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Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville

#2 of 12 in Parks in Huntsville
State Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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 4.5
440 reviews
  • The Lodge was closed but the Park itself was open and we were able to walk around, enjoy trails and the views. I did think the cost to enter the park area was a little high if you just wanted to...  more »
  • We are from out of town and found this place on trip advisor. Downside- I thought it would have been $5 per vehicle but it was per person. Upside- There are lots of hiking trails and it is very dog.....  more »
  • I have always enjoyed hiking and Monte Sano definitely is an amazing place to visit, see and experience. Facilities are clean, grounds are well kept. The staff are kind and helpful. The scenery is the best stuff of God. We loved Monte Sano so much we were married at the lodge 6 years ago. Our family loves it and so does our, now, 3 year-old. This is the place we think of when we think of special events, bringing our camper, taking special event photos and being the closest we can get to God, on Earth. Any entrance fee is used for upkeep of the property and is more than worth it. $5 per adult, $3 for students, $2 for children 4 and over (I believe.) There are public bathrooms on premises and the camp grounds are well taken care of. Please throw your trash in the garbage cans and be kind to the people working the entrance. They are not there by force but by choice to help. They do not get enough thanks for all that they volunteer to do!
  • Fantastic views! We rented cabin #4 (600 sq. ft.), and while it is rustic, it was also spotlessly clean! It has a teeny kitchen and bathroom, a full and twin bed, but also plenty room for a twin air mattress. The park staff are delightful and friendly, and the camp store has a good variety of items. The park is also surprisingly close to "civilization", only 10 miles from the Space and Rocket Center. We will definitely come stay here again!

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