Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

More than a college town: Enjoy some of Tuscaloosa’s most popular scenery

Courtesy of Tuscaloosa Barnyard
Tuscaloosa Barnyard offers the opportunity to interact with goats.

For students staying on campus during the summer, it can be easy to stay inside or become wrapped up in school and work. Tuscaloosa offers scenic spots on and off campus for students to get fresh air and enjoy nature. 

On campus

The walk to class on University Boulevard is one way students, faculty and staff can catch a glimpse of what Tuscaloosa has to offer. Being surrounded by the trees lining the street and listening to the calming sounds of campus is a great way to start the day or relax between classes. 

At the heart of campus lies the Quad, a lush 22-acre quadrangle. The Quad houses campus activities such as Get on Board Day and Game Day Tailgates. 

The Riverwalk

The Riverwalk is a beautiful and easy way for people to connect with nature. Located along the bank of the Black Warrior River, the trail stretches out for four and a half miles. 

While the seasons are changing, walking along the river is an eye-capturing activity that students can do almost daily. Whether picnicking at a gazebo or taking a pet on a walk, the Riverwalk is sure to provide a peaceful oasis outside of campus. 

UA Arboretum

Sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Alabama Arboretum seeks to promote biodiversity and conservation in Tuscaloosa. 

According to their website, the Arboretum features walking trails and a multitude of breathtaking gardens. The Arboretum showcases native trees and plants, alongside wildflowers and forest shrubs.

People can get involved at the Arboretum in several ways, including filling out a biodiversity survey, volunteering, making donations and applying for staff positions when spots become available. Students can also become a weed warrior, an opportunity to help remove invasive plants. 

Lake Tuscaloosa and Harris Lake

The cool breeze on the shore of a lake or the gentle sounds of waves hitting a dock can be therapeutic for some. Lake Tuscaloosa and Harris Lake are two of the most bountiful lakes in the city with their own significant cultures. 

According to the City of Tuscaloosa, Lake Tuscaloosa is known as a year-round destination for fishing and boating. The 5,885-acre lake has 177 miles of shoreline, which can guarantee solitude and serenity while visiting. 

While Lake Tuscaloosa’s large area brings more usefulness to recreational boating and fishing, according to Visit Tuscaloosa Harris Lake offers high cliffs, two dams, a beach, hiking trails and a beautiful waterfall with a swimming hole at the bottom. Harris Lake is perfect for people who love hiking, swimming, bird-watching, paddleboarding and other outdoor activities. 

Ashton Silvers, a sophomore majoring in general music and arts administration, enjoys spending time outside by visiting Harris Lake.  

“I was taught how to fish when I was just five years old,” Silvers said. “I remember getting up ridiculously early every morning to enjoy a quiet day on the river all throughout my childhood. When I came to college, I didn’t think I would find another place as therapeutic as the river. Lake Harris, however, reminds me exactly of home.”

Tuscaloosa’s elegant nature is more than just a pretty sight. The city offers countless outdoor activities for hands-on appreciation of nature. Situated on Lake Nicol, the Tuscaloosa Paddleboard rental company offers an affordable and exhilarating way to appreciate the beauty of the Tuscaloosa lakes. 

Tuscaloosa Barnyard

Tuscaloosa Barnyard has been open since 2007 and offers the chance to connect with animals and nature. The family-owned business has year-round activities such as feeding animals and swimming, and it also has a pumpkin patch season in the fall. 

According to Kami Combs, an owner of Tuscaloosa Barnyard, interacting with the animals can be therapeutic.

“Being students and not being with family and maybe not being around a lot of people, it’s a great place to come out because you can interact with nature and interact with animals and get those extra warm fuzzy feelings,” Combs said. 

Tuscaloosa Barnyard is open year-round with reduced hours during the winter, and tickets are available online. 

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