Jones Valley Trail

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The Jones Valley Trail (also called the Jones Valley Greenway, Jones Valley Corridor, 1st Avenue South Trail or the 1st Avenue South Greenway) is a 28.8-mile recreational trail which forms a major spine of the Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System, planned and developed by the Freshwater Land Trust. Eventually the Jones Valley Trail will become part of a continuous loop encircling all of the city's Southside by connecting to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve and Red Mountain Park.

The initial section of the corridor is a 2.5-mile walking and cycling trail connecting Railroad Park in Birmingham's Parkside District to 41st Street South in Avondale. The trail was opened in sections.

From Railroad Park's southeast corner at 1st Avenue South and 18th Street the trail follows 1st Avenue South eastward to 20th Street South, passing the Powell Steam Plant and Spire Alabama Midtown Business Center.

A dedicated walking path, the Rotary Trail, begins there, marked by a large sign modeled after the "Magic City sign" which had once welcomed visitors from the Birmingham Terminal Station. The sunken trail occupies the former railroad cut which was renovated with funding from the Rotary Club of Birmingham in 2014. The eastern end of that section, where it passed below the is marked by 24th Street Viaduct, is marked by the "Frank's Table" sculpture, dedicated in November 2019.

The Hugh Kaul Trail, funded by the Hugh Kaul Foundation, picks up from there, marked by a trailhead with a bike tool kiosk at 25th Street South. From there the greenway returns to a dedicated pathway, set off from the street by a row of bollards and trees as it continues past the Pepper Place district to 32nd Street South.

A 9-block extension of the trail, from 32nd Street to 41st Street South in Avondale was approved by the Birmingham City Council in March 2021 and opened in April 2022. It continues along 1st Avenue South to just past the 35th Street Viaduct, then turns a block south, alongside M2, where the Freshwater Land Trust's offices are located, to the unpaved 2nd Avenue South corridor extending to 38th Street South.

The Birmingham Sunrise Rotary Club is leading the development of a "Sunrise Plaza" feature on the section of the trail on axis with 36th Street South, which would incorporate benches, shade structures, and a sculpture by Deedee Morrison. The extension would continue as part of the paved road and terminate at 41st Street, alongside Satellite and 41st Street Pub & Aircraft Sales, directly opposite Avondale Brewing Co. and Beloved Community Church.

An additional extension of the Hugh Kaul Trail, formerly dubbed the Continental Gin Connector, will add pedestrian access to the Avondale Mills Shopping Center and Continental Gin complex, home of Cahaba Brewing Co., Redmont Distilling Co., and the collections of the Southern Vintage Fire Apparatus Association. This section is slated to be completed in summer 2022.

References

  • Beahm, Anna (February 5, 2020) "Extension will connect Rotary Trail to 41st Street." The Birmingham News
  • Byington, Pat (March 9, 2021) "Birmingham gives final approval for Jones Valley Trail Extension." Bham Now
  • Croxson, Madison (September 7, 2021) "Sunrise Rotary launches namesake project, The Sunrise Plaza—learn how to support." Bham Now
  • "Anticipated Downtown Trail Connection from Rotary Trail to Continental Gin to be named Hugh Kaul Trail." (January 26, 2022) Freshwater Land Trust
  • "FLT celebrates Earth Day with Hugh Kaul Trail ribbon cutting and groundbreaking." (April 22, 2022) Freshwater Land Trust
  • "Parks And Greenway Advocates Celebrate New Trail Network in Birmingham." (April 26, 2022) Alabama NewsCenter / The Birmingham Times

External links

  • Interactive Map of the Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System at the Freshwater Land Trust website