in Shelby County
Shelby County is a hiker’s paradise, with a range of trails that offer stunning scenery and varied terrain. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s a trail for you. Here are some of the most popular hiking trails in the area.
A hiking trail is a designated path that is primarily intended for walking, trekking, and hiking activities. These trails are usually located in natural outdoor settings, such as forests, mountains, and parks, and can range in difficulty from easy to extremely challenging. Hiking trails are typically marked with signage and can be maintained by park rangers or volunteers. They are often designed to showcase scenic views or lead to natural landmarks, such as waterfalls or mountain peaks. A good hiking trail should be safe and well-maintained, provide access to nature, and be accessible to a variety of skill levels. Additionally, a hiking trail should respect the surrounding environment and minimize the impact of hikers on the ecosystem.
Luckily, Shelby County has plenty of these trails!
Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain State Park is the most popular hiking destination in Shelby County, and for good reason. With over 50 miles of trails, there’s something for hikers of all skill levels. Learn more about Oak Mountain State Park and all the activities there.
The park boasts a variety of hiking trails with varying levels of difficulty, catering to hikers of all abilities. The trails showcase breathtaking vistas of the park’s serene lakes and lush forests. Each trail is thoughtfully marked to facilitate easy navigation, with the following trails available for exploration: Blue Trail, White Trail, Green Trail, Yellow Trail, Red Road/Trail, Maggie’s Glen, Lake Trail, and Treetop Nature Trail. Hikers can choose their desired route based on their skill level and preferences and enjoy a scenic stroll amidst the natural beauty of the park.
Cahaba River Park
The Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust and Shelby County have partnered to create Cahaba River Park. This picturesque park spans 1,838 acres and is situated where the Cahaba River and Shades Creek meet. The North Sector, which covers a combined 1,339 acres, is developed and located on River Road (County Road 251) off County Road 13 west of Helena. It comprises 1,212 acres of Forever Wild Property and 127 acres of Shelby County Property. On the other hand, the undeveloped South Sector covers 311 acres of Forever Wild Property and 188 acres of Shelby County Property. It is located at the end of County Road 251 off County Road 10 west of Montevallo.
It’s worth noting that County Road 251 doesn’t cross the Cahaba River, and there is no motorized vehicle access between the two sectors. If you’re up for some outdoor fun, the park offers several river miles for canoeing, as well as a safe place to swim or fish when water levels permit. Lastly, the park operates from sunrise to sunset.
The North Sector of the park boasts an extensive network of multi-use trails that spans roughly 30 miles. These trails are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running, and include 21 miles of professionally designed and constructed single track trails. The trail options are diverse, ranging from ridgetop trails cutting through the pines to scenic trails along the Cahaba River or Shades Creek. The South Sector has a trail system, a caretaker’s house, pavilions, and river access points are planned in the future.
- Cahaba Lilies
- Mountain Biking
- Outdoor Shower
- Changing Facility
- River Access Points
- Walking Trail
Double Oak Park
Double Oak Park is a haven for hikers who love to explore nature, as it offers a wide range of trails suitable for both beginners and experienced hikers. Whether you want to take it easy or challenge yourself, there is a trail for everyone at Double Oak Park. Some of the park’s best trails include the Easy Rider, Morning Dew, Truckin’, Raven’s Roost, Laurel Loop, and Fire on the Mtn. Each trail varies in length and difficulty, so make sure to choose the one that suits your level of hiking experience. Get ready to enjoy a day full of adventure in the great outdoors at Double Oak Park.
Walking Trails in Shelby County
In addition to the above-mentioned hiking trails, Shelby County is home to many other beautiful trails. Here are a few more worth exploring:
- Buck Creek Greenway: This trail system has about 3 miles of walking and biking paths, including a 1.5-mile main trail that connects two major parks: Buck Creek Park and Warrior Park.
- Columbiana Community Trail: This trail is located behind the ¼-mile walking track at Elvin Hill Elementary School on Shelby County Schools’ fenced-in property. The trail offers a single loop that spans 1.48 miles, meandering through hilly and wooded terrain.
- Dunnavant Valley Greenway: This trail stretches for about 1.8 miles in one direction, following the course of the North Fork of Yellow Leaf Creek, and connects two trailheads. The trailhead at the southern end is situated in the Dunnavant Valley Fields, which are next to Hwy 280.
- Heardmont Park Trail: spans approximately one mile and includes additional links that provide intra-connectivity to the 74-acre family recreational park.
- Hillsboro Trail: This trail comprises more than 3 miles of trails that will link expansive residential communities to commercial developments and an elementary and middle school. The trail also connects existing and upcoming parks and other trails to Buck Creek.
- Montevallo Greenway: Find this 2-mile trail where the Orr Park paved path comes closest to the intersection of Middle Street and Island Street.
- Veterans Park Alabaster Trail: This trail on Highway 119 is situated in a 90-acre park facility and spans about 2 miles. The trail is paved, well-lit, and easily accessible for individuals with disabilities.
All of these trails are suitable for skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced. Grab your favorite walking or hiking shoes and get started!
Tips for Hiking in Shelby County
Before heading out on your hike, it’s important to be prepared. Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately, and make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks. It’s also a good idea to have a map of the area and not solely rely on cell service to navigate.
When hiking in a group, it’s important to stay together and keep an eye out for each other. And remember to leave no trace — pack out everything you bring with you, including trash and other litter. By respecting the environment and other hikers, we can all enjoy the trails for years to come.
Remember to prepare properly, follow safety guidelines, and respect the environment, and you’re sure to have a great time on the trails.
Discover More In Shelby County
Outdoor enthusiasts will have a blast in Shelby County, AL. Pack your bag, lace up your hiking shoes, grab a buddy, and hit the trails!
Looking to explore more in Shelby County? Check out where to eat, stay, and play in the area.