This Saturday, June 5th, is the Alabama chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Hike for Hope event. As a supporter this year, AdventureKEEN is helping to raise awareness about suicide prevention because we believe that spending time outdoors can be a healing activity. We interviewed AFSP board member Amber Henderson earlier this week to learn more about the foundation and its programs. If you’re looking for a hike in the Birmingham area, we recommend Five Star Hikes: Birmingham, 2ed by Tom Spencer from our imprint Menasha Ridge Press. Though it’s getting a bit muggy down South, these five trails offer plenty of shade as you hike this weekend in support of AFSP’s Hike for Hope.
Aldridge Gardens — Found on page 53, this 1-mile loop circles around a lake and through some beautiful gardens. You’ll probably want to walk it more than once, noticing different flowers and creatures along the way.
Moss Rock Preserve: Boulder Field — This can be found on page 94 and offers a great hiking opportunity if kids will be joining you. It offers plenty of creeks to stand in and rocks to climb on.
Oak Mountain State Park: Peavine Falls — Found on page 126 of the book, this short (but steep) hike offers a true gem with a 20-foot waterfall followed by smaller waterfalls downstream. Take Tom’s recommended longer route, over a bridge and down the Falls Creek path, for the most enjoyable descent.
Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve: Nature Center to Hawk’s View — This is a longer (3-mile) out-and-back hike (on page 165 in the book), so take plenty of water. It’s a little more difficult than other hikes but worth it for the views!
Cahaba River Wildlife Refuge — Found on page 179, this hike will take you along a short part of Alabama’s longest free-flowing stream (200 miles total). Wear water shoes because you’ll want to walk out into the river to get a closer look at the unique and lovely Cahaba lilies (in bloom from mid-May to mid-June of each year).
As you can see, there are lots of beautiful places around Birmingham, Alabama, where you can get out and go for a walk or a hike. We hope these five hikes will inspire you to explore your local trails, as well as support and look into the work of the Alabama chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.