High Falls Caption

High Falls, Dekalb County, Alabama

February & March Activities

FEBRUARY 27, THURSDAY, Meet 9:15 a.m.
Easy Weekday Walk
Where: Vulcan Trail inside the City Limits of Birmingham

Details: Enjoy an easy walk in the woodlands overlooking Birmingham on a Thursday morning.  The trail is level, as it is on an old mining railroad right of way just below the crest of Red Mountain.  A previous walk on this trail drew one of the highest numbers of participants, 67, on any outing SEO has ever sponsored.  Don’t miss it!

Please meet at 9:15 a.m. in the Vulcan Park and Museum Parking Lot where you would normally park to visit the Vulcan Statue and Vulcan Park.  We plan to depart from there at 9:30 a.m.  Please follow the directions to the meeting place.  Please note that three people got lost trying to find the group on a previous  hike on the Vulcan Trail because they tried to use their GPS to find the start point.  Their devices misled them to The Club and to the TV stations on top of Red Mountain, not to the Vulcan Park parking lot! 

We will walk from the big parking lot a short distance down some new stairs to the trailhead and then on the trail to Green Springs Highway and back.  The formerly unpaved section of the Vulcan Trail has recently been widened and resurfaced. 

After the walk is completed, there will be an optional lunch at Jim 'N Nick's 11th Avenue Grill at Five Points South.  Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and older able to walk 4 miles without complaining are welcome.

Share an adventure.  Bring a friend or friends.

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

To obtain driving directions to Vulcan Park and Museum Parking Lot.--Vulcan Park and Museum Parking Lot—1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209.          Please call 205/631-4680 to obtain a list of complete directions to Vulcan Park from all major highways in Birmingham.  You may leave your email address and a phone message if you wish, and the directions will be emailed to you promptly.

FEBRUARY 29, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.
River Ramble
Barton’s Beach and Perry Lakes Park near Marion in Perry County, Alabama

Details: Barton’s Beach.  The area is an extensive sand and gravel beach on the Lower Cahaba River in Perry County near Marion, Alabama.  The river floodplain broadens and creates areas of bottomland hardwood forests, oxbow lakes and extensive sand and gravel bars there.

The Perry Lakes Park and Wildlife Sanctuary contains about 600 acres available to the public for outdoor recreation, education, scientific research, and other activities. Interpretive nature trails (fire lanes and primitive paths) make walking through the woods fairly easy and fun.

Several trees in the park have been designated as Alabama State Champion Trees. The park lakes support a large heron rookery along with an abundance of songbirds.  A 100-foot tall canopy birding tower allows for an exciting view of the forest and oxbow swamps.

Hikes at Barton’s Beach and Perry Lakes Park are easy since the terrain is level and the walks are all on trails.  The two properties adjoin each other so we can walk readily back and forth between them.

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

The very special, optional dinner will begin at 5:00 p.m.  It will be the Low Country Shrimp Boil supper, an annual event in Marion that is perfect following our day of hiking.  The dinner will be held at the historic Marion Female Seminary Building in Marion.   

The function will be very informal.  The menu is boiled shrimp (which you peel & eat), sausage, potatoes, corn on the cob, coleslaw, bread, and your choice of a multitude of homemade desserts. 

Live musical entertainment will be provided for your enjoyment at the upcoming shrimp boil February 29, 2020 after our hike.  Please plan to come!

Price for the meal is $20 flat charge to benefit the Perry County Historical and Preservation Society.  Only cash and checks are accepted forms of payment for the dinner.  NO CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED!

For more information concerning the dinner, please call Kay Beckett, president of the historical society, at 334-683-8250 or 334-292-0319.

