March 2021 Activities

 

MARCH 6, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.                         

Southeastern Outings Dayhike                                 

Where: Horseshoe Bend National Military Park                                

 

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Details: On March 27, 1814, Major General Andrew Jackson‘s army of 3,300 men attacked Chief Menawa’s 1,000 Red Stick Creek warriors fortified in a horseshoe- shaped bend of the Tallapoosa River.  Over 800 Red Sticks died that day.  The battle ended the Creek War, resulted in a land cession of 23,000,000 acres to the United States and created a national hero of Andrew Jackson.                         

In March 1814, General Jackson's army left Fort Williams on the Coosa River, cut a 52-mile trail through the forest in three days, and on the 26th made camp six miles north of Horseshoe Bend. The next morning, Jackson sent General John Coffee and 700 mounted infantry and 600 Cherokee and Creek allies three miles down-stream to cross the Tallapoosa and surround the bend. He took the rest of the army - about 2000 men, consisting of East and West Tennessee militia and the Thirty-ninth U.S. Infantry - into the peninsula and at 10:30 a.m. began an ineffectual two-hour artillery bombardment of the Red Sticks' log barricade. At noon, Coffee's Cherokee allies crossed the river and assaulted the Red Sticks from the rear. Jackson quickly ordered a frontal bayonet charge, which poured over the barricade. Fighting ranged over the south end of the peninsula throughout the afternoon. By dark at least 800 of Chief Menawa's 1,000 Red Sticks were dead (557 slain on the field and 200-300 in the river). Menawa himself, although severely wounded, managed to escape. Jackson's losses in the battle were 49 killed and 154 wounded, many mortally.           

Though the Red Sticks had been crushed at Tohopeka, remnants of the war party held out for several months. In August 1814, a treaty between the United States and the Creek Nation was signed at Fort Jackson near the present day city of Wetumpka, Alabama. The Treaty of Fort Jackson ended the conflict and required the Creeks to cede 23 million acres of land to the United States. The state of Alabama was carved out of this domain and admitted to the Union in 1819.              

In 1828, partly as a result of his fame from the battles of Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans, Andrew Jackson was elected the seventh President of the United States.                                                                           

We may have the opportunity to watch a short film and view the exhibits before we begin our hike which is rated easy.  Viewing the film is contingent upon the visitor center being open   on March 6.  As of the time this announcement was written, the visitor center, restrooms and picnic area were closed. 

 Hike distance is 5.8 miles.              

 Admission to the park is free.                         

Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age eight and over welcome. 

 Optional restaurant dinner after the hike.                

Please meet 9:45 a.m. at the Publix in The Village at Lee Branch in Greystone.  We plan to depart from there at 10:00 a.m.                        

Info: Randall Adkins, 205/317-6969

 

MARCH 13, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Hike

Where: Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

 

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Details: Join SEO for a moderate, approximately four to five-mile, moderately strenuous big loop hike on the lovely, well-maintained trails in the 1000+-acre Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, one of the largest in-city nature preserves in the country. 

We’ll see remnants of old iron ore mining operations which took place on the mountain.  We’ll stop by and visit three old iron ore crushers, stop by the entrances to three, different types of iron ore mines, walk around the new wetlands area, see a real artesian well which still emits copious amounts of water, and view foundations for ore car hoists and various water tanks.

This trip is likely to involve some elevation gain hiking between the lower sections of the park to the top of Ruffner Mountain.

Please bring your picnic lunch and drinking water with you.  

Meet 9:45 a.m. at the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center Pavilion or in the parking lot next to the pavilion if the pavilion is cordoned off on the day of the hike.  We plan to start hiking at 10:00 a.m.

Info: David Shepherd, davidshep2@yahoo.com or 205/240-4681

 

MARCH 14, SUNDAY, Meet 12:45 p.m.

Southeastern Outings Second Sunday Dayhike in Oak Mountain State Park


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Details: Enjoy a moderate 4-mile walk in the woodlands near Birmingham on a Sunday afternoon.  This is an excellent outing for introducing your friends to Southeastern Outings and for making new friends who enjoy the outdoors.  Parts of this hike may be off the color-coded trails.  There will be some ups and downs.  

Well-behaved, properly supervised children age eight and up able to walk the distance of about 4 miles without complaining and complete the hike are welcome. 

Share an adventure!  Bring a friend. 

Please meet at 12:45 p.m. in the Oak Mountain Park office parking lot.  We plan to depart from there at 1:00 p.m. 

Please bring $5/person ($2.00 seniors) park admission fee plus your drink.

