History and Background
Ruffner Mountain Nature Coalition, Inc., a 501 ( c ) 3 non profit organization, founded in 1977 operates as the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center. From the 28 original acres, the center now owns and/or manages over 1,000 acres of an undeveloped portion of Birmingham, Alabama’s unique Red Mountain ridge, and has been connecting people and nature for over thirty years.
The preserve is a special place within a metropolitan urban area where people can come to learn to be good stewards of the earth, caring for and observing biologically diverse native plants and wildlife, preserving remnants of Birmingham’s mining history, and hiking peaceful and un-crowded trails located just minutes from downtown.
Discover The Nature of the City
Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is a 1,011 acre natural oasis located on one of the last undeveloped stretches of the Red Mountain ridge known as Ruffner Mountain. Just a 10 minute escape from downtown Birmingham–Ruffner feels like a world away. Enjoy a short stroll or explore the mountain for an all day adventure. Miles of peaceful forested trails with surprising biodiversity, wetlands teaming with wildlife, remnants of our past mining history, and spectacular views from several overlooks await those who venture out. Learn about nature and the environment by attending a program or workshop or by visiting our Alabama animal exhibits, including raptors, turtles and other interesting native wildlife. Whether you are a teacher looking for a quality field based experience for your class, or an adult wanting to learn more about native plants and animals or environmental stewardship, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve’s programs offer something for everyone and all ages.
The mission of Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is to protect and manage Ruffner Mountain’s land as a sanctuary for native species of plants and animals; and through its educational and passive recreational programs foster within the community an appreciation for the value of the natural world and an understanding of the interdependence of all living things.
Environmentally Friendly By Design
The new Treehouse and Back Porch Complex, showcases environmentally friendly “green” L.E.E.D (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings. One of only six LEED Gold New Constructions in the state. The Treehouse Visitor Center features the Tree Top Activity Room for meetings and events, the Woodland Animal Exhibit Hall, The Nature of the City Gift Shoppe and the Visitor Information Center. The Back Porch Pavilion nearby is a gathering spot for programs, and where restrooms, vending, and picnic areas can be found.
Suggested donation of $2 per person is greatly appreciated. As a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization, your donation is very much needed to support our operations, and is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Program fees are reasonable and vary by program.
2011/12/19 - 2037/01/01
Additional time info:
Tree Top Visitor Center:
Closed on Mondays
9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.Tuesday through Saturday
1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Sundays
NOTE: Parking lot gates close promptly at 5:00 p.m. No exit after 5:00 p.m.
Visiting with a group of 10 or more? Please schedule your visit with us so we can best accommodate your needs. For the enjoyment of all visitors, unless you are scheduled for a program or event, we ask that you limit the number of visitors from your group inside the Tree Top Center to no more than 15 at a time.
Dawn to Dusk Daily
If you arrive before the visitor center gate opens or plan to leave after the gate closes, please park on the street. You may also access trails from 2 trailheads on Ruffner Road.
Holidays: Visitor Center is closed but trails are open on
New Year’s Day