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The beautiful Iron and Steel Museum of Alabama, as the name suggests, exhibits a great demonstration of how iron was formed during the Civil War. Popularly known as the Tannehill Museum, The museum is located in Tannehill Ironworks Historical Park and features iron-making technology, machines, tools and all the products used during ancient times. The museum also exhibits a collection of steam engines, war materials and more.
One of the most interesting destinations in the area, this park is about a 20-minute drive from downtown Birmingham. Tannehill was the site of a large Civil War-era blast furnace that was destroyed by Union troops in 1865. Accompanying the restored furnace are a museum and, in the summer, working artisans recreating rural Alabama life circa the 1840s. There are also several hiking trails, as well as cabins for rent and a campground. The park is open daily.
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.