Info. and Trip Leader: Randall Adkins, 205/317-6969

 

MARCH 17, WEDNESDAY, Meet 9:15 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Weekday Hike

Where: The new Shoal Creek Park, Montevallo, Alabama

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Details: A pleasant 3-mile hike through fields and woods on a well developed loop of trails through Montevallo's newest park. 

Southeastern Outings has planned an easy, approximately 3-mile hike in the new Shoal Creek Park in Montevallo.  On October 30, 2018, ten people participated in an SEO scouting trip there led by Shane Baugh, the Montevallo Parks and Recreation Director, and we were delighted at what we found.  We subsequently had highly successful hikes there for the entire group on December 22, 2018, March 9, 2019, May 14, 2020 and November 21, 2020.

This 167-acre park has some new trails (2.1 miles and 1.6 miles) already constructed and some less developed trails which we will also hike.  One trail does follow Shoal Creek for some distance.  

The park is located on both sides of Shoal Creek about 2 miles upstream from Orr Park where we have begun our past hikes on the Montevallo Parks Trail. 

The restrooms in the park are now completely constructed and open for your use. 

The park is located 1.1 miles south of American Village on AL Highway 119 in Montevallo. 

Please bring your picnic lunch, water, and a hiking pole or two with you.  

Please meet at 9:00 a.m. in the parking lot behind the McDonald’s on U.S. Highway 31 at the Riverchase Galleria.  We plan to depart from there at 9:15 a.m.  

Admission to the park is free!

Information and Hike Leader: Bill Ennis, 205-405-4636

 

MARCH 20, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike: Cahaba River Park in Western Shelby County north of Montevallo


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Details: The Cahaba River is among the most scenic and biologically diverse waterways in the United States, and the public now has access to a portion of the river in Shelby County.  Work is underway on the Cahaba River Park, a 1,500-acre site near the Bibb County line in western Shelby County.  Please come with us for our second, moderately easy 5.2 mile-long hike in this newly created park.  

Cahaba River Park will include two sectors: a larger sector on the north side of the river and a sector on the south side of the river that will allow for motorized access.          

The river will split the park into two sites with different amenities.  The north side, which is being called the Helena/Hoover Sector, includes most of the park’s acreage. The sector comprises 1,212 acres of Forever Wild property and 127 acres of county property. The south side of the river, which is being called the Boothton/Montevallo Sector, comprises 188 acres of Shelby County property.       

Cahaba River Park is a Shelby County venture that is being developed in conjunction with Forever Wild Land Trust, an initiative of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. 

Improvements to Shelby County 251, or River Road on the north side of the Cahaba River, are now complete.  The Park offers about 15 miles of professionally designed and constructed trails for mountain biking, hiking and trail running; multiple parking locations at trailheads; several canoe launch sites that will allow for short trips or runs as long as 7 miles; 3 sets of pavilions and restroom facilities; and a caretaker’s house for a law enforcement officer.

       Our hike in the Helena/Hoover Sector on March 20 will include walking on the Wild Turkey, Reflection and Northern Pines Trails.  The three trails offer a nice blend of forest and creek views.  The Northern Pines Trail offers a good view of the area’s elevation.

 Please bring your picnic lunch and water with you on the hike.  Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and older able to walk five miles without complaining are welcome to participate in this trip.

Please meet at 8:45 a.m. in the parking lot behind the McDonald’s on U.S. Highway 31 at the Riverchase Galleria.  We plan to depart from there at 9:00 a.m.  

Admission to the park is free.

 Information and Trip Leader: Jason Otis, 334-546-7648 or email jmotis@me.com

 

MARCH 25, THURSDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Weekday Walk Very Near Birmingham

Where: Turkey Creek Nature Preserve near Pinson in Jefferson County, Alabama

 

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Details: You are invited to participate in an easy, fun Southeastern Outings short dayhike in the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve near Pinson.  Come walk with us through this heavily-wooded area.  We’ll hike on a new trail on which we have not hiked previously.  The trail extends through the woods from the parking lot at the main park gate.  Along the way we will also pass by a large creek with a beautiful, long, sloping waterfall in the middle of the preserve.  Total hiking distance is about 3.2 miles.  Please bring drinking water with you.

 Please meet 9:45 a.m. at the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve Main Gate parking lot on Turkey Creek Road.  We plan to depart from there at 10:00 a.m.

Please note that this is a different parking lot from where we have always parked on all of our previous hikes in the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve.  Share an adventure.  Bring a friend or friends.

