Articles Tagged "Outdoors"

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Tuscaloosa: Outdoor Spots to Keep You Active

It may be chilly outside, but don't let that scare you from staying active. Our real estate agents are excited about the opportunity to get outside and do some exploring in the Tuscaloosa area. We hope to see you out there at one of these great local parks or trails.

  • Tuscaloosa River Walk - 2710 Jack Warner Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Following the Black Warrior River's southern shoreline, the Tuscaloosa River Walk is one of the most popular spots in the city for a morning run or an evening stroll. A stone's throw from downtown and just minutes from these Tuscaloosa homes for sale, the River Walk is paved and well-lighted, stretching about 4.5 miles from Capitol Park to Manderson Landing. 

  • Van de Graaf Park & Arboretum - 3231 Robert Cardinal Airport Rd, Northport, AL 35476
    Spanning 141 acres in the community of Northport, Van de Graaf Park & Arboretum is an amazing place to surround yourself with nature. The park offers campsites, picnic areas, fishing access, and a kayak launch, all within a few miles of these Northport homes for sale. The park is also home to a picturesque walking path, which includes the historical span of the King Bowstring Bridge, originally built in 1882. 

  • Queen City National Recreation Trail - Queen City Ave, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    A short but scenic footpath, the Queen City National Recreation Trail spans about one-third of a mile and is popular among joggers, nature lovers, and anyone looking for a breath of fresh air. Located within Queen City Park, the trail is surrounded by towering trees and offers a glimpse at several historic park features built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. The trail is just across the Jack Warner parkway from the Tuscaloosa River Walk Trail, and a planned pedestrian crossing will connect the two paths once completed.

  • Annette N. Shelby Park - 1614 15th St, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Annette N. Shelby Park is always a great place to go for a walk in Tuscaloosa. With towering shade trees, well-manicured lawns, and abundant park benches, it's a lovely outdoor oasis. The loop trail that encircles the park is paved and well-kept, making it perfect for a walk or run. The park also offers public restrooms, a playground, and picnic areas. 

  • Snow Hinton Park Trail - Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    A wide-open green space with great views of the city, Snow Hinton Park is a great place to get moving and soak up some vitamin D. The park's highlight and most-used feature is the Snow Hinton Park Trail, a mile-long loop that runs around the circumference of the park. The park's picnic area and jungle gym are popular among families, and it's a great place for dog walking. 

  • Hurricane Creek Park - 7005 Old Birmingham Hwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    A splendid natural recreation area just outside Tuscaloosa, Hurricane Creek Park is one of the best spots in the region to immerse yourself in nature. With abundant native plant life, unique geological features, and abundant swimming and fishing access along its namesake creek, Hurricane Creek Park provides endless possibilities. The park offers 5 miles of trails, the most popular of which is the 2-mile Hurricane Park Loop. The landscape has been virtually unchanged for thousands of years, and exploring it is like stepping back in time. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Tuscaloosa area, and talk to our team about finding your dream home in Alabama. We're here to help every step of the way!


Tuscaloosa: Where to Train for Your Next 5K

Whether you're an experienced runner or not, there are many benefits to training for a 5K. Get ready for your big run with these 6 great Tuscaloosa trails.

There are so many benefits to training for a 5K, whether you're an experienced runner or you're aiming to cross the finish line for the first time. Training for a run is a great way to burn calories, stay in shape, and set a goal you will be proud to achieve. As our real estate agents know, many 5K runs also benefit local charities, so your participation can positively impact the community. Get ready for your big run with our guide to 6 great trails to train for your next 5K around Tuscaloosa.

