Moss Rock Preserve is one of our favorite suburban gems. It consists of about 350 acres of protected land, largely hidden in the state’s most populous city, with 8 miles of challenging trails (and some seriously wonderful bouldering). The trails meander along a shallow creek, past many small waterfalls, and through the boulder fields that have become a playground for local climbers. For its convenience, beauty, and proximity to one of our favorite post-run meals in town, we give a double thumbs-up recommendation for a trail run or hike in the Preserve.
What Makes It Great
We usually park across the street from The Boot (the place for the awesome post-run meal) and start our counter-clockwise loop by following the White Trail to the Blue Trail and finishing on the Red Trail. This loop is known as the 3.5-mile scenic loop. Mileage can be easily added by including the Boulder Gorge Loop and by exploring any of the many other connected trails throughout the preserve. Taking a detour through the boulder field to watch climbers is an interesting diversion worth checking out.
Who is Going to Love It
Hikers and trail runners who are looking for a little nature in an urban setting.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
When you go, check out the park rules and leave time to grab a pint of local craft beer and dinner from The Boot, a local pub across the street from the parking lot and at the entrance to The Preserve, an upscale New Urbanist neighborhood.
The address is 616 Preserve Pkwy, Hoover, AL 35226 and as mentioned above, this doubles as a good place to park.