Info. and trip leader: Christine Heckemeyer, 205-979-5730

 

MARCH 27, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike, Alabama Nature Center, Millbrook. Alabama

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Details: The former Lanark Estate in Millbrook, Alabama, was conveyed to provide for long-term stewardship of the property and development of an outdoor education facility that is now known as the Alabama Nature Center.  The Center is a planned use facility offering hands on, outdoor-based educational programs and activities for students, educators, church and civic groups, and the general public.             

The Center contains 350 acres of striking forests, fields, streams, wetlands and parks that are traversed by five miles of boardwalks and trails in three regions.    Please bring $5.00 per person Nature Center admission fee with you.  Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and over able to walk two miles without complaining are welcome on this outing.     

 Optional dinner after the hike. 

 Meet for this outing at 8:45 a.m. at the McDonald’s Galleria.  We plan to depart from there at 9:00 a.m.                                                          

 Info: Dexter Duren, 205-765-2293

February 2021 Activities

 

FEBRUARY 3, WEDNESDAY, Meet 10:00 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Weekday Hike

Where: Cosby Lake Trail, Clay, Alabama

 

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Details: Cosby Lake Park in Clay, Alabama is a delightful place to walk among the headwaters of Turkey Creek. We will loop around the lake on three trails: the Lake Trail, the Girls School Trail and the Falls Trail. As the loop is only about 2 miles long, many of us will do the circuit twice. Near the beginning of the loop there are 3 short uphill sections that will get our temperature and heart rate up, but the rest of the circuit is flat. Expect to see wetlands, mountainside hardwood forests and pine forest below the lake.  

          Please bring your picnic lunch and drink with you.  There is no charge for admission to the park.

 

          Meet 10:00 a.m. at the Cosby Lake second parking lot next to the restrooms.  We plan to depart from there at 10:15 a.m.

 

Information and Trip Leader: Francis Rushton, 

205-290-5557 home,

843-441- 3368 cell.

 


FEBRUARY 6, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings dayhike to view multiple waterfalls in the Bankhead National Forest 

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Details: This hike offers one of the best kept secrets of the Bankhead National Forest, its magnificent waterfalls. 

This is a trip you won’t want to miss!  The waterfalls of the Bankhead National Forest never disappoint.  See several spectacular waterfalls during the high water season in Alabama.  We will do three short hikes off trail and deep in the forest to gorgeous waterfalls with turquoise water that only a few people ever have the opportunity to see.  High falls, cascading falls, split falls, and views of more than one waterfall at a time.  The first falls will be Holmes Chapel Falls, second will be Coal Mine Falls, and thirdly we will be walking down to and along Key Mill Branch where the falls have no formal names. 

You are encouraged to participate in the Southeastern Outings’ group hike in this National Forest.   Come with us for a guided tour to get a feel for the beauty of these waterfalls.

Please note that there are over 100 waterfalls in the Bankhead National Forest.  Southeastern Outings has visited the waterfalls we’ll see on February 6 only one time previously                                                                                This hike is for experienced hikers (off trail means thru the woods stepping over deadfall and climbing up and down and crossing creeks etc.).  Our hike leader has extensive experience hiking in the National Forest and has picked these fairly accessible waterfalls as some of the prettiest.  Excellent photo opportunities.  Please bring your camera if you wish.  Also, please wear hiking boots.  Bring a hiking stick, lunch, and water.

Optional dinner after the hike.   

Please meet 8:45 a.m. at the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride.  We plan to depart from there at 9:00 a.m.  Or you may meet the group at 9:45 a.m. at the Jack’s on U.S. Highway 278 in Addison, Alabama.

 

Info. and Trip Leader: Doris Hatch, 205/901-8367

 

Postponed to Feb 27

FEBRUARY 13, SATURDAY 

Southeastern Outings Dayhike, Sipsey Wilderness, Bankhead National Forest

 

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Details: Moderately strenuous 4-mile hike in a highly scenic location, Upper Quillan Creek Forest Area.  Most of the hike is off trail, there are lots of ups and downs, and several rock-hopping crossings are required across small creeks.    

We’ll walk along two creeks and on an old road.  At a beautiful waterfall we’ll visit the site of an old mill.  On this hike we’ll see several small waterfalls on side creeks and tributaries to Quillan Creek.  We will visit at least three very pretty waterfalls on Quillan Creek itself along the way.  

Please bring picnic lunch and water for the day.  We expect to finish about 4:00 p.m.  Optional dinner after.  Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 9 and over able to walk 4 miles off trail without complaining welcome.

