Conservation in and around the Mountain Goat Trail began with the effort of Ian Prunty, a student at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School who wanted to see if the old train track could be used for a biking trail from Sewanee over to the school. With his efforts began the grassroots movement to convert the old railroad track to trails used by the public and especially students biking from Sewanee to SAS.
The interest in a biking and foot trail has increased over the years. This interest led to the formation of the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance. From this beginning plans are underway to extend the trail to Monteagle and into Grundy County following the original MG rail path all the way to Palmer.
The conservation and conversion of the old rail route has been met with wide public support. Along with individuals who have formed the Mountain Goat Alliance other organizations have given support to this land protection project. South Cumberland Regional Land Trust, a local conservation organization, gave funds to help get this project started and has been an ally in the efforts to build the trail all along. South Cumberland State Park has protected land around the Mountain Goat Trail and offers miles of trails available for hiking and biking. The University of the South with its new focus on sustainability supports the efforts of the formation of the “rails to trails”. The Land Trust of Tenessee, based in Nashville, has joined forces with the MGTA to further future efforts.
There are many individuals who have contributed much time and effort for this project and thanks to these folks and organizations you are enjoying the trail today.
– G. Sanford McGee
To find out more about the Mountain Goat Trail or to donate to the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance, click the links below.