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Nature at Noon: Vulcan Trail in Birmingham

May 19 , 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

Indigo Bunting, Julie Torkomian / Audubon Photography Awards

Pre-registration is requested for planning purposes by 11 p.m. CST on Thursday, May 18th.

Join our Executive Director, conservation scientist, novelist, and life-long birder Scot Duncan, PhD, at the Kiwanis Vulcan Trail in Birmingham. Located in the Jones Valley Trail network, the tree-lined trail scales the ridge of the 1,025-foot Red Mountain and it takes little effort to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and birders can expect to see breeding birds feeding their young, Indigo Buntings, Hooded Warbler, and possibly the Orchard Oriole and some late spring migrants. Beginners are welcome!

About the trail: From the parking area, the path traces the route of the former L&N Birmingham Mineral Railroad. With roots as a steel town, Birmingham is one of the few geologic zones where one can find all three mineral components (iron ore, coal, and limestone) needed to make steel. The trail offers a bird’s-eye view of many notable historic structures and areas, including the Arlington Antebellum Home and the Birmingham Civil Rights District, a six-block tribute to the civil rights movement that contains the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. The trail’s eastern end is located by 10-acre Vulcan Park, home to the world’s largest cast-iron statue and trail/park namesake. An Italian sculptor crafted the 56-foot statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis to showcase Birmingham’s burgeoning industrial might. The park also houses the Vulcan Center, which traces the city’s industrial past and offers rotating exhibits. The Vulcan Park and Museum also has restrooms, benches, and trash cans.

The details: Meetup is at 12 p.m. at the eastern trail head. There is a parking lot with one accessible space where the trail meets Richard Arrington Boulevard just north of the Vulcan Park and Museum (1701 Valley View Dr, Birmingham), which also has several large free parking lots with accessible spaces. There is also plenty of parking at the trail’s western trailhead (2285 Red Mountain Terrace S, Birmingham) if you find the need for additional parking. Visit the TrailLink map for all options and detailed directions.

Feel free to bring your binoculars; however, we will have binoculars available to borrow that day. You may also want to bring water, snacks, rain gear, sun protection, and seasonally appropriate attire.

Should something unforeseen arise that would cause the need to cancel the event, we will contact you in advance via email.

Cost to attend: This event is free. However a suggested donation of $5 would mean a lot. Your support helps us to offer these and other public programs. If you are able, please make a tax-deductible donation at alaudubon.org/annualfund.

Accessibility: This paved, asphalt trail is likely accessible for visitors using wheelchairs, mobility equipment, or strollers.

Questions about accessibility? Email allison@alaudubon.org for more information about how we can meet your needs.

Trip leaders: Alabama Audubon Executive Director Scot Duncan and Outreach & Communications Director Allison Abney will coordinate this trip. For questions, reach out to Allison at 205-601-8156 (day of event only, please).

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Through more than seventy-five years of conservation work in one of our nation’s most ecologically rich states, Alabama Audubon has seen firsthand how diversity strengthens natural communities. This same principle applies to human communities, which is why our organization is committed to providing equitable and inclusive opportunities for all Alabamians to learn about and enjoy wild birds, their habitats, and the natural world. One of the best ways to support that belief is by valuing and actively seeking to strengthen diversity among our staff, our board, and our membership. To that end, Alabama Audubon welcomes everyone to participate in our work, and strives to make our programs, classes, and events welcome, inclusive, and accessible to all.