Moss Rock Preserve is a beautiful 350-acre nature preserve abundant with trees and plants, rock outcroppings, streams, waterfalls, wildlife, and other unique natural features. Moss Rock has 12 miles of hiking trails that offer short to medium length outings for yourself or the whole family. Moss Rock is also home to the boulder fields; great for bouldering, rock climbing or repealing. The park is centrally located in Hoover, Alabama north of I-459. There are three parking areas that can used to access the trails. This excursion started at the upper parking lot, located on Sulphur Springs Road. The lot is gravel and can be quite full on a nice day.
The first portion of this hike transverses the higher elevations of the park. The trail passes through the dense pine and hardwood forest (during summertime) and across two dips. The streams which follow through these dips are seasonal and dry (or mostly dry) most of the year. The trail passes several rock outcroppings as it makes it way to the center of the preserve. Along this portion, you will pass one small rock field before reaching the blue-white connector. These rocks are small compared to the larger boulder in the center of the park. The trail surface is rocky and provides for a moderate hike. As the blue trails turns north, you will ascend a small rise and travel along a narrow service road before turning back downhill towards the waterfalls. The service road has a section which remains wet most of the year.
There are several waterfalls along the trail as well as water slides and streams. Centrally located is the parks largest falls, just across Hurricane Creek from the boulder fields. This area is where Moss Rock gets its name. A large open area of exposed rock, moss covered, adores the hillside. A leg of the blue trail brings visitors past this fall and down to Hurricane Creek.
Once at the bottom, hikers walk along Hurricane Creek for a short distance before crossing over the creek and making there way along a path at the bottom of the ridge. The trail is much more sandy and again crosses several small seasonal streams. There is one final waterfall to view before making your way through the forest and back to the parking lot. Near the end of the hike, don’t miss the short excursion to the Frog Pond. It is a seasonal pond with thousands of tadpoles in the early spring.
Overall the Moss Rock Preserve offers a great place for hiking, bouldering and climbing. Its centrally located and easy to access. Its a great place to take whole family and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy along side Hurrican Creek.
From US-31 in Hoover, take Chapel Road to Moss Rock Parkway. Follow the parkway until it intersects Sulfur Springs Road. Take a right. The gravel parking area is 1/8 mile of the right.