Reservations Required: If you wish to participate in this outing, you are required to call Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or email your reservation to seoutings@bellsouth.net by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 11.  When you contact Dan, please be sure you leave either your phone number or email address.  This outing is limited to 20 people, and we will break up into two separate groups of up to ten people each with its own separate leader in order to comply with U.S. Forest Service regulations.  We hope the limitation will not prove to be a problem.  

If you make a reservation with Dan to come on this trip and then for any reason decide later to not come on this outing, please telephone Dan, 205/631-4680 right away.  If we have 20 people signed up on the day of the hike and, say, we have two people on the waiting list and then two people who signed up don’t show up for the hike, those two no-show people have in effect deprived the two on the waiting list from participating.  Please don’t be a no-show.  If you aren’t coming after making a reservation, please notify Dan.

At a later date leader will advise meeting time and place only to those who have signed up for this trip.  

 

Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net, or 205/631-4680 

 

FEBRUARY 14, SUNDAY, Meet 12:45 p.m.

Southeastern Outings Second Sunday Dayhike in Oak Mountain State Park

 

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Details: Enjoy a moderate 4-mile walk in the woodlands near Birmingham on a Sunday afternoon.  This is an excellent outing for introducing your friends to Southeastern Outings and for making new friends who enjoy the outdoors.  Parts of this hike may be off the color-coded trails.  There will be some ups and downs.

Well-behaved, properly supervised children age eight and up able to walk the distance of about 4 miles without complaining and complete the hike are welcome.  

Share an adventure!  Bring a friend.

Please meet at 12:45 p.m. in the Oak Mountain Park office parking lot.  We plan to depart from there at 1:00 p.m.

Please bring $5/person ($2.00 seniors) park admission fee plus your drink.

 

Info. and Trip Leader: Randall Adkins, 205/317-6969

 

Postponed till Feb 25th

FEBRUARY 18, THURSDAY, Meet 9:15 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Weekday Hike in Tannehill State Park

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Details: Come with us on our weekday hike.  Enjoy an easy 3 or so-mile hike on trails in an especially lovely Alabama Historical State Park. The site is very near Birmingham!

The walking pace for this hike will be moderately easy.  We’ll stop often to catch our breath and note views, trees, birdsongs and the trail and woods around us. 

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park has more than 1,500 acres in three counties set aside for hiking, camping and outdoor recreation. A miniature railroad chugs through the pines. From spring through fall, the blacksmith, miller and craftsmen demonstrate their trades. Craft shops occupy restored pioneer cabins and artisans chat with visitors from their front porches. Steeped in history, Tannehill feels timeless. The cotton gin, pioneer farm and working gristmill preserve a long-gone way of life. Hiking trails retrace historic roadways. Artifacts of Alabama’s 19th century iron industry displayed in the Iron and Steel Museum put in perspective the massive stone furnaces, Tannehill’s awe-inspiring centerpiece.

        The same ingredients afford today’s visitors a pleasurable escape from modern life.

        If you are retired or not working on this particular Thursday, you are urged to participate in the Southeastern Outings’ group hike on the trails and get a feel for the location and scale of the land. 

This walk will be Southeastern Outings’ fifth hike in Tannehill Historical State Park.  Come with us for a guided tour of easily walkable trails.  Please bring a picnic lunch, water and wear good walking shoes or boots. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Please meet 9:15 a.m. at the parking lot behind the McDonald’s Galleria on U.S. Highway 31 in Hoover.  We plan to depart from there at 9:30 a.m.

Day-Use Park Admission: $5 Adults (12 years and older);        $4 Seniors (Ages 62 and older); $3 Children (Ages 6-11); ages 5 and under free      

Information and Hike Leader: Christine Heckemeyer, 205-979-5730

 

FEBRUARY 20, SATURDAY, Meet 10:15 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike, Smith Mountain Fire Tower Area near Lake Martin

 

 

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Details: The Smith Mountain Alpine Trail at Lake Martin is some twenty miles north of the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail. The highest elevation around Lake Martin, Smith Mountain is a jagged peak mountain in the Sandy Creek area of the lake. The top of Smith Mountain is rugged. Jagged rock formations dissect the mountain top into a series of rough terraces that are for the most part disconnected. A house-sized crag consisting of numerous boulders stands out from and above the rest of the peak.

Standing majestically atop Smith Mountain is the historic 90-foot fire lookout tower. Erected in 1939 as a cooperative agreement between Alabama Power Company, Tallapoosa County Forest Conservation Association, and the Alabama Forestry Commission, the tower was a sentinel for locating forest fires for 40 years. 

