Jemison Park in Mountain Brook is (depending on which site you look at) 2 to 3 miles of paved and unpaved trail running along Shades Creek and covers a total of 54 beautiful acres.
Signs dot the trail providing an interpretive program about local history and plant and wildlife identification. You’ll also find several nice benches overlooking scenic views and picnic tables dotting the trail. Supposedly a geocache is available at the park for those of the mind to do a little caching while out with your dogs.
I highly recommend this flat, shaded woodland trail. There were several places to dip down to the Shades Creek (which we did to Whiskey’s delight). If you don’t count my glowing report about the park itself, then take into account the fabulous dogs (and their human counterparts) that we met. There were several breeds of dogs and of varying energy levels, providing me with the consolation that I wasn’t the only one that had a hard time controlling my dog! 🙂 The first five minutes we spent there were a frantic tug of war between my will to control Whiskey and his desire to run!sniff!pull!conquer!
Even before we arrived at the park he was on high alert- realizing we were traveling some where he hadn’t been. His nose began to twitch in constant elated smelling and he tried to jump out the back window in one ill advised attempt to get there quicker (thank god for rear view mirrors!)
Once we arrived he burst forth with unbelievable energy, reminding me why he is a sled dog. He could certainly pull me over if he wanted. We’ve been working on etiquette on the trail, teaching him to heel (hah! what a constant joke that is! but we do try…), well- kinda heel, teaching him to get to my right and not try to jump on/at/sniff/beg for petting from anyone passing by. However, pretty much immediately we ran into a dog and it’s two nice owners. They were thankfully willing to let him say hello (he was in full pulling mode at that point so I had little choice. Thank goodness they were nice and understanding!), and we passed at least a few other “ohmygodohmygod I’m going to pull you anywhere I want I’m soooo excited!” dogs with desperate owners keeping them on a short leash. It made me feel less alone in the world. “You have a crazy dog too!” my eyes would say as we smiled and hurried by one another.
And then I met a fellow husky! Maya was a real treat. Eventually other dogs joined our pow wow and we talked trails, dog training, dog parks, etc. I was very glad to hear Maya’s owner talk about extremely similar dog behaviors that her husky exhibits. It was just nice to talk to a fellow husky owner who understood the breed and their habits. Maya even “talked” to Whiskey, who unfortunately did not “talk” or howl back. We continue to try and coax sound out of Whiskey, who when he has howled sounds like some of his vocal cords are not …right… He has a raspy squeak that should really be witnessed to be fully appreciated. I’ll have to try and record it one day. He has barked a few times in his life with us, but very rarely. I guess we should be thankful we have such a quiet dog!
Here are a few links to give you some more info on the park.
Mountain Brook Parks Page
Trails.com Park Page
I don’t know if this link will work. But here goes- if it ever goes out of date I hope someone will let me know!
Google books- 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles excerpt
- Shaded, lots of benches and picnic tables to sit and ponder a dogs life
- Plenty of doggie bags provided and at least two doggie “trash” stations
- Access to the water so your dog can romp and play
- Interpretive signs so you can learn some stuff while you’re out there!
- Plenty of room to duck off the trail to keep your dog from jumping on some poor unsuspecting jogger
- Lots (and I do mean lots) of fabulous dogs and owners to talk with
- If the length of the trail isn’t enough, make sure to follow into any of the neighborhoods on Mt. Brooks excellent sidewalk system
- A fair amount of pull off the road parking
- I can’t think of any!
Overall Score: 8 fabulously excited tail wags out of 10!
Directions: Travel to Brookwood Mall . On the road that runs in front of the mall, if you place the mall on your right hand side, continue forward, passing under 280 and look for the parallel parking along your right shortly after the road narrows to a 2 lane on Mt. Brook Pkwy.