  • Tuscaloosa River Walk – 2710 Jack Warner Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Tuscaloosa homes for sale
    make it easy to train for your next 5K, thanks to great local trails like the Tuscaloosa River Walk. Running along the banks of the Black Warrior River, this paved trail is always kept in excellent shape, making it a favorite spot for runners. This trail is well-lit so you can train at night, and it is also dog-friendly.
  • Tannehill Ironworks State Park – 12632 Confederate Pkwy, McCalla, AL 35111
    Looking for a scenic place to train near McCalla homes for sale? Head for the historic Tannehill Ironworks State Park to explore the extensive trail system and get in touch with local history. This park covers more than 1,500 acres, with a museum, historic village, and countless trails to explore. Train in the spring with nature abuzz all around you.
  • Van De Graff Park & Arboretum – 3231 Robert Cardinal Airport Rd., Northport, AL 35467
    With 141 acres of natural beauty to explore close to Northport homes for sale, the trails at Van De Graff Park & Arboretum provide the perfect place to train for your next run. If you look forward to running by the water, then this is the place to be. This park is built around three large freshwater ponds covering more than 33 acres on their own.
  • University of Alabama Arboretum – 4801 Arboretum Way, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    If you love to explore nature while training for your run, then it's hard to top the well-tended trails at the University of Alabama Arboretum. This facility features more than 60 acres of gorgeous natural scenery, with a focus on the native flora and fauna of Alabama. The trails here are extensive so that you can try a new route for each run.
  • Jennings Ferry Park Campground – 1001 Jennings Ferry Rd., Akron, AL 35441
    While primarily known as a great local fishing spot near Akron homes for sale, you'll find that Jennings Ferry Park Campground is also a quiet, peaceful place to train for a run. This park features a trail that winds around the shoreline, where you can go for a run through a tranquil wooded area with local wildlife and beautiful views.
  • Hurricane Creek Park – 7005 Old Birmingham Hwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    Long a favorite place for naturalists to study where unique ecosystems meet, Hurricane Creek Park also happens to be an excellent place to train for a 5K. This park is dedicated to preserving local ecosystems, so there's very little development: just you, your training goals, and the natural beauty of Alabama.

With warm weather and ample outdoor spaces to explore, there's never a bad time to train for your next 5K around Tuscaloosa. Contact us to buy and sell real estate in the Tuscaloosa, AL area.


Why You Should Move to Tuscaloosa in 2021

Tuscaloosa 2021

Tuscaloosa is a fast-growing city that's been drawing new residents from all over the United States. The vibrant real estate market means there are plenty of Tuscaloosa homes for sale for anyone who wants bright opportunities and a change of pace in "The City of Champions."

Our real estate agents are eager to tell you all about it.

Founded back in 1819, Tuscaloosa now has more than 90,000 residents. It serves as the hub of industry, commerce, and healthcare for West Alabama. Through the University of Alabama, it is also considered one of the region's higher education leaders and holds some of the state's top-ranked public schools.

Let's take a closer look at some of the features that make Tuscaloosa so attractive:

  1. A Robust and Diverse Economy
    As home to the University of Alabama, higher education is the bedrock of Tuscaloosa's economy – but it's extremely diverse. Manufacturing, retail, finance, IT, and construction all offer opportunities, with leading employers like Mercedes-Benz, Michelin, and Phifer Incorporated.

  2. Parks, Trails, and Outdoor Wonders
    Thanks to its position on the Black Warrior River, Tuscaloosa has always taken its green spaces seriously. You'll find more than a dozen community parks, from the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk to Capitol Park, home to the remains of the 1840s-era state capitol building.

  3. High-Energy Festivals and Events
    Tailgate parties are only the beginning of the fun in Tuscaloosa. You can also enjoy the Weindorf Festival, which honors German culture, the March Sakura Festival celebrated alongside Narashino, Japan, the Kentucky Festival of Arts, and the Moundville Native American Festival.

  4. Classic Tuscaloosa Barbecue
    Tuscaloosa has been rated as one of America's best barbecue cities, hosting a lavish assortment of restaurants, outdoor eateries, and food trucks. Family-friendly dining is a way of life here – with American comfort food, fresh seafood, Mediterranean, and German cuisine all represented.

