Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville

4.6
#2 of 10 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.HistoryThe 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
  • The park was built in the 1930's by the CCC, has had upgrades over the years. We lived on Monte Sano for 23 years, great place to raise a family, 10 degrees cooler in the summer that below in the city...  more »
  • Been to the park 3 times for Mountain Mist 50k. The trails are amazing and have something to offer all levels of runner, mountain biker, and hiker from crushed gravel and jeep trails to smooth single ...  more »
  • Just drove through this state park and plan to bring our RV here soon. There are only about 19 sites that have full services, but the price is right, there is a great lodge, and the view and hiking tr...  more »
Google
  • As a native of Huntsville, Monte Sano State Park is a true gem. Filled with miles and miles of beautiful trails, the park can provide the escape you need whether it be on foot, by bike, or swinging in your hammock. About a dozen rentable stone-and-log cabins line the Eastern edge the park for a night or weekend getaway from the city (complete w beds, kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor fire ring/patio/dining area). The generally popular picnic daytime area of the park is just a 10 minute drive up governors drive (highway 431) from downtown Huntsville and provides scenic vistas, shady mountain forest groves, mild-terrain hikes for the whole family. The south plateau loop provides a ~2 mile hike around the edge of the southern part of the mountain, with myriad water features, small forest bridges, limestone cliffs for climbing or relaxing, and a nice escape from the city. Multiple natural caves dot the landscape; some worth exploring a bit even. With only $10 entry fee per car, this city getaway is sure to delight.
  • Great park with lot's of fun activities for the whole family including dogs. It has a huge playground area with lots of shade and a big area for kids to run around and climb. It has one of the biggest picnic areas I've ever seen with lots of tables to enjoy. Plus a few covered pavilions you can reserve. The park has several walking and hiking trails. I can't comment on them since we didn't go on any, but they offer ones from very easy to very difficult. It even has a disk golf course. The park offers some really pretty overlooks that are easy to reach.
  • Absolutely loved walking the trails. we also Saw some eagle's. What a beautiful place. Btw they don't take cards so have cash for parking.
  • State park within the city limits. Hiking and biking trails. Beautiful vistas. Cabins and camping spots. Large lodge for events and weddings. Several pavilions tables grills restrooms. Ranger station small waterfalls in season. Japanese gardens. Planetarium and observatory. Closed section of bankhead parkway used by skateboarders bikes and sledding in the rare snow. Great fall getaway 10 min from downtown and medical district.
  • The cabin was very nice. The trails were all kept well the park also. The View was breathtaking definitely one of the best sunsets. The staff was extra nice.
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