Ranger Review: Aftershokz at Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville, Alabama
Campground Review: First before I get into my review, I am TOTALLY BIAS at Monte Sano SP ! I LOVE this park, the only thing that could make it better is if there was a lake or attached watercourse. The hiking is moderate to extreme up and down some interesting rock formations. The mountain bikers and bikers seem to enjoy themselves too, flying down the closed roadway or the steep roadways and challenging themselves on the rocky terrain. I’ve been several years now and still haven’t gotten around to all the trails. The campground is laid out in two loops and a dirt loop for tent campers. I was in site 19 which was in the way back, unfortunately near a “pond” so a few mosquitoes were about. Otherwise pretty spacious sites. I hung my hammock and could have put up a tent. Pretty quiet though the campground was close to full. The showerhouse has a pay washer and dryer in the front. Older building but well maintained. Coded gate entry and plenty of trail access right from the campground. Some excellent overlooks a cool waterfall hike and an adjacent land grant. I’ve run several trail runs here and you always see something new. I also found ANOTHER excellent hole in the wall restaurant in addition to several others in the area. https://www.poboyfactory.com/ Worth checking out ! Monte Sano SP has so much to do you could easily spend an extended time there and not be bored, unless you want to be. I mentioned water at the start of this review, though there are no water sports within the park there is more then one option available not very far away. Definitely worth visiting again!
Product Review: As a Dyrt Ranger I get to review interesting products. I had the most excellent mission of trying out Aftershokz https://aftershokz.com/pages/technology. I am not a fan of headphones, they don’t fit well in my ears, they are in my ears, I can’t hear anything else, SO I don’t use them. Enter the Aftershokz! Different take on headphonz, on their site you can read about how they work, in laymen terms (my take) the Aftershokz sits on your bone and the vibrations create the sounds that you hear….It makes sense to me but you should read the information on the site, lol. So anyway, nothing in my ear, I can hear what’s going on around me and no worries of them falling out of your ears. I wore my Aftershokz for a trail-race in Monte Sano SP. Once I put them on I pretty much forgot they were there. I could hear my music and hear what what was going on around me. The sound level is adjustable on the headphone. I also checked the reception distance while working in my backyard. I had good sound at about 50 yards without anything in between. Rechargeable, flexible and sweat proof are additional plus’s.
We recently stayed in a cabin and it was enjoyable. There were white tail deer everywhere, chipmunks, a tiny ring neck snake on a trail,…Huntsville is very close and a neat little store just in town called Star Supermarket. The park staff were all helpful and friendly.
I went hiking here back in December and thoroughly enjoyed it. The ground's store is a cute little place with pretty much anything you could need, including beer, refrigerated items, snacks, stickers and T-shirts. The Japanese Garden was a little tacky, but kind of had its own cute feel to it. There's a cool clearing where you can stand on a ledge and view down the mountainside or take a group photo. The hiking trail down the mountain is so stinking sweet. We saw bugs, rabbits, deer, and so many other plants and other aspects of nature. Definitely worth a trip!
Monte Sano has great, easy hiking trails with beautiful views of the Tan valley. The Japanese garden is not to be missed.
Very beautiful campground and lots of places to hike. The only drawback for me was no fishing but we still had a great time hiking and looking around!
I first visited Monte Sano SP about a year ago, and it’s been one of my absolute favorite places in Alabama since. As a female I LOVE the staff and feel safe camping and hiking the trails throughout the park solo and with my dogs. Their are so many trails to choose from but the best part about the park, in my opinion is the fact the campsites in the primitive area are typically separated greatly by trees, so you get more a feeling of privacy. If I continue to type, it’ll turn into a book, but take my word for it, if you love nature, privacy and scenic views, Monte Sano is your place in Alabama.
Nice place to camp. Only stayed one night because storms were in the forecast but would definitely go back.
To get to this park, you drive right through Huntsville neighborhoods. We made our reservations earlier in the week but had a different site each night because the park was going to be full.
In my opinion, all the sites are nice because the campground is in the woods. And you can pitch a tent far from the road in the separate primitive area.
On Saturday night, I couldn't believe the number of TVs outside the RVs. I guess this is an inexpensive way to experience an Alabama football game outside. :) Sites were crowded with lots of people; one site had about 8 cars along the road during the game. Fortunately people were in a good mood because Alabama was never in danger of losing.
Alabama's Campground Taxes Are HIGH
Our sites with water and electricity were $26/night although a senior discount was applied for Thursday night. (No discounts on weekends.) We paid a one-time fee of $5 and the total cost was $93.55. Taxes are almost 20%.
There are only 2 restrooms/showerhouses which seems a bit on the low side for this campground. They're clean enough but the staff should check them more often on a full weekend in the fall. By Saturday evening, there were no paper towels and the toilet paper was gone from all except one stall. And it was still like that on Sunday morning at 9.
Standard amenities include a fire ring and picnic table at each site, dump station, and trash dumpsters out front.
Sites (except primitive sites in the tent area) have power and water. There are also some sites with sewer hookup.
The number of hiking trails is what made this park appeal to us. You can pick up an excellent map at the park office.
There's a disc golf course and a Japanese garden.
Primitive sites were full so we didn't ask if a teardrop trailer could be taken back there. The road to those sites is a bit bumpy but we could have easily fit on those sites. A call to the park would be worth it if you're interested.
When I called Saturday morning to check on availability for that evening, I was told only primitive sites were available which would have been ok for a one night stay but upon arrival, we were told you had to pitch a tent for the primitive sites (we don’t have a tent and sleep in our van). However, a number of improved sites had opened up so we were in luck. All sites are gravel and appear to be fairly level and ours was likely the most level we’ve been in for awhile. Picnic table and fire ring at each site. Many families with young children (fun to watch them ride their bikes around the loop). Bathhouse was clean and I appreciated the HOT water! Coin laundry. The North Alabama Japanese garden is a nice short walk and there are a variety of hiking trails (I would recommend the Stone Cut Trail for a moderately challenging hike).
My husband stayed here for a few months while we were trying to sell our house. Beautiful views, wildlife are fun to watch, hiking and biking trails, play areas for kids. Definitely recommend. It is a little pricey compared to some places.