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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.
Birmingham's Railroad Park is a 19 acre (7.68 hectare) park that was created in 2010. The park has water features, trails, and lots of grassy areas for playing and picnicking. The park often plays hosts to special events and concerts throughout the year. A welcome slice of green amid the steely concrete of the city, this park is also a serene place for leisurely walks and jogging. Couples who frequent the park often cap off their walks with a nice snack at the Boxcar Cafe located within the park premises.
In ancient mythology, Vulcan was ugly. So ugly, that he was kicked out of his home on Mount Olympus and forced to become a blacksmith among the common people with a volcano as his forge. But he eventually married Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, so either he wasn’t really that ugly or he just had a really good sense of humor. Today, the god stands as the tallest cast iron statue in the world in the center of Birmingham’s Vulcan Park & Museum, which features educational tours and a soaring observation deck overlooking the city.
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.
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.
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.
Touted to be the best place in the state to mountain bike, Oak Mountain State Park is where beautiful central Alabama scenery unfolds in all its glory. Sprawled across acres and acres, this rolling state park is a wonderland for recreation, boasting an undulating, picturesque landscape. The park is complete with elongated miles of bike trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking and camping sites, and rustic cabins, while the presence of serene lakes only accentuates its picture-perfect topography. The park is home to motley picnicking areas, basketball courts and a golf course, and the jubilant Peavine Falls also lie burrowed in its idyllic recesses. Weaving through dense woods is a boardwalk which witnesses the true grace of nature, while the Alabama Wildlife Center harbors periled and native wildlife. Approximately a 30-minute drive south from the city center, Oak Mountain State Park is a remarkable one among all of Alabama's state parks.