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Quarry, Possum, Overlook, and Ridge & Valley Trails Loop

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Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

Quarry, Possum, Overlook, and Ridge & Valley Trails Loop is a 5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Birmingham, Alabama that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 902 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly


nature trips

bird watching



wild flowers


Due to COVID-19 the following changes have been made effective March 25, 2020 in an effort to reduce overcrowding of trails and parking areas : - Trail and Parking Hours - 8:00am - 6:00pm, Tuesday through Sunday. - Access to Trails is permitted for the following: Residents of the City of Birmingham, Members, and Employees of a Business Member All visitors must adhere to the following rules: 1.) Once the parking lot is full, the preserve is closed for additional visitors. 2.) Do not park on 81st Street or in a non-designated parking spot. 3.) No group congregations. 4.) No organized group activities. 5.) Social distancing is required at all times. 6.) Pack-out all trash and follow Leave No Trace Principles. 7.) If you have an emergency, call 911. If these changes and guidelines are not followed, the preserve will be forced to close all parking— trails will only be open to those within walking distance of Ruffner Mountain. The Ruffner Mountain Preserve does not receive any public funding, therefore donations for trail use and memberships are encouraged. Please consider donating to the preserve upon each use of the trails or signing up for a membership. Additional information is available on the preserve's website here:

1 month ago

I don’t have too much experience hiking around Birmingham, but from the experience I do have, I think this place is a hidden gem. The trails are much cooler than, for example, oak mountain, featuring rocks, roots, and wood steps. They are also wider and much more well marked. I got lost twice on the same trail at oak mountain. I don’t know if that says more about me or the trail markings, but in my defense, I can say that I did not run into this problem at Ruffner mountain. I have also gone for a brief walk at red mountain state park. While I can’t really speak to the quality of the trails too much, I can speak to the size of the crowds. On my hike at Ruffner mountain, I only saw one other person, a park ranger who looked to be doing trail maintenance. Granted, I went hiking early on a rainy day, but even then, I expected to see more than one person. Ruffner mountain pairs well against its competitors, but it also stands out on its own merits. As the name quarry trail suggests, there is a large quarry from where iron was mined. It is really breathtaking. There are also small streams that run along the trails and feature various plants from ferns, hydrangeas, and various other flowers. I hope you will visit this park.

10 months ago

Great trail, nice views at the overlook and not too busy. Took just under 2 hours to complete as I was not prepared for the Alabama humidity! Bring some bug spray if the mozzies have a thing for you, as they are plentiful on the trail. Quarry and Possum are pretty easy going for the most part; while Ridge and Valley is as the name suggests and can be a bit of a challenge at times! Great time overall and would definitely recommend.

Sat Aug 25 2018

great trail. very kid friendly.. even took my 8 month old (not in a stroller, on my hip)

Wed Apr 11 2018

Visited today with a chihuahua and a lab puppy and we all had a blast! Took a turn a little early but the trails were well marked and we found our way easily (the detour was beautiful regardless). Even though I had to carry both pups by the end, we had an awesome time and took a break to enjoy the view.

Sat Mar 31 2018

Great trails with many optional detours. The main trail can get busy on weekends. A treasure to be found in Birmingham!

Tue Jan 30 2018

Tue Dec 05 2017

Ruffner is really nice area, and is well marked.

Sat Sep 23 2017

The trails are well marked and modern. We will come back again. We did the white and orange trail. It takes 3 miles for both trail.

Mon Aug 28 2017

Lizard Loop is a fairly level 1 mile loop. Great canopy of trees and plants. Gravel trail in parts but narrows to a dirt path that feels more secluded.

Tue Jul 25 2017

This park is the best kept hiking secret in Birmingham. In fact, will people stop giving this five stars so it stays lightly trafficked? Thanks!

Thu Jul 06 2017

We had a great time. Challenging at times. Good views.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Staff was super awesome :)

Thu May 18 2017

Awesome trails and staff !!

Sun Mar 05 2017

Took Ridge & Valley trail... continous inclines and declines that are very challenging on legs . Decided to take Crusher trail along the way.

Sun Feb 19 2017

Great trial!!!! Love the views. We came on a Sunday and it was pretty crowd, I would recommend coming during the week when there is less people. You have to hike this trial.

Mon Jun 20 2016

Favorite place for running in the area. There are not many people around because it is fairly hilly. the trails are fun and very different from one another.

Mon Apr 11 2016

I've hiked this trail to the overlook probably 10 or more times. It's my favorite in Birmingham. Very easy, but not mindless, especially if you come back up Silent Journey. That'll get your heart rate up. I just went with my Hike It Baby Birmingham group. We got a 5 year old, a 3 year old, a 10 month old, and a 3 month old, plus 4 moms and 2 dads all the way to the overlook within an hour and a half. So, like I said, this trail is easy but not mindless and there are some super beautiful views.

Wed Mar 02 2016

Awesome. Great leg workout. Fairly easy. We hiked from hilltop to hilltop near the shooting range. Awesome view.

Sun May 03 2015

Great view of Downtown Birmingham, and cool to watch planes take off and land from the airport. Its a nice active walk. Its not difficult but its not a mindless walk, either.

Thu Mar 12 2015

Awesome place to spend the day or even a few hours. Trails are in great condition. Great for trail running, hiking and geocaching. Great views and all kinds of things to explore.

Sun Nov 02 2014

There are many trails that are super easy, so there was no problem taking my 5 year old. We did Quarry Trail to Lookout. The view was amazing. I'll definitely come back, and probably do some more challenging trails when I don't have my kids with me.

Mon Oct 27 2014

Went hiking with the family over the weekend. Was testing out a new backpacking pack with my son for Boy Scouts. Clear trails, beautiful views, easy access in and out. Highly recommended for families.

Tue Jan 22 2013

10000 steps If I start on the Irondale side across from the baseball park and do the quarry, geology and on to the nature center trail and back I get 10000 steps which is my goal for each day.

Fri Oct 26 2012

great easy hike with an outstanding view of birmingham at the end. also, for trail runners, the trail was kept clean and clear enough a few year back when i was running it regularly.

Sun Sep 16 2012

We had a lot of fun. The trails were well kept up and easy. It was just kind of hard to find the trailhead if you aren't familiar with the area. The old quarry was pretty. Can't wait to go back again

Wed Jul 25 2012

Wonderful trail and a great place to take the kids for a hike or adults and get a little history of the mt.

1 month ago

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