This weekend, we headed to Birmingham both to get in a couple of hikes and to see Impractical Jokers live at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center. The weekend was full of fun and family. It also had a little language that my daughter shouldn’t have heard. I am sure that wasn’t my first or likely my last parenting fail.
After our drive to Birmingham, we started the weekend visiting the Sloss Furnace Trail (Urban Hike). The Sloss furnace was really the beginning of Birmingham as it is known. James Withers Sloss found all of the natural elements needed to produce iron in Birmingham, iron ore, coal and limestone. He worked out a deal with the railroads to connect his plant to the world and the rest is history, really rusty history. Iron was produced here from 1882-1971. The Sloss Furnace is a National Landmark and the only blast furnace open for touring. It happened to also be fully decked out as a haunted house on this occasion.
After the furnace and checking in to our hotel, we had dinner at Babalu Tacos & Tapas. The tapas here are more of a fusion than Spanish. They also happen to be larger than most tapas. One or two plates will be enough for most here. We watched Alabama dismantle Tennessee in football while enjoying our small plates and getting ready for the show.
The morning brought a short drive up to Pinson for the Turkey Creek Loop. This property is part of the Forever Wild program in Alabama. Turkey Creek was far better than most Forever Wild properties that I have visited. There was clearly some investment here. They had signs, trails and bathrooms (out houses). Most Forever Wild properties are lacking in facilities.
You can see the main creek and falls area right off the parking area making this one of the more accessible falls I’ve visited. The trail starts just to the left of the parking area as you face the mountain. We made the decision to hike the Thompson Trace Trail and connect with the Narrows Ridge Trail to form a roughly 2.5 mile loop. The trail is listed as moderate due to a few steep inclines. The trail really heads from the parking area straight to the top of the ridge. From this point, it is fairly rolling as it works its way across the ridge for about 1.4 miles. Once you reach the Narrows Ridge Trail, head right to loop back to the parking area. The hike was roughly 2.5 miles and 39 flights of stairs according to my phone. This was my first hike with the foliage starting to turn. It made for a great morning.
After failing to find anything original for lunch in Pinson or the surrounding area, we made our final stop for the weekend at Lloyds in Birmingham. Lloyds is a family favorite serving comfort food. My family has stopped here to eat literally my entire life. Give it a try when in town.