BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you need a quick escape from Birmingham but don’t want to leave the city limits, Red Mountain Park is the perfect spot.

Along an old mining railroad bed, 15 miles of trails sit ready to be hiked, biked, or walked.

“I’m really passionate about Birmingham history,” T.C. Mclemore, the park’s executive director, said. “I love the outdoors, I’ve written and researched a lot about company town history and mining life here in Birmingham.”

Birmingham exists in it’s modern-day form thanks to the mining of iron ore that began on the Red Mountain Park grounds. This fall, the park plans to open Mine No. 13, a shaft that has been closed off for half a century. Visitors will be able to feel the rush of underground air escaping by taking a short walk into the park.

“My favorite thing here is the whole time you’re hiking you’re walking through Birmingham history. So it’s almost like this outdoor museum,” Mclemore added.

The park offers free admission from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer. From the sensory trail to ziplines that can be booked by larger groups, the park offers something for every outdoor lover. 

“You can sort of retrace the footsteps of the people that did the work that built our city. I love that you can integrate outdoor recreation and history,” Mclemore added.

Learn more about Red Mountain park by visiting their website.