Stone Cuts to Golan Heights Loop
ElevationAscent: 666' 203 m
Descent: -668' -204 m
High: 1,611' 491 m
Low: 1,296' 395 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)
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“A challenging loop to explore some of Monte Sano's most rugged and beautiful areas.”— Kristen Arendt
Shortly after Three Benches, there is a confusing intersection with the Keith Trail and Stone Cuts Trail. Look for the Stone Cuts Trail which is one of the highlights of the run. The natural limestone formations have created an awesome path that makes the Stone Cuts one of the must-do trails in Monte Sano State Park.
From the intersection, the trail climbs to the Stone Cuts. Just before reaching the formations the Stone Cuts Bypass branches off to your left (for an easier alternate if you don't feel like scrambling through the cuts). A little bit further up the trail is where the Stone Cuts start. The limestone has formed a cool tunnel that you run through before heading under a tree that is leaning between two walls where you pop out on the other end.
After the "Cuts," the trail descends and is very rocky, requiring some technical running skills for the rest of the way. You'll pass a junction with the Panther Knob Trail and keep going to the trail's end at the Logan Point Trail. Turn north here on the Logan Point Trail which runs around Logan Point intersecting with the Stone Cuts Trail, Panther Knob Trail, Northern Flat Rock Connector, and Keith Trail before dead-ending into the Stone Cuts.
The first section of the trail is doubletrack and more than likely an old logging road. It is very popular with mountain bikers so it can be more worn down than some of the more rocky trails. Eventually, the trail converts back to singletrack descending through the woods before looping back around to the junction by Three Benches. As you run this section around Golan Heights, keep and eye (and ear) open for a chance to spot the park's resident group of feral goats. Once back to the intersection, pick up the Sinks Trail to climb back to the trailhead.
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Land Manager: Alabama State Parks - Monte Sano State Park