Summer is winding down and so are the temperatures, which means the outdoors are calling our names! Getting outdoors is important as we navigate our increasingly-virtual lifestyles thanks to COVID-19, so we figured we would compile a list of outdoor adventures for you to discover around Tuscaloosa. This city is a beautiful landscape that only gets better as Autumn starts to sweep across the country, elevating already beautiful outdoor destinations into breathtaking views! Whether you are looking to wind down with an outdoor picnic or take an adventure hiking through the fall foliage, check out this list of outdoor adventures around Tuscaloosa!
- Lake Harris
Lake Harris is one of the many nearby lakes that offers an incredible setting for a number of different outdoor activities. There are plenty of picnic areas and a beach, where one might spread out a blanket to enjoy their lunch or simply take in the scene. In addition to these spots, there are a number of trees gathered close by the bank, perfect for setting up a cozy hammock! For those who are looking to stay active, there is a 1.76-mile hike around the lake through the trees. As the weather cools down, this area will become a peaceful gathering place for all who wish to experience some of Tuscaloosa’s many hidden gems.
2. Bower’s Park
Bower’s Park is a nearby public park that offers quite a few activity opportunities, like a disc golf course or several fields for rent. Not much different from regular golf, disc golf is an active way to stay busy on a delightful weekend outside! Those looking to get into this sport need to be sure and purchase discs ahead of time, however. As far as a field for rent, Bower’s Park has a number of different fields, baseball/softball or multipurpose, that can be rented out for a small gathering of friends to safely play a pickup game of baseball, softball, and more! Before visiting Bower’s Park, be sure to bring along a mask in case of other visitors.
Offering a serene view of the Black Warrior River, the Riverwalk is also the place to hammock, picnic, or relax! There are numerous picnic tables, benches, and gazebos to provide a comfortable environment, allowing you to get the most out of your experience with the great outdoors of T-Town. Let your mind take a rest from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you are looking to work up a sweat and take advantage of the cooler temperatures, there is also a running path along the Riverwalk to enjoy in the morning or throughout the day. In addition to these activities, the Riverwalk is located close to a number of restaurants to enjoy either at the start or at the end of a delightful Autumn day, like Market House Boutique, Another Broken Egg, and River. Be sure to carry a mask with you for safety if you intend to visit any of the restaurants or businesses on the Riverwalk!
4. Civil Rights Trail
As Summer draws to a close and temperatures start to drop, it is prime time to spend the day outside walking around and exploring new places. Among the many adventures that await in Tuscaloosa is the Civil Rights Trail, where anyone has the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history and learn about how the Civil Rights Movement shaped the City of Tuscaloosa. Located primarily in Downtown Tuscaloosa, this trail is perfect for staying active and demonstrates a profound learning opportunity for those who are not aware of the history of Tuscaloosa. Thanks to its proximity to Downtown Tuscaloosa, the Civil Rights Trail is also a good opportunity to discover local dining options, such as Reggae Flava and Brummi’s Yummies. For more T-Town treasures along the trail check out the official guide here.
5. Government Plaza
If you are looking for a versatile area that offers safe ways to enjoy this city then the Government Plaza is the spot for you. Located in the heart of downtown, this 5-acre park makes social distancing a breeze. Enjoy the crisp Autumn air while diving into a good book from Ernest and Hadley, grubbing on delicious Heat pizza, sipping on some Monarch coffee, or maybe even unwinding with your favorite yoga flow. After months on end of being trapped inside now is the time to relax and appreciate nature in all its wonder. If you want your furry friend to tag along, the sidewalks surrounding the park makes for the perfect path for dog-walking.
6. Lake Tuscaloosa
This local hangout has everything you need for an unforgettable lake day with friends and family. Lake Tuscaloosa has earned its reputation as the perfect fishing spot with bass, sunfish, crappie, and more. If fishing isn’t for you, stand on the shore, hike the lake’s cliffs, take in the captivating views, or dip into the refreshing water! You are bound to have a blast in this comfortable weather. Only a short drive from the city, this lake makes pairing a morning out in nature and Rama Jama’s iconic Southern breakfast unbelievably easy.
Written By: Will Baggett
Edited By: Jamie Hoven
Visit Tuscaloosa continues to monitor the rapidly changing situation related to the spread of COVID-19. We understand that concerns for health, safety, and the impact on meeting attendance, among other issues, affects our community. Our main priority is the health and safety (physically, economically, and socially) of the residents and visitors of the Tuscaloosa community.
According to the City of Tuscaloosa, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from getting sick:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
We encourage all travelers and attendees to follow the guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We want to encourage residents of Tuscaloosa to continue supporting local restaurants while maintaining safe social-distancing practices. The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama has compiled a spreadsheet of independent & local restaurants offering take-out, drive-thru, & delivery options. Find the list here, and check back as this spreadsheet continues to grow: tuscaloosachamber.com/support-local
Follow these links for real-time updates and information:
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- Alabama Public Health
- US Travel Association – “Travel Leaders Echo Experts: Make Fact-Based Decisions About Traveling”
- The University of Alabama
- Southeastern Conference
On March 12, the Southeastern Conference announced the suspension of regular-season competition for teams in all sports on SEC campuses, as well as SEC championship events, until March 30. This includes all SEC events at Texas A&M University. To learn more, visit rolltide.com.
On April 2, the Governor of Alabama announced a statewide stay-at-home order. This went into effect on Saturday, April 3 at 5:00 P.M. The new order allows people to travel to obtain necessary supplies, including food, medication and equipment needed to work from home, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation and essential maintenance of a home or residence.
Health Authorities and Academics
Looking for more information? Here is a shortlist of trusted resources.
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus website
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel information and alerts
- World Health Organization advice for the public
- World Health Organization planning recommendations for mass gatherings
- Johns Hopkins University live tracker
Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports (TTS) will be temporarily closed through April 30. TTS is closely monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and are taking specific guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our local & state governments. Because we deeply value the health and wellness of our visitors and staff, we have decided to close our doors to the public.
We will still be available via phone and email to assist you with your needs. Below is a list of email addresses to reach all of our employees.
This continues to be a fast-moving and evolving issue, and we are working diligently to take the steps to protect our clients and staff. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to monitor developments and navigate through these challenging circumstances.
For more information about Coronavirus prevention, visit: https://www.tuscaloosa.com/covid19
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