Shades Creek

Shades Creek Corridor

The Over the Mountain Greenway

Shades Creek begins its headwaters along the flanks of Ruffner Mountain in the east and travels through the cities of Irondale, Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Hoover, and Bessemer, and beyond through unincorporated Jefferson County in the southwest. Significant urban development in the upper reaches of this stream resulted in increased flooding along Shades Creek during the latter half of the 20th Century, and a subsequent decision to channelize the stream along much of its length upstream from Highway 150 in Bessemer. Despite the impacts of dense development, Shades Creek is a favorite recreation spot for urban anglers and bird watchers, and the stream offers a scenic natural corridor easily accessed by a large population.

Notable existing greenways include Jemison Trail and the Homewood Shades Creek Greenway from Brookwood Boulevard to Columbiana Road. The Greenway is planned to continue from Columbiana Road along the creek with a bridge crossing at Lakeshore Drive west of John Carroll High School to connect with West Homewood Park. A proposed street-based connector along Lakeshore Drive will connect the trail to the front door of Red Mountain Park, providing linkages to the Cities of Fairfield, Midfield, Birmingham and beyond. A series of proposed natural surface trails along the creek will take walkers and bikers through Freshwater Land Trust nature preserves further to the south and west as the stream flows past the summit of Shades Mountain.

Some major destinations that connect to this corridor include Red Mountain Park, Vulcan Park, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham Zoo, Homewood Forest Preserve, West Homewood Park, Homewood Central Park, Samford University, retail shopping areas at Eastwood, Brookwood Village, the Villages of Mountain Brook, Downtown Homewood, and many residential neighborhoods that lie in Shades Valley.


The Shades Creek Corridor is within the following municipalities: Irondale, Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Hoover, and Bessemer.

Overall Corridor Distance

47.4 Miles

Featured Trails

Valley Avenue Trail - This proposed street-based trail with a dedicated bike lane begins at the intersection of Montevallo Road and Valley Avenue and continues north, passing Homewood Middle School, to 21st Street South at Vulcan Park.

Birmingham Zoo Trail - This proposed street-based trial with dedicated bike lane begins at the intersection of Valley Avenue and 21st Street and continues east into English Village along 21st Avenue South. At the intersection of Cahaba Road, the trail turns south toward the Birmingham Zoo and Botanical Gardens, and continues south on Cahaba Road to Shades Creek Connector Greenway.

West Oxmoor Road Trail - This proposed street-based trail connects the Shannon-Oxmoor Greenway to Red Mountain Park. The trail begins at the intersection of Lakeshore Parkway and West Oxmoor Road, and follows West Oxmoor Road to the north until it intersects with Montevallo Road.

Northern Shades Creek Greenway - This proposed shared-use greenway follows Shades Creek from the Churchill Drive Greenway to the Elder Street Nature Preserve.

Ruffner Road Trail - This proposed street-based trail travels from Georgia Road to Gadsden Highway along Ruffner Road.

Trussville Greenway - This proposed natural surface shared-use greenway begins on Linden Street/Valley Road, near Interstate-59. The greenway travels southwest, parallel to Interstate-59, then turns southeast near Morris Spring Lane. The greenway crosses Gadsden Highway at Morrow Road, and continues behind Jefferson Memorial Gardens and across the railroad tracks along Southern Industrial Drive. The greenway travels along City of Birmingham property on the south side of the railroad tracks to Mary Taylor Road, where it crosses and follows Pinchgut Creek to the Cahaba River.

Other Trails

Trail Name Trail Type Length
Shades Creek Blueway I L 4.7 mi
Shades Creek Blueway II L 1.9 mi
Shades Creek Blueway III L 3.5 mi
Shades Creek Blueway IV L 4.7 mi
Shades Creek Greenway South I K 2.2 mi
Shades Creek Greenway South II K 1.2 mi
Shades Creek Greenway South III K 1.0 mi
Shades Creek Greenway South IV K 1.5 mi
Shades Creek Greenway South V K 2.3 mi
Shades Creek Greenway South VI K 0.9 mi
Shades Creek Greenway South VII K 1.8 mi
Shades Creek Greenway South VIII K 1.3 mi
Shannon-Oxmoor Greenway G 1.4 mi
John Carroll Greenway F 0.6 mi
Wildwood Greenway A 2.2 mi
Shades Creek Greenway
Shades Creek Connector Greenway A 0.5 mi
Jemison Park Greenway
Churchill Drive Trail K 1.9 mi
Northern Shades Creek Greenway I 1.8 mi
Lakeshore Drive Trail K 2.3 mi
Elder Street Trail F 1.0 mi
Greenwood Road Trail H 5.2 mi
Hopewell Trail H 1.9 mi
Old Bessemer Railroad Greenway C 3.4 mi
Red Mountain Ridge Greenway K 4.3 mi
Tannehill Connector Greenway K 6.9 mi
Lakeshore Parkway Trail D 5.5 mi
County Road 93 Trail F 1.9 mi
Ross Bridge Parkway Greenway
Ross Bridge Parkway Trail H 2.7 mi
Shades Mountain Greenway K 0.2 mi
Shades Crest Greenway I 0.1 mi
Moss Rock Greenway K 1.0 mi
Preserve Parkway Greenway B 0.7 mi
Red Mountain Park Connector Greenway B 0.8 mi
West Oxmoor Road Trail F 0.6 mi
Industrial Trail F 2.2 mi
Valley Avenue Trail G 3.5 mi
Birmingham Zoo Trail G 2.6 mi
Oak Grove Road Trail I 1.0 mi
Columbiana Road Trail I 1.9 mi
Greensprings Highway Trail
Edgewood Trail
Manhattan Street Trail I 1.3 mi
18th Street Trail E 0.5 mi
Saulter Road Trail I 3.0 mi
Columbiana Road Trail E 2.7 mi
Shades Crest Road Trail H 1.6 mi
Little Shades Creek Greenway A 6.2 mi
Montclair Road Trail F 5.0 mi
Memory Lane Trail I 2.8 mi
Overbrook Road Trail I 0.5 mi
Overcrest Road Trail I 2.7 mi
Old Leeds Road I 5.0 mi
Cresthill Road Trail I 0.8 mi
Crestwood Boulevard Trail F 1.1 mi
Irondale Trail D 1.2 mi
16th Street Greenway
16th Street North Trail B 0.4 mi
Grants Mill Road Trail
1st Avenue South Trail H 1.6 mi
Old Leeds Road Trail
John Rogers Trail J 3.6 mi
Alton Road Trail H 3.6 mi
Ruffner Road Trail G 4.5 mi
Medical Park Drive Trail H 1.9 mi
Gadsden Highway Trial G 2.4 mi
Power Easement Greenway K 3.2 mi
Trussville Greenway K 5.9 mi
Linden Street I 2.3 mi
Chalkville Road Trail F 2.3 mi
Chalkville Road Trail I 1.6 mi
Crestwood Boulevard Trail G 1.9 mi
Edwards Lake Road Trail I 2.6 mi
YMCA Connector I 1.2 mi
Hollywood Connection Trail I 0.3 mi
Hollywood Greenway B 0.9 mi
Ruffner Park Trail A 4.6 mi
Moss Rock Greenway North K 2.0 mi
Hall Avenue Trail H 0.4 mi
Chapel Lane Trail D 1.2 mi