Moss Rock Preserve named to 50 states, 50 trails list in Forbes

Climbers at Moss Rock Preserve in Hoover on April 26, 2020. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Outdoor travel writer Breanna Wilson is obsessed with finding the world’s most badass adventures. That’s why, she was asked during a worldwide pandemic to write “50 States, 50 Trails: The Ultimate Hiking Guide For When The Trails Reopenfor Forbes.

Entrance to Moss Rock Preserve. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Unlike other states on the list, which include remote and rustic areas such as California’s  Mist Trail in the Yosemite National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness in Colorado or even nearby Cloudland State Park in Georgia, her choice for Alabama – Moss Rock Preserve is a natural oasis in the midst of one of the the state’s fastest growing communities.

Moss Rock Preserve. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Thank goodness, the city of Hoover had the vision nearly two decades ago to save the 350 acre Moss Rock Preserve for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

It is a treasure.  Here is how Wilson described this special place in her story:

You have nature. You have boulders. You have waterfalls. You have it all on this trail. And that’s exactly what we’re craving right now. Pack a picnic and bring the entire family because this 3-mile loop is a great escape into nature and one that everyone – not just nature lovers and avid hikers – will enjoy.”

One of a kind

View of the Falls at Moss Rock Preserve. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Located only 15 miles from Birmingham, I highly recommend visiting the Preserve on a weekday early in the morning before the crowds.  You do have everything – impressive boulders, forests, meadows, streams and waterfalls. 

There are 12 miles of hiking trails and for folks who love bouldering, Trek Birmingham mapped out dozens of places to your trade.

Friends Needed

Moss Rock Preserve. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Moss Rock is surrounded by increasing development.  Volunteer-wise, the preserve is supported by the Friends of Moss Rock Preserve, while the City Hoover maintains and manages this special place.

Send the Friends of Moss Rock Preserve a message via Facebook if you wish to help in the  stewardship of the preserve. Also connect with the Southeast Climbers Coalition – another ally. And of course, celebrate the preserve every year in November at the Moss Rock Festival.

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.