  5. The University of Alabama
    A terrific place to start or continue a higher education, U of A is a flagship institution with much to offer. Established in 1820, it's the oldest and largest public university in the state and enrolls nearly 40,000 students. Its arboretum is open to the public, and its campus is rich with historic landmarks.

  6. The "Winningest" Sports
    U of A's football team, nicknamed "Crimson Tide," is one of the ten most successful college football teams in the United States. Head coach Nick Saban is also a well-known hometown hero and a local celebrity in his own right. Great sports venues mean you'll always have something to cheer for.

  7. Memorable Museums
    The Children's Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa inspires young minds with remarkable interactive exhibits. You'll discover the Alabama Museum of Natural History, the Paul W. Bryant Museum, and the Westervelt Warner Museum of American Art, among many others.

Tuscaloosa combines all the amenities of a world city with the warmth and charm you expect from "Sweet Home Alabama." It truly has something for everyone, and an energetic community always prepared to welcome new neighbors. To find out more or get started, contact us at Hamner Real Estate.


National Take a Hike Day: Hiking Trails in Tuscaloosa

Hiking in Tuscaloosa

There are many reasons to love Tuscaloosa homes for sale, but this year, one stands out in particular: The county is dotted with beautiful parks and natural wonders you simply have to see to believe.

National Take a Hike Day is coming up on Tuesday, November 17th, and there are plenty of places in Tuscaloosa where you can do just that. Tuscaloosa boasts many large, well-kept parks in wooded and lakeside environments, many of them pet-friendly. Let's take a closer look at some of the area's most eye-catching hiking spots:

  1. Munny Sokol Park Trail – 5901 Watermelon Road, Northport, AL 35473
    Located on the grounds of Sokol Park, beloved for its dog runs is the Munny Sokol Park Trail. Ideal for trail-runners and bicyclists, it passes through most of Sokol Park and provides easy access to loops and side trails. It is just over 2.2 miles, with gorgeous scenery. The high season falls in May through September. Light traffic makes it a serene experience near Northport homes for sale.
  2. Tuscaloosa Riverwalk – 2710 Jack Warner Parkway, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    The historic Tuscaloosa Riverwalk is a paved, 4.5-mile trail that winds along the southern bank of the Black Warrior River right in downtown Tuscaloosa. It is divided to allow both hikers and bicyclists to use it safely. On your journey, you'll encounter plenty of benches, gazebos, and trees perfect for a hammock. Street lights line the trail, ensuring it is well-lit in the early evening.
  3. Approach Trail and North Loop – 22550 2nd Ave Northwest, Falkville, AL 35622
    Hurricane Creek Park features 40 acres of forest rich with unique rock formations, waterfalls, and even a picnic pavilion. Although there are many trails to be found, the Approach Trail and North Loop will bring you on a scenic 3.5-mile journey hailed as the centerpiece of the park. Difficulty is moderate with some steep climbs, and leashed pets are welcome. A great spot to visit near Falkville homes for sale!
  4. Lake Nicol Outer Cliff Trail – See Website for Directions, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Lake Nicol is a popular wooded park right in Tuscaloosa, well known for its dramatic cliffs. The cliffs are numerous enough for several groups to gather, making them a popular locale for parties or family events. The peaks overlook the relatively small, human-made Lake Nicol. Several different trails are etched through the surroundings, offering mild elevation and taking about an hour to complete a circuit.
  5. Lake Lurleen State Park – 13226 Lake Lurleen Road, Coker, AL 3545
    For hiking near Coker homes for sale, Lake Lurleen State Park may be the crown jewel of Tuscaloosa County, and for a good reason. Trails circumnavigate the lake for a total of more than 23 miles to explore. Long routes are available, but hikers of all skill levels will find something to enjoy. Fall is the ideal season to visit, but Lake Lurleen welcomes visitors and their leashed canine companions all year round.
  6. Moss Rock Preserve – 617 Preserve Way, Hoover, AL 35226
    Looking for hiking around Hoover homes for sale? Showcasing 12 miles of trails that all connect to form a loop, Moss Rock Preserve is set on 349 pristine acres noted for the gentle gurgling of small streams and the many boulders hikers may climb (carefully!) for an unbeatable view. You can complete some trails in as little as two hours or stay all day to see the sights. 

