Monte Sano State Park - TRAIL

Monte Sano State Park - Trail, Huntsville, Alabama

TRAIL DIRECTIONS; From hikers parking lot go on road past park office, past two overlooks and down road 3/4 mile from second overlook. Take the trail on the right. At first intersection BARE right. Dont go right up mountain. Take a LEFT at the first switch back. If you come to a fire road go back 100 yards to the trail. After 1/4 mile go LEFT at the intersection. Go straight for about 2 miles and when you come to a Y or split in the trail BARE RIGHT.. At the next intersection where you DEAD END into another trail take a left. Go THRU next intersection and go one mile until you DEAD END at another trail. Go RIGHT and bare left 50 yards up the small hill. Go about 2 miles until two trails CROSS. Go left UP the hill. Take the FIRST RIGHT back to the road. THE STATE PARK DOES NOT ALLOW BIKING ON MUDDY TRAILS. The above ride is intermediate single track. The middle half of the ride is more technical. Biking on Monte Sano is not typical of the south east. Typically there is a lot of short climbs and many rocks and roots. You will love it or hate it.

User Reviews (17)

Showing 1-10 of 17  
Borobiker   Weekend Warrior [Nov 19, 2014]

We liked it a lot. We drove all the way to the top of the plateau. Parked at a bike parking lot and rode primarily the family trail. Good easy ride, not to difficult, fast and fun. We didn't get on any of the more difficult trails. A very good ride, we enjoyed it. We did encounter lots of walkers/runners on th same trail. Keep your eyes open!

Similar Products Used: Wheeler preserve.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
bamamike   Weekend Warrior [Jul 03, 2011]

I and two of my friends drove from Birmingham to ride Monte Sano and we were very impressed. This is a mix of everything for beginners to experts. Except for the family trail these are not fast trails because the trails are very rocky so if your slow like me give yourself a couple of hours plus and plenty of liquids. If you are a first timer this trail offers alot of sharp technical turns and descents so pay attention because Monte Sano offers you plenty of oportunites to get hurt. The trail is also well marked and easy to follow. The only thing I question is the mileage. My Garmin showed more than 12 miles and I had not done all of the trails available. My other reviews include Swayback and Lake Lurleen.

Customer Service

No opinion

Similar Products Used: Have not done them yet.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Weekend Warrior   Weekend Warrior [Jun 28, 2011]

I grew up in Birmingham riding Oak Mountain and love Monte Sano much more because of the variety it offers. You can tailor your ride to your preferences and ability much more so than any other trail I've ridden in Alabama (Oak Mountain, Lurleen State Park).

Customer Service

I like to park on Bankhead Parkway at the hairpin, ride up the abandoned road to the lookout to warm up (1.5 miles or so uphill). Then I will either take the North Plateau loop all the way around to O'Shaughnessy Point, or cut straight across the park to the South Plateau Loop.

From O'Shaughnessy Point, take either Goat (very technical) to Mountain Mist (should be named Rocky Road) or just straight down Mountain Mist (again, very rocky). From Mountain Mist I like to go down Sinks to Three benches, then on to Stone Cuts Bypass. Once you plateau on Stone Cuts Bypass, the downhill is very technical but not very steep. Stay left after Stone Cuts Bypass to Sinks and you will eventually make your way back to Mountain Mist (Rocky Road in my book).

Go right on Mountain Mist and it is a easy ride back to the abandoned road and Bankhead Parkway.

All along the way you will have the opportunity to break off on Logan Point, Goat, and Keith trails lengthening your ride and increasing the difficulty. The trails are excellently marked and have very accurate ratings like ski slopes (green, blue, black and double black diamond).

South Plateau, Bucca great for beginners and warm ups.

Similar Products Used: I just moved here last summer and haven't had the chance to make it to Land Trust trails but have heard great things. I want to hike them with my dog first to know what I am getting myself into as I have heard there are several 2+ foot drops along some of the Land Trust trails.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
stringmusic24   Cross Country Rider [Feb 22, 2010]

Where do you even begin? This is easily the best collection of trails in the state, especially if you enjoy good, technical riding. In the Spring, Summer, and Fall I ride here 2 or 3 times a week and I still haven't ridden all the trails.

Customer Service

If you're interested in some easy but fun singletrack riding you should defiitely hit the Family Trail and South Plateau Loop.

More advanced riders will not want to miss Sinks, Goat, Keith/Logan Point, Stone Cuts, Mountain Mist, and War Path Ridge. My favorite trail in the whole park though might be McKay Hollow/Arrowhead which begins just West of O'Shaugnessy Point and spits you out at Burritt Museum. This route gives you some super technical downhill and some rough hike-a-bike as well.

Similar Products Used: The Huntsville Land Trust is a must. Bluffline Trail, High Trail, Railroad bed - all great. Wagon Trail is probably the best long, technical downhill in the area.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
nitropiro   Weekend Warrior [Jul 17, 2009]

wide range of trail difficulties. make sure you know what your getting into when you go down sinks,or cold springs, mountain mist is always the bail out trail rather than taking sinks back up. the family trails are too smooth for me.

Customer Service

first cold springs down the mountain, then go toward the biker parking lot on the abandon road until you get to sinks on the left,go down it until you make it to mountain mist,on mountain mist go towards the biker parking lot, then down sinks until you get to a couple benches, go right on goat trail and don't get bitten by a black widow, don't go left at the end of goat, go right or you'll end up in doug hill, keep going up warpath, then make your way to the top of mountain mist and go down it at mach 1 until you make it to the abandon road then fill up your water bottle and your done with atleast 20 miles of trail!

