Summer lull avoidable in Shelby County

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2005

School’s been out for weeks, all-stars is all done and the kids are getting restless.

Church softball season is history and you desperately need some phyical activity to help shed those spare ribs you added during the Fourth of July weekend.

Boredom has set in and football season is still a couple of months away.

Don’t fret, there is still plenty to do in Shelby County this summer. Below is a list of just some of the sports and recreational opportunites in your own backyard.

Bowling: Bowling offers a great source of recreation, and you can beat the heat by staying indoors. There are at least two bowling allies in the Shelby County area. Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham is located near Highway 31 and Highway 119. Brunswick Riverview Lanes in Birmingham is located along Highway 280 and Highway 119 near the county line.

Golf: Shelby County is home to some of the state’s most beautiful golf courses from private clubs like Shoal Creek and Greystone to public courses like Oak Mountain State Park and Ballantrae.

If you can afford the membership fee, Shoal Creek and Greystone are two of the finest around. But if you’re looking for a great golf outing without having to join a club, then Pelham’s municipal course, Ballantrae Golf Club, and Timberline in Calera both offer top-notch courses open to the public.

Columbiana’s Magnolia Meadows is an executive course that’s not too difficult, or too expensive, and if you’d like to teach the kids how to play, the Big M Golf Course near Calera is a great place for beginners.

The golf course at Oak Mountain State Park is now open again after renovations last summer. The course has been rated one of the top 50-75 public courses in the country by Golf Digest and is an affordable option.

Skating/Hockey: It seems a weird way to spend the summer, but hitting the ice sure can be a cool change.

The Pelham Civic Complex features two NHL-size ice rinks and offers skate rental for recreational skating, figure skating and hockey. The center’s professionals offer both private and group skating lessons.

Youth can learn how to play hockey during free clinics in late July and August by the Birmingham Youth Hockey League. The League also offers youth pickup games this month and in early August.

Biking/Hiking: Oak Mountain State Park offers a host of trails for biking and hiking. There is a BMX track at the park and trails maintained by the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP) offer a challenging ride through a natural setting. Peavine Falls is a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts.

Soccer: SportsBlast Shelby County, located on Highway 280 near Chelsea, is a county-managed property with outdoor and indoor fields. Summer camps are available for youth soccer and leagues area available for youth and adults.

The indoor facility is also available to rent for a variety of sports activities.

Ashley Vansant is the sports editor at the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at