Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve

Date: Sept 20, 2002

Location: Ruffner Mtn. Birmingham Al.

Trail: 5.0 miles, Some on and more off trail! dayhike

Members: Marty (Navigator) Schulman,  Mike (Hank) Henshaw,  Julie (PG) Smith,
Danny Millwood and Kim (Splash) Millwood

  The few (Hank-PG-Splash-Danny-Navigator),The mighty ( all of us!), the intrepid (also all of us!) dared to brave the pending weather to find out what all the hullabaloo over Ruffner was about. Led by Navigator (who NEVER got lost), we saw an urban forest in late summer.

 Despite the extra slipperiness of the slightly wet limestone in the quarry,we ventured up to its rim from the floor, which is rather unique: this quarry barely ever has any water in it, since its about 1000' elevation (the airport is about 600').

But, not content to view just 1 quarry, Navigator was pleased to show off the Hawk's View quarry  with its west facing overlook. Just to make things a bit more interesting, Navigator led all to yet a 3rd quarry, appropriately called the Hidden Quarry. This little "canyon" can only be reached by those who are really, really intrepid

After getting back onto a real sho 'nuff trail, and passing through a kudzu patch, it was off to an old red iron ore mine. We visited Ruffner Mine #3, with its largely intact ore crusher that saw duty from c. 1910 to c. 1930

The more intrepid members of this intrepid group also felt a mine slope opening the refreshingly cool air that rushed out was an unexpected but very welcome addition to the hike.

The hike ended in the early afternoon after Navigator reluctantly gave up on extending the hike, having been convinced that doing so would leave future opportunities available to see more of the mountain.

Submitted this day Oct.14 2002 by Martin Schulman