Mountain Goat Trail


8 Reviews

View Trail Map
View Map
Send to App

Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

Mountain Goat Trail Facts

States: Tennessee
Counties: Grundy
Length: 7.5 miles
Trail end points: University Ave (Sewanee) to W Main St (Monteagle) and Main St to Ingman Rd (Tracy City)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017166

Mountain Goat Trail Description

Two segments of the Mountain Goat Trail are complete. The first links Sewanee and Monteagle in Grundy County with a paved pathway stretching nearly five miles. The route parallels busy Highway 41, providing a safer alternative between the towns for pedestrians and bicyclists. It offers a nice mix of both quiet wooded areas and connections to businesses where travelers can grab a drink or a bite to eat.

The Tracy City segment runs from Main Street, along Railroad Avenue and heads west for 2.8 miles. Like the Sewanee-Monteagle segment, it also threads through wooded settings and past town homes and businesses.  The rail-trail will one day be 35 miles, extending father west to Cowan and farther east through Tracy City, Coalmont, Gruetli-Laager, and Palmer.

The trail follows the former Mountain Goat Railroad, dating back to 1856. The railroad was primarily used to move coal out of the Tennessee mountains, but, as the population grew, it also transported people. Eventually the Sewanee Mining Company rail (later to become CSX) fell into disuse by 1985. The nonprofit Mountain Goat Alliance was created to raise funds and develop the right-of-way rail corridor into a multi-use trail.

Parking and Trail Access

Park at the Legion Hall in St. Andrews and just south of US 41 off University Avenue at it's southern terminus in Sewanee.

In Tracy City, you can park at the lot on the corner of Depot St & Laurel St. 

Mountain Goat Trail Reviews

Nice trail mostly under shade trees!

This trail is very accessible. Can park in a lot at the trailhead in Swanee. Old railroad bed that has been paved. Slight elevation contours and relatively straight. Coupled it with a really good ride at the Universities’s campus. Very quaint and beautiful campus. Rode when school was not in session so we had unobstructed ride. Great little sandwich shops downtown. Would recommend all the above.

The current section is about five miles and goes through the woods. Very scenic.

The current section is about five miles and goes through the woods. Very scenic.

Great Trail!

My husband and I took the trail that started near Mountain Outfitters and ended nearby Sewanee. Beautiful, fun ride! After the first swervy bit, it was a straight shot with a good amount of slow uphill and downhill areas. I was worried about crossing roads, but it wasn’t bad and there was moderately low and friendly foot traffic. At the end if t trail, we biked around Sewanee and had a picnic before heading back. So glad this is near us while we’re all still social distancing. ¿¿¿¿

Go for the Goat, see the Tigers

Great short trail between Chattanooga and Nashville. We parked across from the DG in Monteagle. The first section is a bit “zig-zaggy” but the remaining section is very nicely shaded. At the Sewanee trailhead, we crossed the highway and spent some time/miles exploring the majestic University of the South campus. Upon returning, we lunched at the market named after the trail for some awesome post ride sandwiches; you can bike to it and beyond. I can’t wait to re-ride when the connections to Cowan & Tracy City are completed!


Great Ride From Sewanee to Monteagle

MGT is my home trail and I’m biased. I want you to visit. If you are traveling I-24 past Monteagle, drop in and enjoy the Goat. Presently, the trail runs on the old Mountain Goat line from Sewanee to near Marion County line. It crosses the highway and runs parallel to it into Monteagle (4.7 miles.) we really enjoy the nostalgia of riding the old line. You can picture the coal train lumbering across the forested ridge line. We ride a slight incline from Sewanee to Monteagle and then coast back. I give this trail 4 Stars for two reasons: road crossings and maintenance. Nothing to do about the road crossing but be aware of them. The trail is old enough to have a few root problems affecting the asphalt. Mowing lacks a clear consistent plan. Still it’s 2/3’rds shady and quite enjoyable. A new section from Monteagle to Tracy City is presently under construction. Soon the MGT will be a destination trail.

New Section open!

I took a guided wildflower walk along the newly-opened section of the trail. Parking is at Pearl's Restaurant near the Monteagle/Sewanee line. The well-marked spur trail from Pearl's is mostly level through a wet area, lots of pretty ferns and LOTS OF POISON IVY! A must to wear long pants if you are susceptible, and pack your bug spray. The main trail is almost completely flat, dirt over the old granite from the railbed, a very easy walk with wide variety of native plants and "newcomers."

This could become a gem of a trail!

I just rode the MGT (April 2011) and have submitted an updated detailed description to

Briefly, first two miles are paved (St. Andrews to Sewanee). For ~1/2 mile through Sewannee it is difficult to follow thru a parking lot and the highway shoulder encroachment, but then it becomes recognizable single track. Be prepared for the next 1/2 mile. A creek overtakes the trail (10 feet wide, 2-10" deep). Creek then "departs" and for the next 5 miles, the trail is a steep downgrade, very rough, rocky, washouts, etc. But a gorgeous ride! About 2 miles from the Cowan end, the MGT parallels an active rail line for 1/2 mile , and then merges with it. The last 1.5 miles you ride on tennis ball sized ballast of the active line. That is why it is impossible to find the trailhead at the Cowan end!

If only funds were available for surface and drainage improvement and separation from the active rail line on the Cowan end, this would be a gem of a trail. I still had a fun, but challenging ride! [I'm 67 yrs old.]

Great Trail

"This is a great paved trail from St. Andrews to Sewanee through the hard work of several folks. No motor vehicles are on the paved part. The section between Sewanee and Cowan is a jeep trail, but it's a beautiful hike down to the bottom of the mountain. Efforts are underway to extend the trail from St. Andrews to Monteagle, TN."

Nearby Trails

Go Unlimited Today!

  • FREE Account
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Post your trail reviews
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Get a free map in the app!
Register for FREE
Purchase Unlimited

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google

Log in with Apple


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 40,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

Register with Apple


Your account has been deleted.