Traditionally, hot cider with ale (wassail) is served during Twelfth Night in England to drink to the health of the trees. Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, hikers, nature lovers and wine enthusiasts can indulge in a version of tree toasting themselves with the November Wine and Cheese Hike at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve.
As the last hues of autumn fade to wintry gray on Birmingham’s urban mountains, the Wine and Cheese Hike will take explorers on a moderately strenuous trek with an experienced guide. Hot mulled wine and an array of artisan cheeses and hors d’oeuvres will fortify walkers from the chill as they make their way to the overlook and support the mission of the Preserve.
Hawk’s View Overlook is a 3-mile jaunt from the starting point, and offers panoramic landscape and foliage views. The 1,038-acre urban nature preserve is one of the largest privately held urban nature preserve in the country and began as a community initiative to manage 25 acres of former mining land. The nonprofit offers educational opportunities, recreation and a wildlife sanctuary and rehabilitation center.
Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is located at 1214 18th St. S. The hike begins at 4 p.m. and the entire event will last until 7:30. Tickets for non-members are $25 and $20 for members. For more information, visit ruffnermountain.org.