Tucked away in Hoover, Alabama is a small gem of a park, great for a woodsy stroll or for rock climbing. I’d say it’s a hidden gem, but it’s not. Locals pack the place on weekends! For good reason.
Moss Rock Preserve provides the Hoover community with a 350-acre nature preserve, flush with trees, waterfalls, and giant boulders suitable for climbing. Boulder Field, offering challenges for climbers of all skill levels, is particularly popular with park guests. Beyond the boulders, the park offers 1.2 miles of hiking footpaths, maintained by local volunteers, churches and civic groups.
Moss Rock Preserve Hiking Trails
The park’s hiking trails are fairly natural. They are not paved. Rocks, tree roots and crevices caused by water run-off run through the trails. As such, Moss Rock Preserve is not accessible to those with mobility impairment or to strollers. On both my visits to the park, I saw families with young kids in hiking backpacks. The trails are not strenuous, though. Young children can certainly navigate the trails with a handhold here and there.
Moss Rock Preserve Boulder Field
The most unique feature at Moss Rock Preserve is Boulder Field. An enormous field of giant boulders offer an abundance of climbing options for the adventurous — and the timid (me).
What I like most, though, is that climbers here are friendly. More experienced climbers coach newbies through the climbing routes. They share climbing safety equipment, especially bouldering crash pads which are expensive.
I was also impressed by the families climbing together. In this disconnected age, watching families work together to reach the top is so refreshing!
Visiting Moss Rock Preserve
Hours: Daylight, 365 days a year.
Parking and Access: Three parking areas provide access to Moss Park Preserve.
1. Boulder Field Trail Head (easy access to the climbing area): 617 Preserve Parkway, Hoover.
2. Sulphur Springs Road Gravel Lot Trail Head, 4600 Preserve Parkway, Hoover.
3. Simmons Middle School Lower Parking Lot Trail Head, 1575 Patton Chapel Road, Hoover. Hiking trails from this lot are more strenuous and can be quite dangerous after heavy rains. This trail provides the most stunning views of the preserve.
Rules and Regulations: Due to the dangerous nature of bouldering and natural trail hiking, use caution and common sense when visiting Moss Rock Preserve. Read and follow the rules posted at each trail head. And when you leave, please take your garbage with you!
Finally, have fun! Whether you visit Moss Rock Preserve or another wonderful hiking trail, enjoy it!
Let’s chat! Does your family have a favorite walking trail or other place you visit, just for the fun of it? Where? What’s your favorite thing to do?