Friday, March 22, 2013

Oak Mountain Trails- One of God's Good Gifts

Birmingham has some beautiful outdoor destinations, each with its own therapeutic power to soothe away the heaviness of the world.

Since I have been back in Birmingham these last 2 years, it has been fun to reconnect with the hiking, fishing, and running routes that keep me mindful of all the good things God has given us while we walk our journey on earth.

The hardest part about the Oak Mountain trails are that they aren't loops. The hiking and biking trails are straight lines where you walk as far as you want and then turn around and I have never liked that as a hiker or runner.

So a key piece of enjoying the trails is getting familiar with the trailheads and connector trails that allow you to do more of a loop and make it like an adventure.

We have some small loops, medium loops, and large loops that are really fun. It's not hard to map one out and using a GPS on your smart phone can help (mapmyrun or everytrail apps are free).

Oak Mountain Trail Map

I am not an expert at Oak Mountain Trails- but I am becoming more familiar with what each trail offers.

Here is a link to another hike (7 miles) Melissa and I did: President's Day Hike

BLUE TRAIL: Is a climb to the ridge and follows the southern mountain range of the park boundary. It has some beautiful overlooks to the south. If you do blue from the North Trail Head- you will climb fast, take your time and check out the Eagles Nest Overlook and other such overlooks along the way.
Once you get to the ridge, it is a fairly flat hike that eventually hits Peavine Falls (after 6.7 miles). So this is a great trail to traverse the southern edge of the park.

WHITE TRAIL: I love the white trail- it offers and amazing variety of terrain and sights. It also runs from the North Trailhead to the Falls. On the Southwest end of the trail (South Trail Head- Peavine Falls Parking) the white trail is flat and follows a mountain stream- but you soon climb going Northeast and have an amazing part where you are on the ridge of a mountain with beautiful views off both sides.

YELLOW TRAIL: A full Yellow is long and winding (over 8 miles) and (it always seems to come on the stretch where I am tired) it can be sneaky tough. It is a rolling trail with a couple of up and overs that will get your heart rate up. My favorite part of yellow is where it goes around "Old Lake" and the spillway there.

GREEN TRAIL: Short (1.9) somewhat of a conector trail that traverses white and yellow trails.

I haven't mentioned RED because red is more of a mountain bikers trail and less of a hikers trail. Red is fun to ride, but not as fun to walk.

So- pack a lunch- put some water bottles in - and take off- it a beautiful time of enjoying God's creation and the rejuvenation of nature.

Oak Mountain offers more than a day hike- there is golf, boating, etc. But the hike is rather nice!

Top of the blue trail

Peavine Falls Gorge

A Major Connector Intersection
White/Red Connector North

Top of Peavine Falls

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