In November 2010, Smith Mountain was deeded to the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association (CRATA). Over a recent period of 18 months the tower has been restored and upgraded with new safety features and is now open to the public. Visiting time is daylight until 30 minutes after sunset, daily. 

A trail begins at the base of Smith Mountain and ascends the northern and western slope for about 0.4 mile. The trail descends the southern and eastern slope of the mountain for about 0.6 mile back to the parking lot. The view from the tower is spectacular.  In addition to the Smith Mountain Fire Lookout Tower, there are 5 miles of hiking trails.  The two main trails are the Lake Shore Trail and the Little Smith Mountain Trail. The Island Hop Trail is accessible only during winter months when the lake is down. The Lake Shore Trail is a two-mile trail that descends the western slope to the lake shore and follows the shoreline for most of the two miles.  There is also the dramatic two-mile Little Smith Mountain Trail which has four resting benches with some spectacular views - one bench on a peninsula, two on the south face, and one on the top.                   

Your hike leader has selected a scenic 3-6-mile moderate hiking route for you to enjoy from this wide choice of trails.

Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 8 and over welcome.  Optional dinner in Alexander City after the hike.  

Please meet at 10:15 a.m. at the Publix in The Village at Lee Branch in Greystone.     We plan to depart from there at 10:30 a.m.

 

Info. and Trip Leader: Doris Hatch, 205/901-8367

 

Replaced with Hike Previously Scheduled for Feb 13.

FEBRUARY 27, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike

Where: Piper Interpretive Trail and another trail in the Cahaba National Wildlife Refuge, Piper (near West Blocton), Alabama

 

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Details: The Piper Interpretive Trail is a 2.8-mile, lightly trafficked trail in the Cahaba National Wildlife Refuge located near Piper, Alabama.  The trail features excellent views of the river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

This well-maintained trail goes through the forest and ends with two decks overlooking the Cahaba River. The trail passes some interesting ravines and cliffs. If you continue onward after the first overlook, you will reach a second overlook, which is slightly more difficult to reach, due to elevation changes. The first half of the trail is an old mine railroad right of way along a rocky ridgeline high above the Cahaba River.  A stand of pine, mostly loblolly planted to replace the longleaf pines that were clearcut years ago, make for a beautiful canopy and visually appealing section of the trail—the fallen needles provide soft footing and make the peaceful forest even more quiet. There are scenic overlooks of the river and an opportunity to climb down to the riverside if you're ambitious. At mile 1.2, you will find a side trail off to the right that leads steeply downhill to the first overlook.         After enjoying the view, you will cross a second bridge over a seasonal stream. From there the trail climbs up the ridge on a rocky old mining road to the final overlook. From the platform you can see the Cahaba River far below. We will also walk on some newer trails which turn off of the road in the part of Cahaba National Wildlife Refuge across the river from the Piper Trail.        Children age 9 and older welcome.

Meet 9:45 a.m. at the McDonald’s Galleria parking lot.  We plan to depart from there at 10:00 a.m.

Info. and Trip Leader: Dan Frederick, email seoutings@bellsouth.net,       phone 205/631-4680

 

January 2021 Activities

 

 

JANUARY 2, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Picnic Lunch and Moderate Dayhike

Where: Paul Grist State Park near Selma, Alabama

 

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Details: Paul Grist State Park is one of the state’s most uncrowded, yet scenic state parks containing hills, forests, fields and a large, beautiful, tree-lined lake. 

Prior to the dayhike we will get together at the smaller pavilion right near the Park Office to eat our picnic lunches.  Please bring your picnic lunch and also $3 per person ($2 for children age 2-6 and seniors age 62 and older) park admission and a beverage for yourself. 

Dayhike Details: Hike rated moderate.  There are only a few ups and downs.  Total hiking distance is approximately 5.5 miles.  We plan to walk all the way around the lake and then also walk on some additional trails in the park to make the drive time down and back worthwhile.  Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age nine and over able to walk 6 miles without complaining are welcome.  Please bring your drink and wear sturdy footwear. 

Optional group restaurant dinner after the hike.  Reservations not required for this outing.

Please meet 9:45 a.m. at the McDonald’s Galleria. We plan to depart from there at 10:00 a.m.

Info: Randall Adkins, 205/317-6969

 

JANUARY 6. WEDNESDAY, Meet 9:15 a.m.

Weekday Hike

Where: High Ore Line Trail in Birmingham and Midfield, Alabama

 


Details: This will be Southeastern Outings second hike on this relatively new in-city trail.  The hike, which is rated easy, will be 3 miles long with very little change in elevation.

