January 26, 2018
MST is a system of 5 connected trails and is part of Hanging Rock State Park. The trailhead is located at the barn for parking. There are no restrooms or other facilities, so bring what you need. The shortest loop is the 3-mile Original Loop, but you can connect to 2 other trails from it: Land of the Lost is a 1.7 mile trail filled with some technical features and Major Tom offers strenuous climbs/descents with some rocky sections. Both offshoots have creek crossings. These trails offer fun in both directions--try them all. The trails were built well, so they dry quickly after rain. The Rattler trail isn't yet on the printed maps, but it's a challenging, technical downhill -- very short, but very fun. You access Rattler from the top of Major Tom near the ridge and it ends in the trailhead parking lot. Currently, there are no signs for it, so look for the less-traveled trail off of the southeast side of Major Tom near the top. Finally, the North Side trail is located on the other side of the road, or you can get to it by leaving the trailhead parking lot and following the trail down and through the creek. As of Jan 2018, it's closed for maintenance, which is good because some of its wooden bridges were pretty sketchy. Hopefully they'll add better signage, too, because that's the easiest trail to get lost on. Overall, MST is a beautiful area with breath-taking views at the top of the ridge. Trails have great flow sections, good climbs, and a few little rollers and rock gardens. This is my favorite place for a weekend drive, and the roads leading there are also really scenic. It's also never that crowded unless there's a demo. Highly recommended.