Montgomery, AL: More than just history

Sure, Montgomery, AL. has a lot going on — Civil Rights history, culture and great restaurants — but it also a wealth of beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. From trails to golf courses to parks and lakes, Alabama’s second largest city has something for everyone who needs fresh air and exercise.  Here are some favorites:

• Lagoon Park offers ballfields, a golf course and the Lagoon Park Trail. Located northeast of downtown, the trail features five miles of biking, hiking and running terrain and is open from sunrise to sunset. There is also the Lagoon Park Golf Course, an 18-hole public golf course with fairways lined with 100-year-old oaks and towering pines. The 72-park course offers a supreme challenge on the 550-yard, Park 3 15th hole with a double dogleg arching the left and bending back to the right of the reaching green.

• Lanark is the site of the Alabama Nature Center and the home of the Alabama Wildlife Federation. Located about 10 miles north of Montgomery, the property includes a world-class conservation education center. The gardens at Lanark cover more than 30 acres and include wooded paths, streams, lakes, lawns and bridges that are traversed by five miles of boardwalks and trails in three regions: Still Creek Run, Hilltop Pass and Turkey Ridge. Pre-Covid-19, the nature center had hunting, fishing, educational seminars and classrooms and a bevy of other outdoor activities. Currently the nature center is partially open for walking on the trail systems. The NaturePlex facility is closed except for restroom usage.

• The 293-acre Blount Cultural Park is home to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and as well as the private grounds of the renowned Alabama Shakespeare Festival. It also features ponds and  miles of walking trails. If you have a a dog, Bark Park is perfect. It has a main entrance that leads to two separate areas — one for small dogs and the other for larger ones. There is a wash station and well as benches and fountain.

Coosa River Adventures
Coosa River Adventures

• Coosa River is a tributary of the Alabama River and offers a lot of outdoor activities. While it’s still warm, go to Coosa River Adventures, a whitewater canoe and kayak outfitter and rent kayaks, sit inside kayaks or stand up paddle boards and enjoy a day on the river. The company will transport guests to a launch site (life jackets included) for a white water rafting trip that lasts about three to four hours. The Class II rapids are perfect for novice rafters.

Want something a little less active? Perfect. Then take a Sip-n-Cycle Pedal Cruise down the Alabama River. Bring friends and drinks and the Master Captain will navigate down the river.

Mary Welch


Editor, award-winning journalist and author

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