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Gosse Nature Walk #15: Moss Rock Preserve

September 21, 2018, 12:00 pm2:00 pm

Moon Rock Formation at Moss Rock. Photo: Eric Ericson (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Our fifteenth Gosse Nature Walk takes us to Hoover’s Moss Rock Preserve, home to forests, sandstone-glade outcrops, streams, waterfalls, and other interesting features—not to mention records for at least 150 bird species. Special guest Ken Wills, co-author of Exploring Wild Alabama: A Guide to the State’s Publicly Accessible Natural Areas, will join us to provide an expert’s take on this special urban nature preserve. Come out and enjoy the giant boulders and the fall bloom of the rare plant glades in Moss Rock Preserve.

Accessibility: This walk is moderate with latter half of the walk involving steep and uneven terrain. The first part of the route follows a trail that was formerly a road, then up a hill to a three acre prairie restoration and adjacent sandstone glade. The return route will enter the Boulder Gorge area, and this portion of the route involves some steep and uneven terrain going downhill into the gorge and then coming back uphill to the parking area. The round trip walk should be less than two miles.

The details: Meet up is at noon at the Boulder Field parking lot. These directions from Ken should help you get there without much difficulty:

From downtown Birmingham, get on I-65 South, follow it for 6.5 miles and then take Exit 252. From the bottom of the exit, turn right onto Highway 31 South and continue for about 1.5 miles, then turn right onto Patton Chapel Road South. (Patton Chapel Road South is across the highway from Crest Cadillac.)  Follow Patton Chapel Road for approximately three miles to the second traffic light, then turn left on Preserve Parkway. After about 1.5 miles, you will go through one traffic circle (roundabout) and into the second traffic circle, looking to the right for parking signage and the short climb up to the red-rock gravel lot. Jefferson County has assigned 617 Preserve Pkwy as the official street address for Moss Rock Preserve. Please feel free to GPS locate this address which will route you at least close to the Boulder Field parking area as described above. If you get lost, you can reach Ken on his cell phone (205-515-9412).  

As always, remember to bring plenty of water and snacks, insect repellent, rain gear, sunblock, and seasonally appropriate attire. Since part of this trip involves a moderate walk, comfortable shoes are a must.

(Questions about accessibility? Email us for more information about how we can meet your needs.)

Trip leader: Birmingham Audubon Outreach & Communications Director Sarah Randolph leads this trip with Ken Wills. For more information, email her, or call 205-719-3678, ext. 3. If you get lost, Ken can be reached on his cell phone 205-515-9412 (day of field trip only).


September 21, 2018
12:00 pm–2:00 pm
Event Category:


Alabama Audubon
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Moss Rock Preserve
617 Preserve Parkway
Hoover, AL 35226 United States
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