Take a run through this nature preserve to enjoy the change in fall colors and a beautiful waterfall (which makes for a nice swimming area in the summer). Often an easily overlooked spot (really a hidden gem on the outskirts of the Birmingham community), this preserve offers an escape from the city. This particular loop is great for hiking and trail running as well, and is beautiful in the fall when the leaves change colors.
Park at the front entrance of the preserve off Turkey Creek Road. Use the lot before you go through the iron gates. Run through the gates and the trailhead to the the Narrows Ridge Main Loop
is a few feet up past the portable restrooms, on the left. The entrance to the Narrows Ridge East Loop
is also a small half-mile loop on the opposite side of the street for extra mileage.
All trails are well-marked with clear markers at trail junctions.
Take the Narrows Ridge Main Loop
which heads west; where it splits, stay left to continue southwest, paralleling the ridgeline, climbing a gentle grade. Cross the Thompson Trace
trail (blue blazes) as you head north and cross the Hanby Hollow
trail (yellow blazes). At the next junction with the Hanby Hollow
trail, take a left to follow it down to the waterfall. There will be two spots along the trail where you can veer onto the yellow trail; I recommend the second yellow junction (the sound of the waterfalls will be audible before reaching this point) in order to maximize your time on the red trail, which is a more challenging run.
After taking in the waterfall, head back the way you came and head back to the red trail (Narrows Ridge trail). Follow the Narrows Ridge Main Loop
as it loops around back to the original split in the trail. Turn left and head back to the parking area. From here cross the road and take the Narrows Ridge East Loop
which is located just a bit to the right. Take the trail out to the loop, follow it either direction, and then head back the way you came.