Explore the most popular trail running trails in Monte Sano State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Loved this trial. Started on Bluffline clockwise which put me going down Waterline. This trail is very well marked EXCEPT for a small portion of Waterline, but just keep bushwhacking down the creek and you’ll reconnect to the Waterline trial fine (try not to fall). Where Waterline connects to Alms you’ll find the 3 Caves. Really cool to check out however they are closed and gated up at the moment. My only disappointment on what was otherwise a great day hike.

17 days ago

Stone Cuts is really neat to maneuver through. I added Panthers Knob to my loop, and I’m really glad I did. You get a nice overlook followed by more rock cuts to navigate, not as dynamic as the official Stone Cuts section but more challenging.


An easy trail that offers a journey through some of the popular areas of the park. Goes behind the lodge, through the picnic area, and by the observatory. Well marked with a couple beautiful overlooks.

Trail is exactly as advertised - flat, easy, well marked, and well maintained. Perfect easy hike or warm up. A few overlooks and covered benches along the trail. Views will be best after the leaves fall.

Nice hike. Steep rocky downhill at first, then gradual the rest of the way. Beautiful forest especially down at the bottom.

1 month ago

well we started out trying to hike the Land Trust Loop but we ended up making our own loop. the old railroad bed is extremely rocky but also pretty cool. we met a man on the trail who gave us some nice information regarding the old railroad and made us appreciate the history more. all in all it was our first time on the land trust and we really enjoyed it! thankful for an organization committed to conserving, preserving, and protecting!

This trail is nice. There are good views and at the end there is a cave loop! Three caves loop. A little strenuous but not too much. Alms House trail is about 2 miles to the the caves and 2 miles back of course. There are other trails around but I have been hiking before this trail so the other trails I did not take. Beautiful views as always promised when hiking in Alabama.

2 months ago

Would hike in the fall when the leaves are changing. I took North Plateau to McKay Hollow to Fire Tower route and it was a more gradual elevation change coming back up.

2 months ago

The stone cuts you get to walk through are as cool as you'd imagine!

We made a loop out of this trail so it would be easier on our knees for the way back up. We parked in the lot and took north platuea to the trail head. It starts out with steep boulders but the trail is very well marked. At the bottom there is a nice flat area to catch your breath before the gentle trek up. The end of the trail meets with the South plateau loop which we took to the fire trail to get back to the car. Overall an amazing hike.

2 months ago

Great trail for a hike/run. I did the McKay Hollow Trail to the Southern Plateau Trail to make a loop out of it. The start of the trail (coming in by small pavilion and water fall) is quite steep, lots of rocks, boulders, and roots.

The long, flat section in the hollow makes for a great section to run. Ascending up out of the hollow to the South Plateau Trail is a fairly easy gradual ascent.

Once you make it up to the South Plateau Trail, you’re home free with a flat, easy trail to finish up with a run. Great workout that took me approximately two hours to complete.

Saw two bucks, both had nice racks, and three does. They didn’t give much of an opportunity for pictures. I did get a great shot of a doe eating grass on the side of the road while driving back home, though! Ha! But of course!

The caves are only open with permission or a special event. I don’t even know where to get permission or when an event is. Waste of a 2 hour drive.

I was with a group of 5 when we decided to try this trail. We started off on another trail, the white, I believe, to get to this one. That one prior was a quick three mile and pretty flat; we started there because we parked at the main pavilion (first parking on right).

As soon as we started on the McKay Hollows Trail it quickly got rocky. Starting from where we were, it first went down the mountain, great scenery and not terrible. Going uphill, was another story. The trail is hard to follow since you are walking on just rocks and tree roots. Sometimes the rocks were color coded for the trail.

For the 4.4 mile trail, it took us about two hours, perhaps under. The last 30 minutes it was getting dark so we had to slow down just a bit.

Overall a good trail, dogs would love it, go in the morning or at a time where you can have a good slow pace.

we got covered in ticks avoid

It was fun!!!

This 11 mile loop was a fun challenge and good workout! There were a few rough uphill spots but for the most part it was level and pleasant. The forest got a little monotonous at times, but there were some spots with great views and cool rock formations. Lots of spiders too. There is a point about halfway where the trail goes through a park with a drinking fountain where you can fill up your water. And make sure to keep the GPS on AllTrails pulled up so you can make sure you’re following the loop correctly- it was a huge help!

mountain biking
3 months ago

To anyone who would like to attempt riding this I hope you come across this first and I would strongly advise against it unless you'd rather walk more than you ride, there is one really cool feature on bluff line trail in the middle of this loop that's insanely fun to ride but otherwise it's awful

Really enjoyed this 11 mile loop! Under the forest canopy for almost the whole trail. Saw turtles, deer, butterflies and too many spiders to count. We carried a stick ahead of us to wave away spider webs, and ended up with what looked like a cotton candy treat. Only passed a few people on the trail. Would definitely hike this again in cooler weather.

Some very pretty views. $10 to get into the park for 3 of us. The trails are easy to hike, but they are smoothed with sand. So make sure you have shoes that have good grip. The same shoes we have been loving hiking in were slipping and sliding all over the place in the the sand. Made for some sore ankles after.
Pretty. Easy. But not sure it is worth a return visit.

4 months ago

Great trail. Tough at some parts, but that’s the point! Lots of fun and plenty of resting parts/shelters.

trail running
4 months ago

Nice, lush, fairly flat 5k loop. The deer in the area are not afraid of humans! I was able to get so close to one, I was certain it was a large lawn ornament!

This trail is well maintained and well marked. There are a couple good overlooks and a lot of wildlife to see. I hiked this with a friend and we even spotted a young male deer.

IF YOU SEE RED MARKERS you are not on Waterline. Easy to get turned around. Go back and find the trail again. The map on this app is invaluable. Other than that, fantastic hike. I’ve gone down Alms to Three Caves and back a good number of times but never did this loop. It’s much better. But beware that starting down Waterline is VERY steep.

on Land Trust Loop

5 months ago

hey guys this is not kid friendly I am not very happy this took a very long time it is not fun if you are strong enough to then go for it I am just giving you all a warning it is very hard I can almost not catch my breath

Good easy hike with the kids!

Pretty easy. What I’ve come to find on these trails is A: don’t take the bypass, and B: check your AllTrails map at junctions. Id most defiantly take 5+ year old on this trail as the rocks portion is cool with small “caves” to go through.

6 months ago

Decided to take a break on our road trip and stopped here. Got to the gate to learn there was a small fee (cash only) to get into the park. No big deal, but we didn’t have cash on us so we drove down and took the road entrance. Easy trail. Really well marked. Lots of stuff to see along the way with great views. Nothing overwhelmingly spectacular but definitely beautiful. Overall solid trail and fun experience!
Definitely would be great and easy with kids as well!

7 months ago

Really beautiful trail
The stones are a hidden gem
Good little workout ascending out and up

Gorgeous trails on the loop. Have many options to make it as easy or hard as you like. Definitely one of my favorites.

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