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Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville

4.7
#2 of 14 in Parks in Huntsville
State Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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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. See Monte Sano State Park and all Huntsville has to offer by arranging your trip with our Huntsville sightseeing planner.
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Monte Sano State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
454 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This park is a great escape to nature in the Huntsville area. It is relatively easy to get to and the parking is plentiful. The trails are well marked and an easy walk. The park has rentable cabins... 
    This park is a great escape to nature in the Huntsville area. It is relatively easy to get to and the parking is plentiful. The trails are well marked and an easy walk. The park has rentable cabins...  more »
  • Family friendly campground with hiking, 18 hole disc golf course, playground. Enjoy the North Alabama Japanese Garden! Planetarium open on Saturday evenings. Staff at campground store friendly... 
    Family friendly campground with hiking, 18 hole disc golf course, playground. Enjoy the North Alabama Japanese Garden! Planetarium open on Saturday evenings. Staff at campground store friendly...  more »
Google
  • This was a fun place to mountain bike for an hour and a half. Good trails, nice jumps/drops, lots of roots and rocks. There are trails for all levels and is a great place to come to. We did get lost once because the map at the kiosk was pretty confusing but in the end made are way out. Finally the views stations on the trails were cool but I wish they would install a fence so people don't fall off...
  • I have loved this State Park my entire life and I am 65 years old. It is the best State Park on the State of Alabama by far. The cabins were built during the Great Depression of native stone by Civilian Conservation Corp employees and the walls of the cabins are over three feet thick. The sights from the cabins have changed dramatically over the years but they still show some beautiful woodlands and valleys for which the Tennessee Valley is known. Every chance I get I book a few days of rest and relaxation in the Monte Sano cabins. I recommend this place unequivocally.

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