Contact us at Hammer Real Estate to learn more about Tuscaloosa.


National Book Lovers Day - Outdoor Reading Spots Near Tuscaloosa

Parks in Tuscaloosa

Not all outdoor activities involve balls, bicycles, and sneakers. Our real estate agents find reading even more enjoyable out in the fresh air and sunshine. National Book Lovers Day is Sunday, August 9th, so grab a book and head out to one of these scenic reading spots around Tuscaloosa.

  1. Faucett Brothers Park - 13040 Eugenia Faucett Dr., Northport, AL 35473
    Faucett Brothers Park is a living memorial to the legacy of five men who made major contributions to the community around Northport homes for sale. In the early 1900s, the Faucett brothers operated thriving retail operations that boosted the area's agricultural and economic development. One of their descendants donated 80 acres of wooded land to the Parks and Recreation Authority (PARA), which officially opened Faucett Brothers Park in 2005. 
  2. Tuscaloosa Riverwalk - 2710 Jack Warner Pkwy., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Located alongside the southern bank of the Black Warrior River, pet-friendly Tuscaloosa Riverwalk is a scenic oasis in the city's downtown area. The 4.5-mile paved trail is lined with some benches, picnic tables, and gazebos where you can settle in with a good book. If you want a bite to eat, the Riverwalk provides easy access to restaurants and shops. The park is open 24/7, with plenty of street lamps keeping the trail well-lit.
  3. Hurricane Creek Park - 7005 Old Birmingham Hwy., Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    Readers of the Tuscaloosa News once named Hurricane Creek Park as one of the "Seven Wonders of Alabama." The 250-acre property known as the M-Bend, a reference to the adjacent section of Hurricane Creek, was established as an undeveloped, automobile-free preserve just minutes from Tuscaloosa homes for sale. Relax on one of the homemade benches or take a break to explore native plants and aquatic wildlife found in the park. Hours are dawn to dusk, seven days a week.
  4. Van de Graaff Arboretum & Historic Bridge Park - 3231 Robert Cardinal Rd., Northport, AL 35476
    Unlike other carefully maintained green spaces run by PARA, Van de Graaff Arboretum & Historic Bridge Park is a rustic, semi-primitive "nature park." The main attraction is the 1882 King Bowstring Bridge, a section of Alabama's oldest iron bridge that once spanned the Black Warrior River and now crosses Mill Creek. Classic porch-style swings overlooking freshwater ponds offer a welcome serenity. Overnight camping is available, but day use is free of charge from 6 a.m. - dusk.
  5. Queen City Park - Jack Warner Pkwy. and Queen City Ave., Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    In the 1930s, Queen City Park was one of the public works projects brought to life under the Civil Works Administration (CWA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA). In addition to facilities for tennis, baseball and swimming, workers constructed nature walks featuring stone paths and bridges. In 1992, the pool and pool house were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Stop in at the on-site Tuscaloosa Public Library and check out a book to read on one of the benches along the wooded hiking trail. Queen City Park is open daily from dawn until dusk.

Real estate contracts and inspection reports aren't exactly reader-friendly, but we can walk you through them, so you don't miss a thing. For dedicated and experienced help buying or selling a home in Tuscaloosa, contact us at Hamner Real Estate. 


Pool Maintenance Tips Every Pool Owner Should Know

Pool Maintenance Tips

On a sweltering summer day, there's no better way to cool off and than going for a relaxing swim.

To ensure your pool is ready for all your summer fun, it's essential to follow a strict maintenance schedule. Our real estate agents know that a well-maintained pool can be a strong selling point with many would-be homeowners. Keep reading to learn a few maintenance tips that every pool owner needs to know. 

