Ruffner’s story begins in 1977, when a grassroots community movement formed to create the Ruffner Mountain Nature Coalition. Their mission was clear: protect the mountain ecosystem and stop a land developer’s plan to build an apartment complex on-site. As you can see today, their mission is an ongoing success, as countless species of flora and fauna thrive on the mountain and Ruffner continues to grow. Thanks to the efforts of the Ruffner Mountain Nature Coalition, concerned residents of South East Lake, members of the Birmingham Humane Society, and the Vulcan Trail Association, a sprawling urban ecosystem was saved. Today, Ruffner Mountain comprises 1,038 acres of biodiverse urban forest and connects the communities of East Lake, Irondale, Roebuck Springs, and Greater Birmingham through 14 miles of trails, nature education and EcoArts programs, and of course, a love of wilderness and wildlife. We owe the original members of the Ruffner Mountain Nature Coalition a debt of gratitude and thank them for preserving not only Ruffner Mountain but an understanding of our deep connection to the natural world we all inherit.
The Preserve, Pavilion, and Trails are open Tuesday through Sunday, and the Nature Center is open Thursday through Sunday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.