Spotlight on Shelby County: Culture & Recreation

The American Village
American history and civics education center that hosts approximately 80,000 visitors annually. It features a re-created colonial village and historic park on 113 acres with costumed historical interpreters who help visitors relive the great American experiment in liberty and self-government. Also located at the village are the National Veterans Shrine and Register of Honor celebrating veterans. 

Alabama National Cemetery
Located near The American Village, the 479-acre cemetery will serve veterans’ burial needs for at least the next 50 years.

The cemetery currently has 54 developed acres. The facility also offers special events, including a Memorial Day Ceremony in May and Wreaths Across America in December. 

Oak Mountain State Park
Alabama’s largest state park, with 10,000 acres, features an 18-hole golf course; three large lakes with beaches; nearly 100 miles of hiking, mountain biking and backcountry horse trails; a BMX track; plus two RV parks, cabins, camping and picnicking. The park is home to the Alabama Wildlife Center, with raptors on daily display.

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The park also has one of the longest linear cable wakeboarding and skiing courses in North America, an archery park, outdoor basketball and pickleball courts. The park hosts more than 200 events annually, including the annual Harvest Festival and Fourth of July celebrations, the premier off-road triathlon event Xterra Southeast Championship and several mountain bike races. 

Cahaba River Park
This park, owned by Shelby County and the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust, sits on 1,527 acres at the confluence of the Cahaba River and Shades Creek. It offers 17 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and trail running enthusiasts.

Lay Lake
12,000-acre impoundment of the Coosa River and best known for its spotted bass and largemouth bass fishing and recreational opportunities. Lay Lake has hosted four Bassmaster Classic Tournaments and many others.

Shelby County Arts Center at Old Mill Square
This new facility in Columbiana is a 30,000-square-foot municipal complex with 20,000 square feet dedicated to the Shelby County Arts Council, plus a 500-seat meeting space, black box theater, outdoor stage, amphitheater, park, fine arts gallery, pottery and sculpture studio and visual arts studios.

University of Montevallo Performing Arts Center
This new 36,750-square-foot facility features two performance venues, an art gallery, a large social space, a concessions area, a digital fabrication lab, design labs with animation software, multiple classrooms, theater faculty and college offices, vocal performance rehearsal rooms, dance studio, production shops, public pocket park, sculpture garden and outdoor commons area. 

Veterans Park Alabaster
A 90-acre park off Highway 119 features baseball and softball tournament venues, dog park, drone racing field, walking trails and skate park. Soccer fields are slated for completion this year.

Pelham City Park Campus
Located off Highway 31 in Pelham, the Pelham City Park Campus features walking trails, sports fields and courts for tennis, sand volleyball, basketball and pickleball, plus a dog park.

Veterans Park & Hoover Sports Complex
This 82-acre Hoover park features a 5K crushed gravel course and grass course around lakes and through the woods that can be adapted for college and high school cross country events. Other amenities include three sand volleyball courts and two playgrounds with ADA accessibility. 

1996 Fields Sports Complex
This 50-acre complex has six outdoor lighted soccer fields. It hosts the Red Diamond Classic Tournament each March.

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum
The official railroad museum of the state of Alabama, in Calera, features standard and narrow-gauge trains, restored depots, indoor exhibits and an outdoor collection of railroad cars, locomotives and cabooses. 

Eagle Park Calera
Baseball, softball and soccer complexes with plans for light track and field facility.

Pelham Civic Complex & Ice Arena
The Pelham Ice Arena hosts more than 27,000 ice skaters each year, from beginners to professionals, and offers skating lessons. It is home to the Birmingham Figure Skating Club, Pelham Youth Hockey League, Birmingham Bulls and University of Alabama Frozen Tide hockey team.

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