  1. Your Pool Needs Just the Right Amount of Water
    Make sure that the water level of your pool is at the point where it hits the center of your pool's skimmer. Otherwise, the skimmer won't be able to remove debris from your pool water properly. A water level that's too high won't allow the skimmer's door to open and close correctly. However, if the water level is too low, you risk running your pump dry and damaging it. 

  2. Pay Attention to All Your Pool's Chemicals (Not Just the Chlorine)
    It's a misconception that your pool's chlorine levels are the only thing you need to tend to. In addition to the chlorine levels, pay attention to the pH and alkalinity levels. The alkalinity of your swimming pool should fall within recommended levels so that it's easier to keep your pH levels within the ideal range. Your pool's pH levels are important because a pool with a suitable pH level needs less chlorine than a pool with levels that are too basic or acidic. Chlorine is most effective at killing germs when your pool's pH is between 7.4 and 7.6. Pool water with too much chlorine can cause skin irritation and itchy, red eyes. 
  1. Check That Your Pool's Systems Remain Free of Debris 
    Debris buildup can quickly decrease the efficiency of your pool's systems. There are numerous areas where debris can accumulate that you need to check regularly. Start by turning off your pool's pump and checking the basket that's located either in front of or beside the pump. This basket is prone to accumulating a lot of leaves, small pieces of trash, and clumps of hair. If your pool has a deck or inline chlorinator, make sure that the tablets are dissolving properly. When the tablets don't dissolve correctly, this can clog the chlorinator. Your skimmer baskets also need regular attention. Since your skimmer is the first line of defense for bugs, vegetation, and other foreign items, you need to see if the basket requires emptying every week or so. Otherwise, the skimmer won't remove as much debris, and it will sink to the bottom of your pool. 
  1. Inspect Your Pool for Cracks and Other Signs of Damage
    A damaged pool can be a drawback when you want to add your home to the inventory of Tuscaloosa homes for sale. Ensure that small problems don't turn into expensive repairs by inspecting your pool for damage. Examine the liner for rips or tears and look for cracks around the exterior of your pool (especially around your deck and tile). Most small cracks can be repaired with caulking and silicone. If they're left unchecked, they can impact the integrity of your pool. It's also possible to patch many rips and tears in your pool liner if the liner is in overall good condition. 

Looking for a home with a pool you can enjoy all summer long? Contact us today to explore your options!


National Go Fishing Day: 5 Fishing Spots in the Tuscaloosa Area

Fishing Spots Tuscaloosa

Whether you're trolling along the shoreline from your bass boat or lazing away the afternoon watching your bobber bob, there's just nothing quite like a fishing trip. Here in the Tuscaloosa area, our real estate agents are fortunate to have some of the greatest fishing resources in America at our fingertips. 

With National Go Fishing Day right around the corner on June 18, now is a great time to take advantage of it. From the vast waters of Lake Tuscaloosa to your secret backyard fishing hole, these are some of our favorite places to wet a line around Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

  1. Lake Tuscaloosa - Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
    Spanning nearly 6,000 acres, Lake Tuscaloosa is one of Alabama's great fishing resources and a staple of bass fishing tournaments. Largemouth and Alabama spotted bass are both abundant. Much of the shoreline is lined with private homes, which makes casting around docks a great bass fishing tactic. Public boat launches are located at Binion Creek, Rock Quarry, and Sharps Landing, with many Tuscaloosa homes for sale nearby. 

  2. Oliver Dam Observation and Fishing Pier - 43rd Ave, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Oliver lake, the smallest of six man-made lakes on the Black Warrior River near Tuscaloosa, is a popular spot among local anglers. The recently completed Oliver Dam Observation and Fishing Pier provides easy access, along with nearby boat launch facilities. It's a particularly good spot for catfish, which love to hang out in the deep holes downstream for the dam, but you can catch bass and panfish as well. 

