This is my new favorite park close to home. Monte Sano is located in Huntsville but you would never know it once get get up here. It is so peaceful. The sites are shady & far enough apart that you feel like you have a little privacy. And if you love to hike then this is the park for you. Wonderful trails that are clearly marked. There is a trail for all skill levels so you can decide how intense you want and how long you want to hike. There are several sites on the edge of the mountain that offer stunning views but they go quick so it’s hard to get those. The same with the few sites that offer full hookups. Having sewage isn’t that big of a deal for us but it is nice to have. We came up here last summer & there was literally a 10° difference in temperature when we got to the top of the mountain. So even in the heat of summer it’s pleasant up here. If you like to venture out there is plenty to do in Huntsville & several great places to eat. The bathhouse could stand to be updated but it’s usually clean & the water is hot so I’m happy.
Monte Sano State Park offers: 21 Primitive(tent only) campsites, 59 Water& Electric sites, and 15 Full- Hook-Up sites. Monte Sano sits on 2,140 acres with spectacular vistas from atop the mountain, especially when the fall leaves show off their colors. In the spring, native azaleas bloom along the 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails. Quite campground. Great Camp Hosts, very friendly and helpful ranger staff. This is the best kept secret in North Alabama. Lots of activities within just 20 miles from campground. Beautiful views and trails(from easy to advanced). Biking trails are awesome. Every site has it all. https://youtu.be/I_84tyldNNw
Monte Sano State Park offers: 21 Primitive(tent only) campsites, 59 Water& Electric sites, and 15 Full- Hook-Up sites.
Monte Sano sits on 2,140 acres with spectacular vistas from atop the mountain, especially when the fall leaves show off their colors. In the spring, native azaleas bloom along the 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails.
Quite campground. Great Camp Hosts, very friendly and helpful ranger staff.
This is the best kept secret in North Alabama. Lots of activities within just 20 miles from campground.
Beautiful views and trails (from easy to advanced). Biking trails are awesome.
Every site has it all.
We visited Monte Sano State Park in the middle of summer (June) and stayed in the campground for five nights. We made our reservations through the Alabama State Parks web reservation portal at https://guestrez.megasyshms.com/5Q5BT for campground and cabin rentals.
The campground is located near the city of Huntsville, Alabama to the east. The park was easily accessible and the drive from the city to the park was not typical as it takes you though some of Huntsville’s neighborhoods before arriving to the park’s entrance. Once we arrived we went directly to the visitor’s center where the staff was friendly and organized. Our paperwork was already completed so the check in process was quick but very informative. We also received the gate code for the campground as the gate is electronically operated and closes after every opening to provide a welcomed level of security. We stayed in site 25 of the first loop, the park was not crowded in the campground as the summer temperatures were near extreme highs. The camp sites are very well spaced and there’s enough trees and underbrush to offer privacy. There are a few sites that have full hookups but most are without sewer. The park map I’ve included shows the ones with full hook up services. The bath houses were clean and orderly, the staff came by in the mornings to clean and restock. There are two camper/tent loops with rest rooms and showers at each. One tent only loop with no facilities but beautiful large sites.
The park has several scenic areas where the views of the mountains are great and provides a nice place to sit and ponder. There's also an operational Planetarium on the park sponsored and operated by the Von Braun Astronomical Society (https://www.vbas.org/). There are shows on Saturday’s at 7:30PM with an admission or $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students. You will need to get there early though as parking is limited but worth the effort to visit.
There are miles and miles of bike and hiking trails here, on the weekend it’s amazing how many cyclists come here to ride the trails. Some of the trails are very aggressive and some moderate for those of us that want this pace, the parks paved roads also offer a good place for a casual ride in the evenings.
All in all, we really enjoyed this park and will add this to our return list in the future. I also have to recommend a visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (https://www.rocketcenter.com/) in Huntsville, you won’t be disappointed.
We stayed 4 nights in our 23 foot Airstream in site 14, a pull-thru, with our 2 kids, ages 5 and 13. A hiking trail that leads to the Japanese garden runs directly behind the site and it is close to the bath house, but not too close 😉 The Japanese garden is small but lovely and definitely worth the short walk.
Nearly every site was full while we were there (because of the city wide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing), but it never felt crowded and everything remained clean and well stocked. We attended a show at the planetarium, they run every Saturday. The 13 year old and I enjoyed it but the 5 year old and my husband found it excruciatingly boring. If space and astronomy aren't your thing, don't go 😂 On clear nights you are invited to look through the telescope. The view from the overlook just past the planetarium is not to be missed.
We had zero Verizon service at site 14 but it was nice to unplug. If we wanted to check the weather or email we just took a quick bike ride to the sites on the bluff or to the camp store. The store doesn't stock much but there's a great little family owned grocery store, Star Market, at the bottom of the mountain. We got pizzas and some hot items from the deli. Everything we tried was good!
We took an afternoon to tour Cathedral Caverns which is about 20 miles away. If you are even remotely interested in caves or nature or pretty things DO NOT MISS IT! There are not words enough to express the spectacular beauty of the caverns. There's a paved path the entire way, making it accessible to everyone regardless of physical capability. They offer a golf cart tour to those unable to walk the 1.5 miles. It's wide open and triggered none of the anxiety I typically feel in a cave.
Back to the camp ground… lots of wild life to see. Tame-ish deer wander among the camp sites and snack nightly at the camp host's site. Mind the 15 mph speed limit! They are not bashful about giving tickets. Very friendly staff. We'll definitely be back
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!