Hoover, Alabama is a city on the southern side of Birmingham, Alabama, the state's largest metropolitan area (The Birmingham metro area has a population of around 1.1 million). Hoover is Birmingham's largest suburban community. Many fantastic day hiking opportunities and day hikes may be found in and around Hoover, Alabama due to the area being located in the scenic Ridge and Valley physiographic province. The parallel ridges and valleys offer up a variety of hiking opportunities of various lengths and difficultly levels. This article will introduce you to some of the best day hiking opportunities easily accessible in and around Hoover, Alabama.
City of Hoover, Alabama
Find out about day hike opportunities in Hoover, Alabama from the city's parks and recreation department. Hoover community parks, featuring walking and hiking paths, green areas, lakes, playgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreation opportunities, include Georgetown Lake Park, Howard Lake, and Star Lake. Hoover neighborhood parks, smaller than community parks and typically located within a subdivision, include Inverness Park, Riverchase Park, and Russet Woods Park.
Moss Rock Preserve
One of the most popular and best areas in Hoover for day hiking is at Moss Rock Preserve. Many hiking trails of various lengths and difficulty levels are found throughout this nature preserve. The preserve is 250 acres and includes many rocky outcroppings, waterfalls, streams, and a variety of tree and plant species. The "boulder field" at Moss Rock is popular among rock climbers.
Moss Rock Preserve (Paul McDaniel)
Aldridge Gardens is a 30 acre site located at the former estate of Eddie and Kay Aldridge. The site showcases many beautiful gardens, a lake, and a variety of flowering plant species, particularly hydrangeas (which were a specialty of the Aldridges). Walking paths lead visitors in and around the various parts of the gardens.
For an indoor day hike, head to the vast Riverchase Galleria. This is the largest enclosed shopping mall in Alabama, and one of the largest in the Southeast. Whether or not shopping is of interest, day hikers can still get in a good walk on the various levels of this sprawling complex, particular on days with inclement weather.
Riverchase Galleria (Paul McDaniel)
Finally, don't forget to look beyond the city of Hoover for many other excellent day hiking opportunities in and around the Birmingham metropolitan area (see "Day Hiking in Birmingham, Alabama"). These include places such as Oak Mountain State Park, Ruffner Mountain Park, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the Birmingham Zoo, the various parks and greenways around metro Birmingham (including Shades Creek Greenway in Homewood), Tannehill State Park, and urban hiking in downtown Birmingham, Southside Birmingham, and the various urban and community centers scattered among the metro area's many suburbs (such as Homewood, Mountain Brook, and Vestavia Hills, in addition to Hoover).
Birmingham, Alabama (Paul McDaniel)
- Try to take time often to enjoy the great outdoors!
- A good day hike is good for the body, mind, and soul.