Birmingham’s three-mile High Ore Line Trail is now complete and open to the public.  We will start our hike on the High Ore Line Trail from the Jefferson County Western Health Center in Midfield and hike along an old railroad line to Red Mountain Park’s new entrance and parking lot on Venice Road. The trail is mostly flat and off road and provides an accessible place to walk in Greater Birmingham’s outdoors.                In 2012, the City of Birmingham won a competitive Department of Transportation TIGER grant for $10,000,000 in order to develop active transportation routes in Birmingham. With this funding, the City of Birmingham, Freshwater Land Trust, Jefferson County Health Department, and many partners have built 14 trail miles throughout Birmingham. The first two miles of the High Ore Line Trail opened in 2016.  With its third and final mile complete, High Ore Line now connects Red Mountain Park to Jefferson County’s growing Red Rock Trail System.                          

“We are thrilled to open this new portion of High Ore Line and hope it will continue to be a valuable asset to the community,” said Carolyn Buck, Freshwater Land Trust Red Rock Trail Director. “With each trail opening, we are one step closer to our goal of building and connecting 750 miles of trails in Jefferson County.”                                                                                                    “We are excited to celebrate this long-anticipated connection to Red Mountain Park as it creates more opportunities for more communities in Birmingham to engage in outdoor recreation and learn about our shared history,” said T.C. McLemore, Red Mountain Park Executive Director.                           In Midfield, an industrial suburb of Birmingham near the towering U.S. Steel plant, a railroad track once sliced through the air, an elevated track running ore and coal from the mines at Red Mountain to the steel works at Fairfield. Today, decades after the railroad went out of operation, the elevated track has a new lease on life: a green one.                                                                         Spanning three miles from Midfield to Venice Road at the base of Red Mountain, the High Ore Line Trail now occupies the raised railroad line as one of the newest additions to the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System. Connecting neighborhoods in west Birmingham to Midfield, the trail passes its visitors over Valley Creek with a glimpse in the distance of Red Mountain Park – to which the trail is now connected.  It is a space of recreation and peace, a place where a simple stroll can become a scenic experience blending the urban industrial suburbs with natural, preserved greenspace.                                                                   As greenspaces around Birmingham help the Magic City make a resurgence, the High Ore Line Trail is a project that makes sure the western neighborhoods of Birmingham get their own piece of the puzzle.                                                      Please bring water to drink and comfortable footwear suitable for walking three miles.  We expect to complete the hike about lunch time.         For those who would like to enjoy lunch with their fellow hikers, you may join the group for lunch at the Subway sandwich restaurant on Lakeshore Parkway on the way back.         Please meet 9:15 a.m. at the new Jones Valley parking lot for Red Mountain Park, 2109 Venice Road, Birmingham, Alabama.  We plan to depart from there at 9:30 a.m.             

Information and Trip Leader: Dan Frederick, email seoutings@bellwouth.net or phone 205-631-4680

  

JANUARY 9, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike along the Locust Fork River from Swann Covered Bridge to Powell Falls

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Details: A moderate 3-mile dayhike and picnic along the lovely Locust Fork River in Blount County near Cleveland, Alabama.  We’ll view and drive through the genuine and newly-restored wooden covered bridge.  Then we’ll hike along the river from the bridge and have lunch right beside Powell Falls.  This waterfall drops about eight feet and carries a substantial amount of water. We’ll also view sheer cliffs rising over 60 feet right above the water.  See a rushing river, covered bridge, high rock bluffs and a large waterfall—all along a one and a half mile stretch of river. 

          Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and older welcome. 

Bring a friend or several if you wish.  Please meet 9:45 a.m. at the Cleveland Chevron.  We plan to depart from there at 10:00 a.m.

Info: Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680

 

JANUARY 10, SUNDAY, Meet 12:45 p.m.

Southeastern Outings Second Sunday Dayhike in Oak Mountain State Park

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Details: Enjoy a moderate 4-mile walk in the woodlands near Birmingham on a Sunday afternoon.  This is an excellent outing for introducing your friends to Southeastern Outings and for making new friends who enjoy the outdoors.  Parts of this hike may be off the color-coded trails.  There will be some ups and downs.  

Well-behaved, properly supervised children age eight and up able to walk the distance of about 4 miles and complete the hike are welcome. 

Share an adventure!  Bring a friend.  Optional dinner after the hike. 

Please meet at 12:45 p.m. in the Oak Mountain Park office parking lot.  We plan to depart from there at 1:00 p.m.

