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Fall is the Time to Enjoy the Great Outdoors in Alabama: Southeastern Outings

Moss Rock Preserve, Hoover Moss Rock Preserve, Hoover Southeastern Outings

Can you feel it? That slight dip in temperatures and the deepening of the blue skies that signals the official arrival of fall in Alabama? It’s a feeling that’s indescribable, and positively exhilarating. And it moves many of us to fling open our doors, lace up some hiking boots and set off into the great outdoors, in search of adventure (or just beautiful scenery).

Southeastern Outings, a non-profit organization which sponsors outdoor outings, has a lot lined up this month. All of these activities are open to the public. The events include easy day hikes, bicycle rides, and more – exploring some of the most scenic spots in Alabama.

Here is this month’s Southeastern Outings Calendar of Events. For more information, visit seoutings.org. Have fun!

Saturday, October 8, 10 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike in Bucks Pocket State Park

Details: In the morning we’ll first drive to visit High Falls. This is a spectacular, large volume waterfall.  We’ll then have 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 down to the canyon floor.  Along the way we’ll stop by and view two lovely waterfalls. Total walking distance in Bucks Pocket State Park is about 3 miles. Hike rated moderate. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 7 and up welcome.             

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

Depart 10:00 a.m. from the Food Giant parking lot in Pinson.

Info: Dan Frederick, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 205/631-4680

 

Sunday, October 9, 1:00 p.m.

Southeastern Outings 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 and complete the hike are welcome. Share an adventure! Bring a friend. Optional dinner after the hike. 

Depart 1:00 p.m. from the Oak Mountain Park office parking lot.

Please bring $5/person adults ($2 seniors over age 62 and children age 4-11) park admission fee plus your drink.

Info: Doris Hatch, 205/901-8367

 

Saturday, October 15, 9:00 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike

Where: Chief Ladiga Trail, Piedmont, Alabama

Details: Join friendly folks on an easy seven-mile dayhike and picnic on the Chief Ladiga Trail east of Piedmont, Alabama. Walk on Alabama’s first extended rails-to-trails conversion route on an old railroad right of way. This smooth trail is wide and level. Absolutely no hills—guaranteed! On this particular hike you will be walking on the most scenic section of the trail. This newly-paved part goes through mostly wooded terrain.

No motorized vehicles are allowed on your trail! Note this is a relatively easy outing, one which should be lots of fun for everyone. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age eight and up able to walk seven miles without complaining are welcome on this walk.

Please bring a picnic lunch and drink. From the trail you can see Dugger Mountain, one of the newest national wilderness areas in Alabama.

There will be an optional restaurant dinner after the hike. You will have an opportunity to shower and/or wash up and change clothes in the Piedmont Civic Center after the hike. If you’d like to shower and/or change clothes, please bring your shower things and/or change of clothes with you. Showers are free!

Depart 9:00 a.m. from Applebee’s Trussville or meet 10:30 a.m. at the Piedmont Civic Center.

Trip Leader and Info: Bonnie Black, 205/764-2989

 

Saturday, October 15, 9:00 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Twenty-Seven Mile Bicycle Ride

Where: Chief Ladiga Trail, Piedmont, Alabama

Details: Join friendly folks for a 27-mile bicycle ride on the Chief Ladiga Trail in the Piedmont, Alabama area. Ride on Alabama’s first extended rails-to-trails conversion route on an old railroad right of way. The portion of this trail we’ll be riding on is smooth, 8-10 feet wide and even paved.  There are no hills on this trail. The trail is suitable for road bikes plus mountain, hybrid and urban bicycles. Ride through towns, fields and picturesque woodlands. No motorized vehicles are allowed on your trail!            

Bicycle helmets are required and must be worn. Please bring a picnic lunch and drink. Bicyclists’ lunches and lunch drinks will be transported to the bicyclists’ picnic site by car before the ride starts.

Note that this ride is 27 miles long. Please, no beginning cyclists or cyclists who have not ridden at all for many months or years. Also no old, heavy bicycles, please. To be eligible to participate on this ride you should probably be bicycling regularly and currently at least once a week and be sure that you can ride a minimum of at least twenty miles in a day at an average pace of 9-11 miles per hour comfortably before you attempt this ride. If you do not meet these requirements, please do not come on this ride. And please do not invite to come on the ride others who cannot keep up with the group or complete the ride.

There will be an optional dinner after the ride. See 10/17 dayhike announcement above for additional details.

Depart 9:00 a.m. from Applebee’s Trussville or meet 10:30 a.m. at the Piedmont Civic Center.

