This hike creates opportunities for more communities in Birmingham to engage in outdoor recreation and learn about our shared history.
This will be Southeastern Outings second hike on this relatively new in-city trail. The hike, which is rated easy, will be 3 miles long with very little change in elevation.
Birmingham’s three-mile High Ore Line Trail is now complete and open to the public. We will start our hike on the High Ore Line Trail from the Jefferson County Western Health Center in Midfield and hike along an old railroad line to Red Mountain Park’s new entrance and parking lot on Venice Road. The trail is mostly flat and off road and provides an accessible place to walk in Greater Birmingham’s outdoors.
In 2012, the City of Birmingham won a competitive Department of Transportation TIGER grant for $10,000,000 in order to develop active transportation routes in Birmingham. With this funding, the City of Birmingham, Freshwater Land Trust, Jefferson County Health Department, and many partners have built 14 trail miles throughout Birmingham. The first two miles of the High Ore Line Trail opened in 2016. With its third and final mile complete, High Ore Line now connects Red Mountain Park to Jefferson County’s growing Red Rock Trail System.
“We are thrilled to open this new portion of High Ore Line and hope it will continue to be a valuable asset to the community,” said Carolyn Buck, Freshwater Land Trust Red Rock Trail Director. “With each trail opening, we are one step closer to our goal of building and connecting 750 miles of trails in Jefferson County.”
“We are excited to celebrate this long-anticipated connection to Red Mountain Park as it creates more opportunities for more communities in Birmingham to engage in outdoor recreation and learn about our shared history,” said T.C. McLemore, Red Mountain Park Executive Director.
In Midfield, an industrial suburb of Birmingham near the towering U.S. Steel plant, a railroad track once sliced through the air, an elevated track running ore and coal from the mines at Red Mountain to the steel works at Fairfield. Today, decades after the railroad went out of operation, the elevated track has a new lease on life: a green one.
Spanning three miles from Midfield to Venice Road at the base of Red Mountain, the High Ore Line Trail now occupies the raised railroad line as one of the newest additions to the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System. Connecting neighborhoods in west Birmingham to Midfield, the trail passes its visitors over Valley Creek with a glimpse in the distance of Red Mountain Park – to which the trail is now connected. It is a space of recreation and peace, a place where a simple stroll can become a scenic experience blending the urban industrial suburbs with natural, preserved greenspace.
As greenspaces around Birmingham help the Magic City make a resurgence, the High Ore Line Trail is a project that makes sure the western neighborhoods of Birmingham get their own piece of the puzzle.
Note-To view photos of what we will see on this trip, please click on this link:
Please be sure to click on the link and view the photographs.
Please bring water to drink and comfortable footwear suitable for walking three miles. We expect to complete the hike about lunch time. For those who would like to enjoy lunch with their fellow hikers, you may join the group for lunch at the Subway sandwich restaurant on Lakeshore Parkway on the way back.
Please meet 9:15 a.m. at the new Jones Valley parking lot for Red Mountain Park, 2109 Venice Road, Birmingham, Alabama. We plan to depart from there at 9:30 a.m.
Information and Trip Leader: Dan Frederick, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 205-631-4680
DIRECTIONS TO MEETING PLACE
Red Mountain Park Jones Valley parking lot, 2109 Venice Road, Birmingham, Alabama 35211– Take I-65 to the Lakeshore Parkway Exit, Exit number 255. At end of the exit ramp turn left onto Lakeshore Parkway if coming from Hoover. Turn right onto Lakeshore Parkway if coming from downtown Birmingham. Drive 4.5 miles on Lakeshore Parkway to traffic light at intersection with Venice Road on the right and Shannon-Wenonah Road on the left. There is no sign saying “Venice Road,’ but see sign on right saying “Wennonah” with arrow pointing to the right. Turn right onto Venice Road. Drive 1.2 miles on Venice Road. See obvious trail on the left and driveway for Jones Valley Parking Lot for Red Mountain Park on the right. There is no sign for Red Mountain Park there, but there is a very prominent pedestrian crosswalk painted on the road you are on and a pedestrian crossing sign on the right of the road at that intersection. Turn right there and drive into the Red Mountain Park Jones Valley Parking Lot and park there. That is the meeting place for our hike.
DESCRIPTION OF SOUTHEASTERN OUTINGS
DESCRIPTION OF SOUTHEASTERN OUTINGS
Do you wish you had friends who share your active lifestyle and enjoyment of outdoor activities? Then become active with Southeastern Outings (SEO), a nonprofit organization committed and created to serve people who enjoy being active in the outdoors. The organization plans, organizes and leads outings such as dayhikes, easy kayak and canoe trips, stream and waterfall walks, bicycle rides, lake events and other fun activities to beautiful sites in our natural environment. From time to time we also sponsor potluck suppers and other socials. All events and activities of the group are open to the public. Participating in SEO activities is a splendid, simple way to make congenial new friends who enjoy the outdoors.
NO DOGS OR SMOKING ALLOWED, PLEASE, ON ANY SOUTHEASTERN OUTINGS EVENTS.
The organization currently has about 300 members. We scheduled seventy-four events during calendar year 2020 for an average of 6 fun events per month. We enjoy the outdoors in all seasons throughout the year.
SEO does not charge for participation in any of its outings. You do not have to be a member to participate in one or two SEO activities. Dues are only $10. Please contact Dan Frederick, President, 205-631-4680, or email@example.com for more information and to obtain three free monthly newsletters with membership application and a complete description of all our outdoor events.
Southeastern Outings now has a website. Just go to seoutings.org to find announcements of all our upcoming outings scheduled plus some brief, general information about Southeastern Outings, a membership application and 1500 lovely photographs from most of our outings.