6 stroller-friendly paths for a social distant walk in metro Birmingham

6 stroller-friendly paths for a social distant walk in metro Birmingham
Heardmont Park (Source: Melynda Schauer)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Many parents of little ones are looking for creative and safe ways to spend time outdoors while still social distancing. If you can brave the heat during these sunny summer days, there are several options in the Birmingham area that are perfect for a socially distant walk with babies in strollers or kids of all ages.

Be sure to bring extra water since many locations still don’t have their water fountains turned on. All of the following locations are also free to visit.

  • Aldridge Gardens: This lush park in Hoover has been open to visitors since the early days of the pandemic, allowing guests to enjoy the beautiful blooms, watch turtles and ducks swim in the pond, and eat a picnic lunch at their tables, which are spaced more than 6 feet apart. There’s plenty of shade and several paved paths, perfect for pushing a single or double stroller. The walk around the pond is not paved, but is easy to do with walking toddlers. 

Address: 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover AL 35216

Hours: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

Restrooms: Open

Aldridge Gardens
Aldridge Gardens (Source: Melynda Schauer)
  • Birmingham Botanical Gardens: The Birmingham Botanical Gardens opened again to visitors on June 15, 2020 after being closed for three months due to the pandemic. You can explore the trails to a small waterfall and bridge in the Fern Glade, or take the scenic, shady route to the iconic Japanese gardens. Kids can easily spot large fish and turtles from the winding bridge. The bamboo forest is another fun area for kids and it’s easily accessible for strollers (there are some gravel paths along the way).

Address: 2612 Lane Park Road

Hours: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Restrooms: Open

Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham Botanical Gardens (Source: Melynda Schauer)
  • Railroad ParkEnjoy the view of Birmingham’s skyline from Railroad Park, where you can stroll along the outer loop, which is 3/4 of a mile long. The park may be best for a brisk walk with a stroller, since picnics, group activities and even sitting are not currently allowed. The playground areas for kids are also closed, as of June 22. You can check the Railroad Park website for updates on their COVID-19 policies

Address: 1600 1st Avenue South

Hours: 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. 

Restrooms: Closed; some nearby businesses may allow restroom visits for customers

Railroad Park
Railroad Park (Source: Melynda Schauer)
  • Lakeshore Trail (Homewood Shades Creek Greenway): This paved pathway is a great walk for strollers, with shady spots perfect for a snack break. It’s also ideal for older kids riding bikes. The 2.5 mile long trail runs alongside a creek as it follows Lakeshore Drive, with views of Samford University and Homewood High School along the way. You can park at the Brookwood Mall or the Homewood Target shopping center, or in the parking lots at each end of the trail (Brookwood Blvd near Highway 31, and Greensprings Highway/Columbiana Road).

Address: One end: 1280 Columbiana Road, Homewood, AL 35209, USA; the other end: Brookwood Boulevard and Brookwood Village Road, Homewood, AL 35209

Hours: No official hours

Restrooms: None, but there are open restrooms at Brookwood Mall and the Homewood Target

Lakeshore Trail
Lakeshore Trail (Source: Melynda Schauer)
  • Heardmont Park in the Oak Mountain area of Shelby County has paved trails that weave through baseball, softball and soccer fields. The trails cross over the Cahaba Valley Creek, with bridges offering great vantage points of the water. There are easy access points for kids to wade in the creek or they can practice their climbing skills on several rocks scattered under shady trees. The paved trails are also great for bike riding, and there’s even a spot to bike through the water. 

Address: 5458 Cahaba Valley Road, Birmingham AL 35242

Hours: No official hours

Restrooms: Open

Heardmont Park
Heardmont Park (Source: Melynda Schauer)
  • Hillsboro Trail in Helena is a great option for Shelby County residents, and it’s not too far to drive from Birmingham. The paved trail follows an old railroad bed and includes four tunnels and bridges along its two mile stretch. You can get to Old Town Helena through sidewalks on the north end and the trail connects to Helena High School and Helena Middle School on the southern end. You can find a map under the “Trail document” link on the Hillsboro Trail page at discovershelby.com. There’s also a trailhead east of Highway 52 and Hillsboro Parkway.

Address: 101 Appleford Road, Helena, AL 35080

Hours: No official hours

Restrooms: None

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