Rickwood Field has since been restored to look the way it did in its 1940s heyday, all the way down to the hand-operated scoreboard. Wearing old-time uniforms, the Birmingham Barons play the annual Rickwood Classic. Baseball greats who played at Rickwood include Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb and Birmingham's own Burleigh Grimes, the last legal spitball pitcher in the big leagues. Rickwood was also home to the Birmingham Black Barons Negro League team, which brought the likes of Satchel Paige, Piper Davis and local teenage phenomenon Willie Mays to play here. There is no charge to visit Rickwood; inquire about admission prices for the Rickwood Classic and other special events.

Kelly Ingram Park is a treasure trove of sculptures occupying the heart of Birmingham. Formerly known as the West Park, the park served as the platform for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. It is home to several sculptures that thoughtfully commemorate those who fought for racial equality. The bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, the 'Four Spirits' sculptures, and the 'I Ain't Afraid Of Your Jail are three of the park's standout sights. Thriving under the aegis of the 16th Street Baptist Church, this park is a beautiful amalgamation of history and culture.

Famous for its "miracle mile", Rickwood Caverns State Park is an absolute delight for those with an interest in speleology. The underground caverns that make up the famed miracle mile comprise fascinating limestone formations and passages with beautiful lighting. As the cavern has been carved from the seabed, its walls and ceiling feature many fossils, shells and other signs of marine life. Aside from the natural wonders, the park boasts facilities like a swimming pool, hiking trails, campground, gem mining and more.

For an adventure zipping between the treetops of Red Mountain Park, check out the zipline adventure from Red Ore Zip Tours. Your adventure guides will lead you from treehouse to treehouse, along ropes courses and speeding down suspended cables for some blood-pumping fun. To get to the zip tour, you must hike about 10-15 minutes through Red Mountain Park, so you get a bit of fitness in with your fun.

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