Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville

4.6
#3 of 12 in Parks in Huntsville
Monte Sano State Park is a publicly owned recreation area and mountaintop retreat encompassing on the eastern portion of the top and slopes of Monte Sano Mountain on the east side of Huntsville, Alabama. The state park has 1930s-era, Civilian Conservation Corps–built rustic cottages, hiking trails and picnic areas with scenic overlooks, and modern campsites. It is managed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The name "Monte Sano" derives from the Spanish for "mountain of health" and is the eponymous name of the mountain that is the main feature of the park. The name reflects the 19th-century tradition of sending diphtheria, cholera and yellow fever sufferers to retreats on the mountain. A week's stay at the Hotel Monte Sano, a three-story Queen Anne–style luxury health resort with 233 rooms that opened in 1877, cost $11 and included amusements like bowling, horseback riding, croquet and lawn tennis. A railway line built to carry patients up the mountain ran from 1888 to 1896 before going bankrupt. Remnants of the line may be seen in the adjoining Monte Sano Nature Preserve operated by the Land Trust of North Alabama. The development of vaccines and treatments ended the era of health trips to the mountain.
Workers with the Civilian Conservation Corps developed the park in the 1930s, constructing an amphitheater, lodge, and rustic cottages built in the Arts and Crafts style. The park officially opened on August 25, 1938. It was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1996.
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Monte Sano State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
397 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • My fiance and I went and enjoyed so much! We went hiking on the north loop and we were so impressed! The views you achieve are breath taking! Come stretch your legs out at Monte Sano mountain for a ri...  more »
  • Pleasant way to spend a portion of a day. Usually breezy. Is far enough from the highway (Governors Dr) that you don’t hear traffic except big motorcycles.  more »
  • Lovely pathways and beautiful scenery to absorb as you make your way to the lookout point. It is well worth the trek. The sun filters through the trees and it is very relaxing.  more »
Google
  • Great trails, disc golf course, camping areas and more. There are adorable rustic cabins available as well as separate camping areas for RVs and tent campers. Hiking trails are easily accessible from the overnight areas, buildings and grounds are well-maintained. Wonderful variety of landscapes to enjoy due to the mountain setting, yet it’s just a few minutes to drive into town. This is a great park and a huge part of the reason I moved to Huntsville. :)
  • Oh my! such a beautiful park! Get a spot overlooking the town below! Breath taking at night! Make sure to read email with the easiest way up the mountain. Google takes you up a lot of switch backs. If you are pulling an RV like us it was white knuckle. READ EMAIL PRIOR to going up the mountain. The folks were so helpful. Restroom clean. Oh and don't miss the Japanese garden outside of the camp store. Its initial appearance is deceiving, a nice surprise.
  • Beautiful park, Gorgeous landscape. Great for a date night or just to take the kids to pass the time. Machine dispensers to feed the ducks and fish, lit up at night. Breath taking scenery.
  • Gorgeous! Monte Sano is beautiful and provides a variety of hiking trails, gardens, playgrounds, cabins, and a large lodge. There also many picnic areas. You can tell the park is well-kept, even though there’s been some work going on with uprooted trees (maybe from the recent floods?) The trails were clear and well marked and there was no trash. There is plenty of parking, and the entrance fees are $5 per person. It’s a pet-friendly area as well and looks like a great place to bring your furry friends. The entrance attendant was friendly and let us know the park closes at sundown - gates are locked at that point. I plan to return soon for a great day of picnicking and hiking!
  • Enjoyed our stay in a cabin here. I would like to go again! Great place for walking, hiking, bicycles, and walking your dog on a leash. Nice mini kitchens with all the necessary dishes, cutlery, pots, pans and utensils provided. Good refrigerator, electric stove and oven are provided for your use. Cable TV. Air-conditioning and a fireplace. Very clean shower and small vanity sink. Our rustic and cozy cabin had 2 comfortable twin beds as it was my elderly mother and myself staying about 4 or 5 nights. Your bed linens are furnished. If you have a physical handycap, you need to discuss that with the reservation staff when you call to make reservations. Most of the cabins are difficult to get into from the asphalt roads; the pathway from where your car is parked to the door of the porch is rather uneven and is rough going for use of a walker of any kind, but not impossible. If you use a wheelchair, this is not the place for you. There are no sidewalks (as of summer of 2017). Fortunately, my mother was in very good condition for her age (84) and wasn't using any cane or walker at all. Book your stay 4 to 6 months in advance. The staff are very pleasant, efficient and helpful; they will happily answer all of your questions! A great place for enjoying nature, relaxing and unwinding, and for daily exercise. And it is quiet!
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