Please bring $5/person ($2.00 seniors) park admission fee plus your drink.

Info: Randall Adkins, 205-317-6969

 

JANUARY 14, THURSDAY, Meet 10:00 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Weekday Hike

Where: Red Mountain Park, 2011 Frankfurt Drive,   Birmingham, AL 35211

 

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Details: Please come with us for a two to three-mile hike on a walkable portion of this noteworthy place.  Hike rated moderately easy.  There may be some hills to climb.  For more information about the park, please visit the park’s website:

http://www.redmountainpark.org.

  The walking pace for this hike will be moderately easy.  We’ll stop often to catch our breath and note views, trees, birdsongs and the trail and woods around us. 

Please bring your picnic lunch and plenty of water.  Wear good walking shoes or boots. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Please meet at 10:00 a.m. in the large Red Mountain Park parking lots on the right side of Lyon Lane immediately after you turn right onto Lyon Lane off of the north end of Frankfurt Drive off Lakeshore Parkway.  We plan to depart from there shortly after 10:00 a.m.

Information: Christine Heckemeyer, 205-979-5730


JANUARY 16, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike on the Deadening Trail at Lake Martin near Alexander City, Alabama

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Details: The Deadening Trail is among the most scenic and diverse hiking trails in Alabama.  The cliffs of the Tallapoosa, the Needles Eye, and Lichen and Jasmine Bluffs are just a few of the unusual and unique rock formations that await the hiker. The trails are routed through a variety of flora and fauna.  There are high rocky ridges with mountain long leaf pine, mountain laurel, low and high bush blueberry, and lush hardwood forests that include redbud, sourwood, dogwood, native azalea, umbrella and big leaf magnolia.  Large thickets of Catawba Rhododendron are numerous.  Deer, turkey and numerous bird species, including bald eagles, can be seen along the trail. 

The Deadening Trail is a moderately strenuous 3.6 mile loop trail at Lake Martin.  The trail is a more challenging footpath than other trails located along an area of the southeast shore of beautiful Lake Martin (a 40,000-acre, 700-mile shoreline lake) in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. 

 In order to manage most effectively hiking on this difficult trail it is highly recommended that you wear hiking boots, not tennis shoes, and that you bring a trekking pole (hiking stick) or two.  Also be sure to bring plenty of water with you.

          Optional dinner after the hike. 

Please meet 8:45 a.m. at the parking lot of the Publix in the Village at Lee Branch in Greystone.  We plan to depart from there at 9:00 a.m.

Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or 205/631-4680

 

JANUARY 23, SATURDAY, 8:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Waterfowl Viewing Trip

Where: Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge (WNWR), Decatur, AL

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Details Experience the thrilling sight of thousands of sandhill cranes, wild geese and ducks plus herons and other birds.  The Refuge has the largest concentration of wintering geese and ducks in the entire state of Alabama!  You don’t need to be a bird watcher to enjoy this outing!  Experienced birders leading the trip will share their knowledge with all.

This 35,000 acre refuge attracts thousands of wintering waterfowl each year.  WNWR is comprised of diverse habitat types including bottomland hardwoods, wetlands, pine uplands, shoreline or riparian woodlands, agricultural fields, and backwater embayments.  These habitats provide excellent feeding, resting, and roosting sites for wintering waterfowl, white pelicans, sandhill cranes and a few whooping cranes as well as nesting sites for migratory songbirds and many species of resident wildlife.

We are highly privileged to have as our guide Dwight Cooley, the retired Refuge Manager.  Dwight will take us on refuge roads behind locked gates as we drive to various bays and sloughs where you can easily see hundreds of ducks and geese in large numbers.  We’ll also see many other types of birds including, hopefully, bald eagles.  We’ll even see a huge flock of sandhill cranes which winter at the refuge each year.  Last winter the Refuge hosted 16,000 sandhill Cranes and 15 endangered whooping cranes.  The gated roads are closed to the public but will be open to our group.  

Please bring binoculars, a birding field guide and a spotting telescope with you if you have them.  The leader and Dan Frederick will each bring a spotting scope. 

Please bring a mask with you.  You are required to wear it if you are a passenger in the refuge’s van during the outing.  You may wear it at other times during the day, too, if you wish.

The WNWR has issued a permit to Southeastern Outings to visit the refuge behind locked gates on Saturday, January 23, 2020.  

