The IAT begins at the foot of Bigrock Mountain
Park in the gravel/unimproved parking lot at the base of the South Star Triple Chairlift (south of the base lodge).
The trail is marked with light blue blazes and IAT/SIA
markers as far as the summit.
Begin climbing up the ski trail [Outer Orbit]
to the right (south) of the lift, past the ski area maintenance building. Follow this trail to the top terminal of the chairlift, then proceed to another ski trail [The Hooch]
that merges approximately 50 meters to the left (north) of the ski lift terminal. Follow this trail approximately 500 meters to a fairly large clearing, just below a noticeably steeper section of the ski trail.
At this point, look to the left (northeast) for a trail marker and an opening in the woods for the first in a series of four switchbacks. Each of the switchbacks are marked and serve to reduce the steepness of the ski trail, while giving hikers more of a backcountry feel during the ascent, as each one enters and exits onto the ski trail. Hikers will utilize the ski trail for short segments while progressing to each subsequent switchback. After the final switchback, proceed approximately 500 meters on the ski trail to another singletrack footpath on the right (east) side of the ski trail. This trail intersects with a gravel multiuse trail near the base of one of the windmills.
Follow the multiuse trail to the right (south) for approximately 800 meters to the summit of Mars Hill Mountain. There is a lean-to at the summit. Hikers may return to the trailhead via this route, or may follow the multiuse trail northward to the top terminal of the North Star Double Chairlift and then descend via the ski trail to the left (south) of the lift. Hikers should use caution on this route, as the ski area access road is steep and consists of loose gravel and rocks.
the IAT/SIA continues northward along the ridgeline of Mars Hill Mountain.