Residents of Tuscaloosa enjoy mild temperatures all year and that provides a lot of opportunities to get outside and explore the great outdoors through hiking. 

While most of the state's elevation can be found in the northern and eastern portions of Alabama, there are still some great options within a short drive from Tuscaloosa. With the weather warming up and many of us enjoying some vacation time this summer, take advantage of the outdoor activities in your own backyard.

Take a look at our list of hiking trails that anyone from beginner to expert can enjoy. If you see anything we missed, leave us a comment.

  • 1

    Sokol Park

    5901 Watermelon Road, Northport

    With 21 total trails ranging from 0.2 miles to 2.50 miles, Sokol Park in Northport can suit any distance you need. Many of the trails are shared with hikers and mountain bikers, and you can connect from one trail to the next to spend a morning or afternoon wandering through the park. Take a look at the trail map here.

    West Alabama Biking Association
  • 2

    Lake Lurleen State Park

    13226 Lake Lurleen Road

    Located just nine miles north of Tuscaloosa and Northport, Lake Lurleen State Park features more than 23 miles of multi-use trails. You'll enjoy walking along the shores of Lake Lurleen and up into the hills that surround it. The trails range from moderate to difficult and can provide you a full day of exercise if you so choose. See the trail map here. 

  • 3

    Lake Nicol

    4409 Nicol Park Rd

    Located about 20 minutes from Tuscaloosa, you'll pass NorthRiver on your way to the lake. Along with paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, and cliff jumping, Lake Nicol offers some hiking trails. They aren't too long, but it's great for bird-watching.

  • 4

    Rocky Branch Park

    13710 Rocky Branch Rd

    This public use area is situated right along the Black Warrior River, which makes for some great scenery while hiking. There are about five miles of trails around the park, but they don't quite make a complete loop just yet. As you enter the park, you'll see a small parking lot where you can access the two main trailheads. This map is outdated, but it will give you a good idea of where the trails lead.

  • 5

    University of Alabama Arboretum

    4801 Arboretum Way

    The old university golf course has been transformed into walking trails and is used by the Alabama cross country teams. The terrain is relatively flat but you'll find it to be wooded, peaceful and convenient from anywhere around campus.

    Instagram via @thebengeorge