Similar Products Used: not colonial hills
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Shayne   Weekend Warrior [Nov 03, 2008]

Being from the northeast I have ridden dangerous, rocky, rooty, trails with cliffs, and did I mention rocks? This is the best example of what riding in the north is like. When people say technical this is the type of trail they are referring to. Single track is not a technical trail, difficult shouldn't just mean climbing. This trail was difficult and technical and I have the cuts to show for it. It didn't have any structures or drops but it still gave a great showing. In my time in Alabama Monte Sano is by far and away the best trail in the state. After three hours I was cooked. 5 Star!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Camshaft213   Weekend Warrior [Jun 04, 2008]

monte sano is awesome, and has many trails ranging from gravel road to insane DH. there is something for every rider, from your grandma to the very experienced MTB'r.

Customer Service

the directions above are terrible. heres some good ones:

from memorial parkway, take the university drive exit. go east (it turns into pratt ave.)

take pratt to the top of the mountain, and follow the signs (there are plenty) to the state park. then follow the signs to the hikers/bikers parking area. there are about 4 trailheads, which lead to a total of about 12 trails. there are big maps posted in the parking lot area.

if its your first time to monte sano, i reccomend: family trail out and back, sinks to mountain mist, to closed road (long paved climb) this will give you a little bit of everything.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
TeamMinion   Weekend Warrior [May 19, 2008]

Monte Sano is definitely the best ride around as it consists of both technical climbs, as well as easy rides. I think for the average riders it's well worth the effort to drive up there and see what it has to offer. I've recently been riding the North Loop and took a hard fall by the cliffs so be careful, it does have some surprises but once you see the roving hills, you quickly realize what monte sano is one of the best.

Similar Products Used: Huntsville Land Trust
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
David   Cross Country Rider [Nov 16, 2007]

If you haven't been on the trails up here in a while they have improved dramatically. SORBA struck up a deal with the park and now all the trails are well marked. There is no best route, but I would go to www.briartech.com and pick out a route. Starting from the top of the mountain is best if you like to savethe hard climbs for last. Mountain Mist, Goat Trail, Flat Rock, and Sinks Trail all have good downhill runs from the top. These are all State Park drop-ins. On the Land-Trust side, Bluff Line and Arrow-head trails are all great down-hills that are pretty technical in the beginning.

Customer Service

I like taking Natural Well Trail to Arrow Head Trail which connects back to the Natural Well Trail after a cool few miles. When this connects back up to Natural Well Trail TAKE THE "SHORTEST PATH TO TRAILHEADS" trail or you'll have to walk down and back up a creek bed. Not fun and not bikeable. You'll then come to a trail head (Mckay Hollow) to the right which you should take. Follow this until you have the choice of either going left up the mountain to the park (not bikeable) or continue veering right at every intersection which will lead you to the interection of Lizard Trail, Warpath Trail, and the Power Line Trail. You can know either huff-it up Warpath, or Huff it up Powerline and pray you find the Flat-Rock Trail head. Or you can have a car planted at the bottom of the Lizard Trail and avoid an up-hill all together. *IMPORTANT* On the Briartech map the trail that leads to the Warpath/Lizard/Powerline trail is not pictured. Just imagine Mckay Hollow Trail spliting and going straight instead of vearing left and winding up the mountain. Have fun! and bring the map and a GPS!

Similar Products Used: All on MonteSano except the last part of Mountain Mist that ends up on the closed bankhead road. It is wide, uphill, and boring. The entire Flat-Rock trail is pretty good too
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
monkeyanne   Weekend Warrior [Jul 17, 2007]

This is a great sampler mountain, and 98 percent singletrack. You've got a little bit of everything - smooth, fast and curvy flat, technical downhill, challenging (but short!) climbs, lush forest and proximity to the city and restaurants.

Contrary to the other posts you may have read, there's a good 45 miles of riding if you take in the entire mountain. Not only are there plenty of trails in Monte Sano State Park, you can connect them to trails on the adjacent Land Trust as well as other preserved areas.

If you are unfamiliar with the trails, however, you should stick to the park, or try to hook up with a local. Trails have been recently marked by the local SORBA-Huntsville chapter. You can post a request on sorbahuntsville.org if you are looking for a ride.

Customer Service

Short and sweet (average 90 minutes):
Start Biker's Parking Lot; do Family Trail out and back; Descend at Sinks; Cross Mountain Mist; Left at 4-way past 3 Benches; Right at T; Left at Keith's Loop and come back to 4-way; Climb back out at Sinks; Right onto Mountain Mist; Left up Bankhead to BPL again.

There is a wonderful whole mountain tour that takes in Arrowhead and Flat Rock trails, but it is advisable that you have a local along. Or, pick up a current trail map at the Ranger's office.

If you want to connect Arrowhead to your ride from Monte Sano, you can descend McKay Hollow. This is a technical descent. Continue through lush forest bottom (one more intermediate technical descent at Black Cat Hill) and moderate climb out through rock garden. Turn left onto fire road and follow trail markers to right to get back to a hiker parking lot on Monte Sano Blvd. You can ride the boulevard back, or cross and pick up High Trail; Continue and make left to descend Rocky Road to Land Trust parking lot. Climb back up it, or take the road back to MSSP.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 17  

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