Historical hike to explore history of Gould Coke Ovens

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer 

HELENA – The Helena Historical Preservation Committee will lead a unique hike on April 10 exploring some of Helena’s most unique historical features like the Gould Coke Ovens, an old mine and foundations from the city’s mining days.

The HHPC is leading this hike as a way for residents and history lovers to get a chance to see these unique features close-up, which are not usually accessible to the public.

Hikers will meet up outside of the Helena Sports Complex at 10 a.m., where they will then drive down Ruffin Road and get out at a dirt road that leads to the site. They are advising that Ruffin Road is very bumpy and uneven, so guests will likely want to bring a car that can handle it.

The dirt road does not have a paved road or trail, which means that due to the uneven terrain it will not be accessible for wheelchairs or strollers.

According to the HHPC, the hike will be around a one-mile hike, which will run around 30 minutes through the scenic wooded area. They are advising that there is no paving road or trail, so the path could be potentially wet or muddy if there has been any rain.

Hikers will have an opportunity to see the sites at “Cahaba River, the Gould Coke Ovens and an optional off-trail hike just a short distance from the ovens to view the old mine and foundations from the mining days,” according to the HHPC.

Those attending are encouraged to bring water, snacks, hiking boots and bug spray for the hike.

If there is bad weather on the day, the hike will be rescheduled for April 11 at 2 p.m.

The Helena Sports Complex is located at 110 Sports Complex Drive. More information about the hike can be found on the Helena Historical Preservation Facebook page.