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Big Spring Park, Huntsville

(4.5/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
Big Spring International Park is located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama. The park is built around its namesake "Big Spring", the original water source that the city of Huntsville was built around. The park is also notable as the venue for the Panoply Arts Festival, held the last full weekend in April, Big Spring Jam, an annual music festival held on the fourth weekend in September from 1993 to 2011, and The Battle of the Buffalo, a buffalo wings competition held by the UAH Alpha Tau Omega fraternity to support cancer research.The Big SpringThe Big Spring is a large, underground karst spring. Hearing of the abundant water source and plentiful big game, John Hunt, Huntsville's founder, sought out the spring and settled near it in 1805 on the bluff above, which later became the site of the First National Bank of Huntsville. Isaac and Joseph Criner had previously reached the Big Spring and considered settlement, but due to the presence of bears and mosquitoes left to settle New Market instead. During the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, the spring was Huntsville's water source, due to its massive flow. The Big Spring is the largest limestone spring in North Alabama, with its usual flow between 7 and 20e6USgal per day, depending on the time of the year.From 1827 to the early 1840s, what would later become the park grounds served as the site of the Fearn Canal, built from 1821 to 1824. The canal was built by the Indian Creek Navigation Company, led by local resident Dr. Thomas Fearn. It linked downtown Huntsville and the spring to the Tennessee River, allowing traders to bypass a costly wagon haul of about 11 miles South to the nearest river port, Ditto's Landing in the town of Whitesburg. The canal eventually became obsolete upon the construction of railroads.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Walking downtown early on a Saturday from the Embassy Suites, followed the "creek" up to the base of the bluff..nice fountain, lots of fish and ducks. Very clean park.  more »
  • Vaery nice park with wifi and benches to sit on. It also had a spring going through it with fish and ducks.  more »
  • the city is putting a lot of effort into re-landscaping the park around the spring and pond. Lots of Pokestops there. The spring is historic and very pretty. Central to renovated downtown.  more »
Google
  • Great park on a nice day. Bring the kids, or a picnic, or both! There is a ton of fish and ducks there to feed. Although they sell the special food (bring quarters), you can also bring your own. They don't encourage you to bring your own, as it allegedly kills the wildlife. Me thinks what is bad for the wildlife isn't the bread, but the big barrels of cheesy poofs people bring from Costco. Be sure to hit the bridge and look for the little water varmint that comes out from time to time. I hear its a nutria... not sure myself, but it looks like a big rat that swims and plays. It's like an otter, only its in Huntsville. A redneck otter if you will! Cons? Well, bathrooms are scarce. If the museum close by is open you can try there. I don't think there is anything like a play structure for kids either. It's just an interesting park with a big lake/pond and benches to relax and take it in.
  • Great park on a nice day. Bring the kids, or a picnic, or both! There is a ton of fish and ducks there to feed. Although they sell the special food (bring quarters), you can also bring your own. They don't encourage you to bring your own, as it allegedly kills the wildlife. Me thinks what is bad for the wildlife isn't the bread, but the big barrels of cheesy poofs people bring from Costco. Be sure to hit the bridge and look for the little water varmint that comes out from time to time. I hear its a nutria... not sure myself, but it looks like a big rat that swims and plays. It's like an otter, only its in Huntsville. A redneck otter if you will! Cons? Well, bathrooms are scarce. If the museum close by is open you can try there. I don't think there is anything like a play structure for kids either. It's just an interesting park with a big lake/pond and benches to relax and take it in.
  • Nearly finished. It's going to be great
  • I want the old park back this is the ugliest design i have ever see and the eater is bairly deep enough for the ducks too swim