We are lucky to have so many great creeks in the South Birmingham region where kids can splash and play -- and you can feel good about social distancing.
Here are five of my family's favorite creeks in the South Birmingham area to visit. Don't see your family's favorite creek here? Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll add it to our list!
Put on a swimsuit, bring shoes good for creek walking, and don't forget snacks and sunscreen before heading out to any of these South Birmingham creeks! And remember, always watch your kids in water — no matter how shallow it is!
Hurricane Branch at Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover
There are several trailheads accessing Moss Rock Preserve and all will lead you to different areas of Hurricane Branch, the stream flowing through the preserve. Even though it can be busy at times, it is still easy to remain socially distanced. The trails along the stream are beautiful, but our favorite thing to do is pack a picnic lunch and just play in one spot for hours. Seasonally, the waterfalls here are gorgeous! Click HERE for a trail guide and more information.
Buck Creek in Alabaster
You can access Buck Creek at Buck Creek Park, but our favorite place to play in this creek is just behind Alabaster City Hall. Here the shoreline is not so steep and there is a zero-entry access point where even toddlers can wade in and play. Take the driveway around and past the water tower to the overflow parking near a gazebo to find the creek. If you would like to play at the playground first, park at Buck Creek Park and then walk along Buck Creek Trail from the park to find different places to access the creek.
Cahaba Valley Creek at Heardmont Park in the Oak Mountain Area
Heardmont Park has it all! There's a great playground, paved trails wonderful for riding bikes and scooters, rocky areas for playing in the woods, and Cahaba Valley Creek to splash around in! My kids ask to visit this park all the time.
Shoal Creek at Orr Park or Shoal Creek Park
Shoal Creek passes through Orr Park in Montevallo and is another favorite for our family. In addition to great creek access areas, Orr Park also has a great playground, paved walkways, open fields and fun wood carvings. We have also heard a lot of great things about the new Shoal Creek Park nearby, but have not yet visited.
Cahaba River at Cahaba River Walk Park
In the summer, this section of the river is very shallow and perfect for splashing around, looking for critters and more. Located in Mountain Brook, it is the northernmost creek play area on our list. Be aware that there are no restrooms at this park.
Other Places to Check Out
McCallum Park in Vestavia
Meadowlawn Park in Vestavia
Jemison Park in Mountain Brook
Cahaba River Park in Helena
Cahaba River Walk in Irondale
Obviously, use your best judgment when deciding whether or not to allow your children to play in a creek and be sure to teach them good practices about how to stay safe in the water. Some places in the Birmingham area are tested for water quality on a regular basis. You can check water quality and find more places to play in the water, HERE.
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Macaroni Kid South Birmingham is a free weekly e-newsletter and website focused on fun family events and things to do with kids in the South Birmingham region. We gather together all kinds of local family events and activities each week, and add useful information about classes, family-focused businesses, book and product reviews, recipes, crafts, school and camp guides and more. We proudly serve families in downtown Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Pelham, the Oak Mountain and 280 area, Helena and Alabaster.