Mountain Mist Trail

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Mountain Mist Trail, in Monte Sano State Park, is well known locally for a 50K marathon. This moderate to difficult trail offers bluff views, hazards and an exhilarating adventure for hikers, runners and bikers.

Written by

Loretta Lynn


2.5 miles

One way from Fern Road half loop around to O'Shaunessy Point

Destination Distance From Downtown

3.2 miles


3 of 5 diamonds

3 - Distance and Terrain, challenging with narrow trails and lots of rocks, steep, bikers on trail too

Time To Complete

1 hours

45 minutes to an hour and a half


All Seasons

Best time is probably spring with all the new blooms, fall is beautiful as well with the vivid colours of red, orange and yellow, slippery during rainy season

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

on 6' leash, clean up after your pet, see more rules on State Park website

Fees Permits


Day use fee $3 per person, honor system, when accessed outside the park,



Mountain Mist Trail in Monte Sano State Park is well known locally for a 50K marathon. This moderate to difficult trail offers bluff views, hazards and an exhilarating adventure for hikers, runners and bikers.

Novice to expert runners will find this hard packed dirt and rock trail to be worth the effort, whether before or after work as a workout, or on the weekend with family or friends to cheer you on. Many runners begin this trail at Fern & Bankhead Parkway jogging through a morning fog or mist from a wide flat surface as your warm-up then narrows to a rocky trail at 1400’ before winding around and climbing back up to the O’Shaughnessy Point at 1500’.

What Makes It Great

This beautiful trail starts as a double track trail then quickly narrows to a single track as it meanders around boulders and over trees and rocks for more than 2. 5 miles. Trail runners, hikers and mountain bikers will enjoy this moderate to difficult trail again and again with its’ proximity to downtown. Mountain Mist Trail intersects with the Cold Spring Trail and Sinks trail at two locations along the trail. Runners need to keep a sharp eye and ear out for hazards in addition to the jagged rocks, there are bikers who feel they own the trail and tricky tree roots with rocks along the way.

Every year the Huntsville Track Club hosts an annual 50km Trail Run in the winter. The course is extremely rocky, with mud, creek crossings, climbing 3,782 feet, and a vertical climb on the course that requires the use of your upper body. Register now, they limit the entries to 500 people.

There are several benches along this trail for a quick respite or for injuries. If you look up to your right as you’re running, you will see the limestone rocks and spaced out, a few shelters above, overlooking this sink and valley of hardwoods. Directly over your right shoulder, where boulders are, is the South Plateau loop that can take you back. Along your left side is a beautiful valley, or sink and steep drop off.

The last 3/4ths of a mile is a steep ascent with tree roots, rocks and switchbacks leading up to the trailhead.

Who is Going to Love It

Mountain Mist trail can be challenging for beginner trail runners due to its terrain and distance. Otherwise, it’s great for intermediate and expert runners. This favored trail offers beautiful scenic views and bluffs and is fairly level for most of the run. From this trail one can run on numerous other just as exciting paths to change the routine. As the seasons change, runners can enjoy a fresh new breathtaking scenery.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Mountain Mist Trail can be accessed from inside the park, from various locations, trailheads or connector trails. 

Driving: Governors Pkwy. to Bankhead Pkwy. There is limited parking outside the Fern & Bankhead Pkwy entrance, narrow, curvy road and fog makes it difficult to see cars parked. 

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Mountain Mist Trail

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