Moss Rock

Moss Rock has enough trails to keep you occupied on short hikes for several weekends in a row. There are 250 acres of trails and rocks to go bouldering on. There are lots of unmapped trails sprouting off here and there for you to explore. We fell prey to at least two of them so make sure you bring your map if it’s your first time there. You’ll need it.

Whiskey's beloved hiking companions and friends: Chloe (the kisser) and Chance

Overall we had a great time. Whiskey loves the two dogs he traveled with and while he’s still doing a lot of puppish darting and stopping he is doing well, I think, at hiking. His stamina is always strong at the beginning but on the way back he was a tired dog. He hung back with Chance, an older golden who seemed well matched with Whiskey. Consensus is that Whiskey’s endurance on the trail will pick up when we’ve got more hiking under our proverbial belt and once it gets cooler. He spent a good deal of time standing like a cow in the water to cool off. Note the backpack! His first day with it went well. However, when fitting it at the house he took the pack very seriously, but when I tried to put it on him before the hike he bucked and reared and fought me tooth and nail not to make him carry his own water. Then once it was on he was like “oh, that’s all? I can do that no problem!” Dogs.

Like a cow, Whiskey tries to cool off in muddy waters. He did well with his first day with the pack btw!

I was a bit wistful about the idea of climbing on the rocks but felt I couldn’t with the dog attached to my left hand. I seriously considered letting him off the leash but then imagined my husbands face when I told him I’d lost Whiskey and decided against it. That time will come (for the off leash, not the losing) eventually. I’ll just have to drag a non climber back with me to hold Whiskey, and I’ll also have to park right outside the boulder field! That hike had me quite tuckered out. I had to make Whiskey slow down just for me a few times on the way up (insert sheepish grin here). But he seemed to forgive me for it.

Trying to get dogs to pose is not that easy! This is the best we could do really 🙂

To clarify the path we were on (white trail from Simmons parking lot) was not steep or strenuous. But we kept a faster pace than my short legs were used to. I’m the “oh look there’s a flower..” (pause, smell the flower, sigh, slowly move on) type. I do this several times in an hour. I also often pull out a book to consult on what type of flower, bird, reptilian creature I just spotted so that I can identify it correctly. I hope to go back next week and sort of putter around like this.


  • A great place to explore with your dog. Almost all the dogs we met were off leash (and we passed quite a few!). This isn’t “allowed” per city ordinances but it is obviously the norm and acceptable to the hikers. So be prepared if you have your dog with you to meet some friendly off leash dogs!
  • Everyone we met with dogs were super friendly and so were the dogs. As one no-dog-with-him guy said as he petted our dogs “the dogs that come here are so nice!” to which I replied “good owners = nice dogs.” I firmly believe this to be true!
  • Lots of side trails to keep you occupied for weekends on end if you are looking for a series of short in and outs.
  • Very scenic with good changes in scenery. Sometimes it reminded me of Cheaha, other times of flatter trails near the beach, only to dip down and be near a creek simply reminding me of here.
  • Lots of good places on the trail we hiked to dip down and let your dog cool off in the water.

    On the way back Chance and Whiskey made a good pair of hiking partners.

  • Cons:

  • The trails aren’t always clearly blazed and their map is really not that great for beginners so if you’re not adept at interpreting them you might find yourself on a wrong trail.
  • "wait for meee!"

    Sunrise to Sunset Dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet and under personal control at all times

    Links to various details you might find interesting!:
    Main Hoover site
    Moss Rock Festival Is coming up November 6-7! Hope you can make it. I’ve never been able to go. Trying to find out if dogs are allowed…
    Bouldering Info!
    Botanical Gardens pdf document about the various plants and animals you can find at Moss Rock.
    Read some history about Moss Rock Preserve. I especially like the part about an old moonshine still found on the site! No wonder Whiskey felt right at home.

    Hoover’s website provides various ways to get to the different parking lots.

    Overall Score: 7 tail wags out of 10

    (and only this low because it was just too blasted hot for Whiskey and I to fully enjoy ourselves. Looking forward to much higher ratings on future trails in colder weather!)
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    2 Responses to Moss Rock

    1. Jenne says:

      We all had a good time on this trail and the added bonus of tired, but happy dogs by the end!

    2. Amy says:

      Hey girl awesome job on your page. lol So my legs made it on the page Nice ha ha. Awww I love the picture of Chance trying to catch up he looks so happy!! Gahh disappointed in my picture I zoomed in I swear but it still wasn’t close enough I swear you could tell ya’ll were smiling when I took it. Anyways had a great time ya’ll are awesome!!

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