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

Info. on the hike: Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or seoutings@bellsouth.net
MARCH 7, SATURDAY, Meet 9:15 a.m.
Moderate Dayhike
Porter’s Gap on the Pinhoti Trail              
Details: The Pinhoti is Alabama's long distance trail. The existing trail runs approximately 139 miles from the Tramel trailhead near Sylacauga to the High Rocks trailhead east of Piedmont near the Georgia line. We plan to hike a rather tame portion of the Pinhoti to the east of Talladega County's Porter’s Gap. We'll climb through pretty Alabama hardwoods on a gentle trail for an elevation gain of about 600 feet over almost 2 miles. Gaining the ridge top we'll be in interesting rock formations with partially obscured views off the Talladega Mountain Ridge to the north and Shin Bone Ridge and Lizard Scrape Mountain to the south. We will eat lunch there. We will return the same way we came up. 

Please bring water and your picnic lunch.

Optional restaurant dinner after the hike. 

Please meet 9:15 a.m. at the Leeds Highway 78 gravel parking lot.  We plan to depart from there at 9:30 a.m.  Bring a friend or friends.

Info: Francis Rushton, 205/290-5557 or ferushton@gmail.com    

MARCH 8, SUNDAY, Meet 12:45 p.m.
Second Sunday Dayhike in Oak Mountain State Park

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: Randall Adkins, 205/317-6969

MARCH 12, THURSDAY, Meet 9:15 a.m.
Weekday Hike
Where: High Ore Line Trail in Birmingham and Midfield, Alabama
Details: This will be Southeastern Outings first ever 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 at Red Mountain Park’s new entrance and parking lot on Venice Road and hike along an old railroad line to the Jefferson County Western Health Center in Midfield. The trail is mostly flat and off road and provides an accessible place to walk or bike 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 before lunch time.
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: Francis Rushton, 205-290-5557
MARCH 14, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.
Where: Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

 Click for More Pictures

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 will have the opportunity to watch a short film and view the exhibits before we begin our hike which is rated easy.  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 21, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.
Where: Piper Interpretive Trail, Cahaba National Wildlife Refuge, Piper (near West Blocton), Alabama
Click for More Pictures 

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 a 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 a deck 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 may also walk in the woods along the Cahaba River above the Piper Bridge. We will definitely 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,

MARCH 22, SUNDAY, Meet 1:45 p.m.
Wildflower Walk in a Forest Preserve in Homewood
Details: The City of Homewood owns two forest preserves on Shades Mountain adjacent to the Homewood High School.  Come and spend a relaxing two hours walking and admiring wildflowers with us in the lower preserve.  Rated moderately easy.  Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 6 and older welcome. 

Please meet 1:45 p.m. in the Homewood High School east (nearest Brookwood Village Shopping Center) parking lot, just off Lakeshore Drive in Homewood.  We plan to depart from there at 2:00 p.m.

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

MARCH 28, SATURDAY, 8:15 a.m.
Southeastern Outings Wildflower Walk
Where: Bucks Pocket State Park
Details: Bucks Pocket State Park has one of the greatest concentrations and variety of wildflowers of any public area in the State of Alabama.  Join fellow nature lovers for a walk on trails in this very scenic park.  We expect to have a wildflower resource guide knowledgeable in wildflower identification to hike with us on this outing.

In the morning we’ll first drive to visit High Falls.  This is a spectacular, large volume waterfall.  We’ll have our picnic lunch at High Falls Park.  Then we’ll drive a short distance to Bucks Pocket State Park for an easy stroll on trails in this very scenic park.  We’ll start at the overlook and walk slowly down to the canyon floor.  Along the way we’ll stop by and view two lovely waterfalls.  After that part of the hike in Bucks Pocket State Park, we’ll cross the creek and see even more wildflowers as we walk on a trail through the woods heading upstream beside the creek to a third waterfall. 

Total walking distance in Bucks Pocket State Park is about 5 miles.  Hike rated moderate.  Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 7 and up able to walk five miles without complaining welcome.

After the outing we’ll enjoy an optional delicious restaurant dinner together in Guntersville. 

Please meet at 8:15 a.m. at the Food Giant parking lot in Pinson.  We plan to depart from there at 8:30 a.m.

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