Just 12 miles from the towering buildings and busy streets of downtown Birmingham lies a scenic outdoor escape with a quiet forest, peaceful streams and the most noticeable feature — magnificent, lofty boulders.
The boulders of Moss Rock Preserve draw all types of people in. Avid climbers make the trek from various parts of the Southeast to face these rocks. Families enjoy fresh air as they take family portraits or let their kids climb. Young couples walk with their dog. College students take a study-break from classes. The wonderful feature of this getaway is that whether a first-time guest or a regular climber, each trip to the boulders of Moss Rock Preserve offers a challenge and thrill.
Colby Tindle, a 25-year-old painter from Hoover, first came out to Moss Rock in high school. He said it was much less crowded back then. Tindle speculated that word of mouth has made the spot more popular over the last few years. Tindle first came to the preserves with friends, and since then he has introduced his brothers and others to these boulder adventures. So what exactly draws people in? The natural landscape and beautiful scenery are certainly appealing, but for many people it really is about the rocks. Bouldering, or rock climbing without a harness, is a culture in-and-of itself.
Garrett, Tindle’s brother, is a recent high school graduate that climbs in his free time as well. Climbing for him is a relaxing, free way to get out. He says it’s his favorite thing to do. Garrett likes the thrill of knowing there is a possibility of falling and also the ability to conquer new rocks.
Being out on the rocks makes him feel closer to nature. Tindle really enjoys finding new rocks and new paths to conquer. Regulars like him often have their own climbing shoes that let them grasp the rocks better and give them the ability to do more difficult climbs. He also has a crash pad — which he puts under the climbing path in case he falls.
Tindle said that he likes the people he meets out at the Moss Rock Preserve. Bonded by a love of climbing, he gets to make connections with all types of people. Strangers have tips to offer, climbing paths to point out and stories to tell.
Climbing at Moss Rock Preserve offers a unique outdoor experience for nature lovers and thrill seekers alike.