Info and Ride Leader: Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Sunday, October 23, 2:00 p.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike, Moss Rock Preserve

Details: Explore the wilder side of Hoover on a moderate 2 to 4 mile hike with some climbing up and walking down fairly steep hills on Shades Mountain. We’ll experience the preserve’s diverse natural features which include longleaf pine forests, huge boulders, streams, grassy areas, outstanding views and, when it rains, some beautiful waterfalls. A previous Southeastern Outings dayhike in the Moss Rock Preserve in January, 2015 had the highest number of participants of any SEO event since our founding 13 years ago. Don’t miss this one!

Please bring water to drink. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age seven and up able to walk the distance and complete the hike without complaining are welcome.

The group will depart promptly at 2:00 p.m. from dirt parking lot just off Preserve Parkway near The Village Green in The Preserve subdivision.

To get to this meeting place from Hoover please drive to the Crest Cadillac dealership on U.S. 31 in Hoover about ½ mile north of the U.S. 31 interchange with I-459 near the Riverchase Galleria. At stop light directly across U.S. 31 from the Cadillac dealer turn onto Patton Chapel Road. Go 1.5 miles. See fire station on left at Preserve Parkway and turn left onto Preserve Parkway at the traffic light for Preserve Parkway.  Drive to top of the mountain.  See Village Green on the left.  Drive just past the paved parking spaces on the right of Preserve Parkway, drive past the separate paved parking lot on the right across the Parkway from the businesses and finally please drive into the traffic circle or roundabout just beyond the row of offices and businesses which you’ll see on your left. Go ¼ of the way around the roundabout and then turn right off the roundabout into the dirt parking lot on the right.  See sign for Moss Rock Preserve Parking at start of this drive. Park in that dirt parking lot and meet the hike leader there. Total distance on Preserve Parkway is 7/10 miles.

Info on the hike:  David Shepherd, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 205/240-4681

 

Thursday, October 27, 8:30 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Weekday Hike in Tannehill State Park

Details: Come with us on our weekday hike.  Enjoy an easy 3 or so-mile hike on trails in an especially lovely Alabama State Park, which Southeastern Outings has never visited previously. And the site is very near Birmingham. 

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’ very first hike ever in Tannehill State Park. Come with us for a guided tour of easily walkable trails.  Please bring water and wear good walking shoes or boots. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Depart 8:30 a.m. from the parking lot behind the McDonald’s Galleria on U.S. Highway 31 in Hoover.

Optional lunch after the hike.

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: Christine Heckemeyer, 205/979-5730

 

Saturday, October 29, 8:00 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Moderately Easy Dayhike, Alum Hollow on Green Mountain, Nature Trail also on Green Mountain, and Monte Sano State Park--all in the Huntsville, AL Area

Details: Our first adventure of the day will be hiking Alum Hollow Trail. Sitting atop Green Mountain in Huntsville, Alum Hollow Trail just opened to the public in the spring of 2016 and is on property donated to the Land Trust of North Alabama. The mile-long trail (one-way) is an easy stroll through light woods, ending at two waterfalls. The last hundred feet of the trail down to the waterfalls is steep but very walkable with time and careful footing. If you wish not to not walk down to the falls, there is an area where you can sit and wait for those who do go down. While waiting, you can explore a rock overhang that possibly served as shelter for Native Americans. This hike is rated easy to moderate based on the last hundred feet.           

After our hike at Alum Hollow we will go to the Madison County Nature Trail on Green Mountain for a picnic lunch. We can sit amongst the trees in the picnic grounds and enjoy the view of a covered bridge across the lake.  There are restrooms there. This is really a pretty setting.  

From Green Mountain we will travel to Monte Sano State Park and hike the Sinks and Stone Cuts Trails. This 3 to 4-mile hike is moderate mainly based on length. There is some elevation gain, but it is not strenuous. Trails are generally in good shape, but in some places the trails have what is known as the 3 Rs of hiking; rocks, roots and ruts. While known for their spring wildflowers these trails will showcase the fall forest and should offer us beautiful fall colors if conditions are right. The Stone Cuts are large, natural rock formations on the mountain. When you enter the large limestone rocks to see the Stone Cuts, you feel the temperature drop.  This is especially refreshing during the warmer months of the year.             

Please wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather.  Bring water, snacks, a picnic lunch, hiking poles if you use them and Monte Sano Park entrance fee.                                                                                               

Adult Fee Ages 12+ $5.00                                                                                                            

Seniors 62+ $2.00                                                                                                                                                          

Children Ages 4-11 $2.00

Optional dinner at a Huntsville restaurant after the hike. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 8 and over welcome. Depart 8:00 a.m. from the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride or 9:30 a.m. from the Wendy’s in Valley Bend at Jones Valley. Address of the Wendy’s is 2742 Carl T. Jones Drive, Huntsville, Alabama.  Please park in the shopping center parking lot. You can then use the restrooms in the Target before we leave to start our hike.            

Info: Barbara Kammerud, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 256/536-7074

 

 

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