Special conditions contained in the permit include to follow current CDC and State recommendations - mask, social distance, use hand sanitizer, stay home if you feel sick or have a fever.  Hopefully, the positive cases statewide will be much lower than they are now, but if there is a high number of cases for this area at the time of the scheduled trip, the permit could be rescinded.  Here are the conditions:

 The permittee is responsible for ensuring all COVID-19 precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Office of the Governor are followed.   

 

This permit may be rescinded if one or more counties where the refuge is located is designated as  “Very High Risk” or “High Risk” for the spread of the COVID-19 virus or if precautions are not being followed.  Risk designation can change weekly.  Permittee should monitor the Alabama Department of Health Risk Dashboard (see link below) for updates before proceeding with the activity.    

https://alpublichealth.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/b585b67ef4074bb2b4443975bf14f77d  

This outing is rated easy, as there is very little walking involved, and we won’t be climbing any hills or walking through thick brush.  Please dress for the weather.  The wind at the refuge can be biting, blowing across open water on cold days. 

Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 10 and over who can remain quiet for extended periods of time (so as to not disturb the birds and bird watchers) are welcome.

Possible optional dinner after the birding trip depending on what time we finish bird watching.

Reservations Required: If you wish to participate in this outing, you are required to call Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or email your reservation to seoutings@bellsouth.net by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 21, 2021.  When you contact Dan, please be sure you leave either your phone number or email address.  This outing is limited to 5 motor vehicles.  Dwight Cooley, the retired Refuge Manager and our outing leader, has very kindly reserved a 10-person refuge van to be one of those vehicles.  Therefore we are now allowing a total of 26 people in order to comply with Refuge regulations.  We hope the limitation will not prove to be a problem.  People who want to register to participate after the twenty-six person limit is reached will be placed on a waiting list. 

If you make a reservation with Dan to come on this trip and then for any reason decide later to not come on this outing, please telephone Dan, 205/631-4680 right away.  If we have 26 people signed up on the day of the outing and, say, we have two people on the waiting list and then two people who signed up don’t show up for the hike, those two no-show people have in effect deprived the two on the waiting list from participating.  Please don’t be a no-show.  If you aren’t coming after making a reservation, please notify Dan.  If you decide to cancel, if you do not inform the leader of your cancellation, and if you are just a no-show, you will not be permitted to participate in any future Southeastern Outings events where the number of participants is limited.

 

At a later date leader will advise meeting time and place only to those who have signed up for this trip. 

We look forward to seeing many of you on January 23.

 Info: Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or seoutings@bellsouth.net

 

JANUARY 24, SUNDAY, Meet 12:45 p.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike on the Montevallo Parks Trail

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Details: Enjoy an easy 4-mile hike on a trail in Montevallo.  The main trail is two miles one way and goes through parks, by two picturesque, flowing streams, and around a beautiful University-owned lake in a wooded park.  Total hiking distance is about four miles. 

          This walk will be Southeastern Outings’ ninth or so hike on the Montevallo Parks trail.  Come with us for a guided tour of an easily walkable trail.  Please bring plenty of water and wear good walking shoes or boots. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Meet 12:45 a.m. at the McDonald’s Galleria.  We plan to depart from there at 1:00 p.m. or you may meet the group at 1:35 p.m. at the parking lot beside the larger bridge over Shoal Creek which is the wide creek that flows through Orr Park between the ball fields and the open recreational area in the park in Montevallo.  The bridge is right beside the parking lot along the creek at the back of the ball fields.  Please email Dan Frederick at the email address below if you would like driving directions from Hoover to Orr Park sent to you before the hike.

Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and over able to complete the hike welcome.

Please bring your picnic lunch and plenty of water with you.

Admission to Trail: Free

 Information: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or 205/631-4680

 
 

JANUARY 30, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike

Where: Brushy Creek and Sougahoagdee Falls, Bankhead National Forest

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Details: The hike will be 6 miles long and is rated moderate.  We will follow a beautiful trail which runs from the Brushy Creek Bridge along the creek.  We usually observe about nine waterfalls on this route.  We should also see lovely cliffs, hemlock trees, canyons and perhaps some additional waterfalls.  If we have time, we may also visit the nearby natural bridge (not the one at the town of Natural Bridge) in the Natural Bridge Recreation Area of the Bankhead National Forest.

          Carefully-supervised, well-behaved children age 8 and older welcome.  Bring a picnic lunch and water. 

Optional dinner after at a delightful Italian restaurant in Double Springs.

Please meet 8:45 a.m. at the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride.  We plan to depart from there at 9:00 a.m.  Or you may meet the group at 9:20 a.m. at the Mile 300 Rest Area on I-65.

 Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or phone 205/631-4680