A southwestern suburb of Birmingham, Hueytown combines affordable housing with lovely Alabama pine forest. Whether you have a city dog or a country dog, Hueytown is a fang-tastic place to settle down. You’ll find a convenient Hueytown city park for a quick walk on either end of town. There are paved paths and grassy areas around the athletic fields at Allison Bonnet Park and at Hueytown Parks & Recreation, as well as two neighborhood walking tracks.
With all of metro Birmingham at your doorstep, though, there’s no need to stay at home. Ruffner Mountain near Irondale is over 1,000 acres of nature preserve crisscrossed with 14 miles of hiking trails that welcome dogs. Get a full trail map on the official Ruffner Mountain website. (Did we mention that it’s named Ruff-ner?) Pups must stay on-leash and on trail for their safety: Ruffner Mountain was mined for iron up until the 1950s, so 19th and 20th-century mine tunnels dot the mountains.
For a more urban experience, venture into bustling Downtown Birmingham for a doggy day out. Start at Railroad Park to enjoy winding paths around the koi ponds and views of the river and skyline. Good People Brewing Company is less than a block from the park and welcomes pups at their ample outdoor seating. Once you’ve rejuvenated, tour this part of the city with a walk down to the UAB campus and around its manicured grounds.
In the Woodmont neighborhood in north Hueytown, Martin Luther King Jr Park on Forest Road has a paved walking path around the athletic fields. At the corner of Hillcrest and Hueytown Road a few blocks south, you’ll find an additional figure-eight neighborhood walking track. If Spot gets tired of going circles, veer off and explore the leafy residential streets of Woodmont. With good sidewalks and light traffic, it’s safe to enjoy the classic brick ranch-style homes and well-tended yards: Woodmont looks exactly how a suburb should. With plenty of local pups on neighborhood watch, you’ll get some questioning barks from the yards you pass — and maybe meet some new friends.
In the Avalon Park neighborhood in south Hueytown, you can use the open walking track at Hueytown Middle School and enjoy Stadium Park at Hueytown High School when school isn’t in session. The best-kept secret in Avalon Park is the wooded walking track accessed via the North Highlands Baptist Church parking lot. Continue to the hilltop public parking area through the back exit of the church lot and enjoy a peaceful paved path compete with picnic tables and shade. This is city property, so don’t be intimidated by the remote location. Make a dash across the city limits to Full Moon BBQ in Bessemer to reward yourself and your best buddy for that exercise with meaty goodness served at the pet-friendly outdoor tables.
One of the most pawpular spots in all of metro Birmingham — beautiful Red Mountain Park — is only 10 miles from Hueytown. First stop is the 6 off-leash acres of Remy’s Dog Park! Southern Living Magazine called it one of “10 Great Southern Dog Parks,” so you really need to check that out. (If you’re new to Alabama, Southern Living is king down here, ya'll.) For a serious workout, though, leash up and explore the 15 miles of hiking/biking trails and the 2 miles of paved (and stroller/wheelchair accessible) walking paths. The trail system offers you two scenic outlooks over Downtown Birmingham, three historic iron mines, and three “treehouse” locations to hang out in the forest canopy. Although there is no admission fee to the park, regulars are encouraged to buy a Red Mountain membership: all fees support the park’s maintenance.