“All the remoteness of the backcountry within the City of Huntsville.”
— Zack Butler on May 20, 2013
RestrictionsClosed during deer hunting season for hunting (usually from October to January every year). Portions of this trail are on private land and are open only to members of SORBA.
DescriptionThis is by far the longest and most remote trail on Monte Sano Mountain. It can be accessed from the Land Trust Parking Lot on Bankhead Pkwy or from the Goat Trail in Monte Sano State Park.
Starting across the road from the Land Trust Parking Lot, the trail runs along an old logging road with several drainage features. In a few places, downed trees resulted in reroutes of the trail. The trail winds along a natural bench in the mountain at a relatively constant elevation of 1,000 feet above sea level, through property managed by private landowners with a MOU with SORBA-Huntsville, the Land Trust of North Alabama, and Monte Sano State Park. The landowners do occasionally enforce the MOU, so be sure that you have your IMBA-SORBA member card on you when riding this trail.
The first 3.9 miles of the trail are not as technical as the next 3.7 miles of it. At about 3.9 miles, the trail comes to its namesake, Flat Rock. Flat Rock is a large exposed horizontal face of limestone which offers views of the valley below. A connector to the Logan Point Trail provides access in the Monte Sano State Park from Flat Rock.
Continuing around the mountain, the trail becomes more technical but it is more of a singletrack at this point. Some sections of it flow well. At about 2.6 miles past Flat Rock, a tricky spot occurs where you'll have finagle your bike across a stream and under a large downed tree. After this, the trail generally flows nicely until you reach the "unmarked" connector to the Goat Trail. The only marking for the connector is a stack of rocks. The connector climbs about 300 feet (mostly hike-a-bike unless you're an animal) to the Goat Trail.
You can continue down the trail to the TVA power line easement all the way to the Warpath Ridge Trail, but you may risk getting lost. It's roughly 1.5 miles to the Warpath Ridge Trail from the Goat Trail Connector. This section of the trail continues as difficult rolling singletrack (with rocks and little maintenance) for a short portion before exiting the woods to the TVA power line cut. It then continues for over a mile (mostly as rocky doubletrack) until re-entering the woods to connect to the Warpath Ridge Trail. It is not marked. If you can't find the Warpath Ridge Trail, you can just continue down the power line easement to Dug Hill Road.
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