There are several places around Birmingham that my family and I frequent, and Railroad Park is always at the top of our list of places to go when we want to get out of the house.
This year, Railroad Park turns ten, and we are excited about it! For the past decade, my family has found every excuse to spend time at this beautiful piece of land that separates the Northside from Birmingham’s Southside. It’s nestled between the busy railroad tracks and Regions Fields, so you’re sure to see Amtrak or Norfolk Southern chugging along carrying freight or hearing the crack of a high-speed baseball meeting that wooden bat followed by crowds cheering. Its backdrop is breathtaking, no matter the direction. You’re sure to get a picture-perfect photo wherever you stand. One of our favorite spots to get a great view is just in front of the colorful Vulcan replica down near the water. If you’re facing north, you’ll get a magical view of downtown; and when you turn south, just in front of this statue, you can see our Steel Giant, just between the cracks of Children’s and UAB hospital towering over Red Mountain.
From symphonic concerts under a star-filled sky that have featured some of Disney’s greatest hits (my favorite, of course) followed by the boom of patriotic fireworks to charitable events, from marathons to giveaways and even food truck rallies, Railroad Park has given Birminghamians a place to feel safe while spending some time in the fresh air.
After school, the weekends, and even during the pandemic, this nineteen-acre green space gives families a place to use their imagination while they run freely through the plush grass. My family has enjoyed walking, running (more walking than running), hoverboarding, biking, feeding the ducks and fish, and watching brides and prom-goers capture their beauty in pictures, all while taking in the sounds of new construction, the sights of towering buildings downtown, and the smells of nearby restaurants. We also have participated in a moment of history by painting in bright yellow the “M” on the Black Lives Matter street mural on the pavement adjacent to the park in support of social justice and equality.
On October 11 at 4:00 p.m., Railroad Park will celebrate all of its greatness virtually to ensure everyone’s safety during COVID-19. Because this park is a non-profit organization, its leaders are asking residents and patrons to help support by attending a virtual party, purchasing a picnic, hosting a picnic party, or becoming a sponsor. During the virtual event there will be music, a virtual scavenger hunt, park highlights, and more!
Happy Birthday, Railroad Park! May you continue to provide a place of enjoyment, beauty, and fun for Birmingham residents and all who visit the Magic City.
For a list of other great parks around Birmingham, see here.