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Big Spring Park, Huntsville

(140+ reviews on the web)
Nature / Park
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
  • Went down to the park to enjoy some of the scenery and lucked up on the Movie in the park.There was food truck vendors, music and games for the kids. Just bring a picnic basket if you want, it not try...  more »
  • This park was wonderful, nicely kept sidewalks that wrapped around a beautiful lake with fountains and bridge. Lots of locals come here. I took my mom here every evening we were in Huntsville to feed ...  more »
  • Took the family here and we enjoyed feeding the ducks and fish. The sound of the fountains and streams is very relaxing. There is some shade trees, but not many. Bring a blanket and pack a lunch and j...  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.
  • I love the new park design. They've cleaned up the water so that the fish and ducks have a better environment to live in. I am glad Huntsville was able to clean this park up and make it nice again.
  • 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.
  • Giant awesome park being renovated in sections. The new sections look amazing. Ducks and koi everywhere.
  • Beautiful!! The ducks are in a HUGE group but they stayed in the water.... People were walking and still it was peaceful....