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Narrows Ridge Full Loop

  5.0 ( 2 ) Favorite


3.5 mile 5.7 kilometer loop


Ascent: 651' 198 m
Descent: -660' -201 m
High: 819' 249 m
Low: 567' 173 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)


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Trail shared by Joy R

An easy-moderate loop through beautiful woodlands, with a slight detour to view the waterfall.

Joy R

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

Family Friendly Waterfalls, swimming, educational programs, easy trails, restrooms (portable).

The preserve is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and closes at 4 p.m. on other days. Check the website for holiday closures and time changes, as there can be penalties when using preserve during unscheduled times or closures.


Take a hike 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. Hike 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 hike.

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.

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ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, History & Background


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  5.0 from 2 votes


  5.0 from 2 votes
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637 Since Nov 25, 2017



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