With more than 1,500 acres and 15 miles of hiking and biking trails to its name, Birmingham’s Red Mountain Park is an outdoor enthusiast’s and nature lover’s dream. The former site of the city’s thriving iron ore industry has been completely transformed into a verdant, forested oasis. And did you know there are three treehouses hidden throughout the park? Rising high above the treetop canopy these wooden structures offer fantastic views of the city and deep Alabama woods below. Here’s how to find and experience the whimsy of all three.
The most popular of Red Mountain’s three treehouses, Haskell’s Hideaway, is a 1.37-mile hike from the welcome center up the Smythe Trail, then west. You can also access it from the Skyhy Ridge Walk trail that runs across the northern expanse of the park. Cross a long swinging bridge to a circular platform built around a tall tree soaring high into the sky. It’s the perfect viewing platform and a wonderful place for a picnic.
Riley’s Roost is a little closer to Red Mountain’s main entrance at only 1.10 miles away via Shook Trail. Follow a twisted wooden bridge, not of the swinging variety, to a treehouse similar to Haskell’s Hideaway. One of the best things about Riley’s Roost is its adjoining hammock area, where you can literally swing from the treetops.
In the far eastern corner of the park, you can check out the last of the Red Mountain treehouse trio. At 2.05 miles from the park’s welcome station, it’s requires the longest walk, but offers a huge payout in the form of gorgeous view via Grace’s Gap Overlook The treehouse and observation deck open onto a big clearing that perfectly frames a uninterrupted view of downtown Birmingham. Featuring a swinging bridge and multiple platforms, there’s plenty of space to explore. If you plan to stay awhile to take in the views, picnic tables overlooking the views are also available.
More to See
Once you’ve completed your treehouse tour, the landmarks to see and places to explore are far from over. Here are some other must-visit spots within Red Mountain Park.
- Remy’s Dog Park
- 3 Historical Iron Ore Mining Sites (#10, #13, #14)
- Butler Snow Sensory Trail
- Adventure Area featuring Vulcan Materials Zip Trip, Hugh Kaul Beanstalk Forest, Kaul Adventure Tower & Mega Zip, Susan Matt Webb Team Area
- Picnic areas and an outdoor classroom
- TravelStorys Tour – Hear the story of Red Mountain Park and Birmingham’s history via the TravelStorys app, where you can hear audio recordings offering first-hand accounts of the events that took place at each landmark within the park. Walk on the converted trails of old railroad beds, and discover mining structures that contributed to Birmingham’s booming iron and steel industry. Hear the voices of the men who once worked the dangerous mines, and women who made homes with them in the tight-knit Red Mountain communities.