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Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville
(4.6/5 based on 220+ reviews on the web)
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 Italian 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 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Highly recommended. Close to Huntsville and yet you are out in beautiful nature. We had a really nice walk through great trails. There are many options so multiple visits are possible. They do charge ...  more »
  • Great walking in easy terrain suitable for people visually impaired (with help and guidance) and for elderly with arthritis. Nice views and pleasant walks. 
  • I live in Huntsville but I still rent a cabin and spend the weekend on the mountain. It is a great 2 day adventure. There is lots of trails and things to do on the mountain. The cabins are rustic but ...  more »
Google
  • Park has really turned around in last couple of years because of a passionate, smart, and hard working new head Ranger. He has since moved on to another job, however his 2nd in command has taken over and has continued to improve the park
  • Pretty, clean, and apart of the Huntsville community. Though they do charge for entering the park now. Its an honor box system if no one is at the gate.
  • The photos of the beautiful red bridge and Japanese Tea Hut...total crap..Not true ..I have updated photos posted. I drove over 3 hours to enjoy the beauty the website portrayed...However, the general overall area is pleasent for a half day short hike. Lots,of areas designed for kids and an planetarium The over look was ok. The staff was friendly. The camping areas are very close jammed spots. I didnt check the rates for overnite. The cost is 5 dollars per person for park entry. Not the normal 5 dollars per car as in other state parks as in Georgia. Very disaappoining if your looking for spectaular landscapes and beautiful rivers or creeks. No water here. Its a dry park.
  • Very pleasant staff. The cabin was clean and had a beautiful view of the valley. We had no trouble getting the kids up to watch the sunrise. The trails vary from stroller friendly to steep climbs. There are many cutovers between the trails to adjust your distance. There is a camp store and you are only 15 minutes from food and groceries. The wild life is used to people. We saw the typical squirrels and chipmunks but also walked within 30 ft of deer. The playground and trails make this an ideal place for younger familes.
  • Great park! Got here a little late (just after 10pm) due to traffic on I-65. They gave me a little good natured ribbing, but were more than willing to help us get registered and into the park. View off the mountain is great, although some campsites are a little bit of a walk to the views.