Total distance Park to Park is about 1.9 miles including the lake-loop total distance is about 2.5 miles. Starting at the Stephens Park parking area near Highway 10, follow the paved Stephens Park walking path east (toward downtown Montevallo) to the junction with the gravel surfaced Parks Trail.
The beginning is marked by a large brown sign and following the trail takes you down the hill to a crossing of Highway 10 just at the eastern edge of the Montevallo Golf course. Along the Highway right of way, the gravel trail crosses a quaint and beautiful small arched wooden bridge and then after a few hundred feet, enters University of Montevallo woodlands only to shortly emerge again just at the bridge crossing of the lake spillway.
A right turn takes you on a 2/3 mile out/back walk though woodlands overlooking the north side of the University Lake. This spur trail was made using wood mulching equipment that transformed the woodland growth in the trail path into wood chips for surfacing. It includes several gorgeous vistas of the lake. Benches are located at strategic locations for resting and just enjoying the sights and sounds of the seemingly remote wilderness.
Back at the bridge, crossing the spillway will bring you close to the sight and sound of Davis Creek accelerating from quiet lake to loud rushing torrent as it falls underfoot and down the spillway. Across the bridge, follow the trail to a crossing of Highway 204, go downstream along King Creek on the gravel surfaced trail passing several beaver dams and then cross King Creek over a bridge connecting the soccer fields. After crossing King Creek, continue to follow the trail down King Creek, passing near the paved University of Montevallo Driver Training facilities. Do not cut across the driver training areas but stay on the very clearly marked trail.
King Creek junctions with Shoal Creek here and the trail leaves King Creek to follow Shoal Creek upstream, passing the end of Valley Street just past the fenced large tanks of the City of Montevallo water treatment facility. As you continue upstream, the trail crosses the historical Montevallo Spring, passes the ruins of a 19th century bridge pier, and then passes under the Main Street Bridge. A woodland vista of the creek from underneath the bridge shows a series of rapids all the way upstream to an old mill dam visible in the distance.
Surprisingly, a hiker almost instantly passes from this wild scene to Main Street Montevallo by following a short connector to the left just past the bridge. Though only a couple of hundred feet long it includes a number of steps so be prepared to climb. Back at the trail, follow the banks of Shoal Creek along the rapids section, rest for a time on the benches along the creek, and then turn left at the junction of the Island Street right of way and the creek. Follow the sidewalk along Island Street to Shelby Street. Across Shelby Creek a sidewalk takes you to Middle Street and, after crossing Middle Street to a junction with the Orr Park walking path and the end of the Parks Trail.
Several paved walking paths continue through Orr park, along Shoal Creek and through Tinglewood, an enchanted woodland where wizards, gnomes, animals and other fantastic creatures show themselves when least expected. Be on watch for them!