  3. Lake Lurleen State Park - 13226 Lake Lurleen Rd, Coker, AL 35452
    Located in the community of Northport in Tuscaloosa County, Lake Lurleen State Park is a serene, deeply wooded park that's popular for camping and hiking as well as fishing. The centerpiece of the park is 250-acre Lake Lurleen, which is stocked with largemouth bass, bream, catfish, and crappie. The park includes a fishing pier and plenty of shore access, as well as boat launch facilities. Try casting topwater lures, spinnerbaits and soft plastics around weed lines and drop-offs for bass. 

  4. Hurricane Creek Park - 7005 Old Birmingham Hwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    There's something about fishing the serene, meandering waters of Hurricane Creek that feels like stepping back in time. It's not the type of fishing spot where you're going to tangle with trophy-level fish, but sitting on the bank or wading into the current in search of bass, catfish, and bream might just remind you of childhood adventures. The creek is accessible at several points in the Tuscaloosa area, with Hurricane Creek Park being a perennial favorite. 

  5. Holt Lake - Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
    Holt Lake is a long, narrow reservoir along the Black Warrior River that offers a wide range of fishing opportunities, though it tends to fly under the radar for all but the most dedicated local fishermen. About 18 miles long, the lake is home to trophy-sized spotted bass, big largemouths, and a few giant striped bass. Backwater areas tend to be most productive. Several access points are available, including the Holt Damsite Public Use Area, Rock Quarry Boat Landing, and Rocky Branch Public Use Area. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. From its vibrant culture and champion-level sports teams to its historic streets and wealth of outdoor resources, it's a very special place to call home. 


7 Tips to Enhance Your Patio This Summer

Patio Tips

As you search among Tuscaloosa homes for sale to find the perfect home for you, perhaps a patio is high on your list of must-haves. Or perhaps you're considering creating a stunning patio area for your current home.

Inspired to create or upgrade your outdoor space? Here are seven tips to give your patio a boost.

  1. Cleaning up 
    If you already have a patio that needs upgrading, or an area where the patio might work, clean it up and do some calculations. Is your existing patio big enough for your needs, or should you relocate it to a new area? Look at shade and proximity to landscaping and the HVAC unit.

  2. Covering Things up
    Will you be installing a cover? Many types of umbrellas and awnings are available. Installing awnings can be a bit tricky, depending on where your patio will be located. Umbrellas can be more versatile, not needing vertical support, eves, gables, or strong fitting points. 

  3. Flooring Options
    If you already have a concrete floor, but it needs work, is it worth fixing, or should you have a new floor built? It's usually best to hire a pro for this, so you're sure the flooring is graded properly. Consider concrete pavers for flooring material, natural-looking, irregular stone, or understated clay bricks. If you're on a budget, you can put down pea gravel and add an outdoor rug to brighten things up.

  4. Creating the Design Scheme
    Your patio design should tie in with the style and materials of your home. You can echo color schemes with accessories and furniture: for example, bring the color of the house trim into the patio design, in accessories, plants, or furniture. Is your landscape theme abundant roses, glorious perennials, a white garden (big white flowers are lovely at night in subdued lighting), or simply sleek and contemporary? Tie landscaping and exterior design elements into the patio.

  5. What's Cooking?
    If your plans include a gloriously appointed kitchen in your patio, that's great. But if you're on a budget, installing a grill might suffice. Unless your skills are pretty high level, it may be best to hire a pro to do the honors.  

  6. Add Lighting
    You may want to hire a pro to help design your lighting scheme, or else just go with solar options, including walkway and accent lighting, with string lights for patio and trees. Lanterns can add charm and visual interest for special occasions.

  7. Heating and Cooling System
    In Tuscaloosa, summers are long and hot, but you can extend your time outdoors into the spring and fall by adding some heat, be it a gas-powered firepit or if regulations allow an open fire pit. Don't forget to plan for comfortable seating, be it colorful patio furniture, or stone benches with cushions. For hot evenings, how about a patio misting system?

Our team can help you with ideas for your Tuscaloosa home, indoors or out, to make it stand out in the marketplace. Let our real estate agents help you get started! Contact us today. 

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