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Huntsville, ALABAMA

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Creek side backcountry camping

The Turkey Creek campsite is a campsite along the Walls of Jericho trail and is located just feet from Turkey Creek. The site is approximately 3.3 miles from the Alabama hikers trailhead parking lot. The campsite is level and large enough to accommodate a handful of tents. There are also many trees that would be suitable for hammock camping and in my opinion, this site is the best along the trail for hammocks. This site is fully shaded. There were 3 or 4 fire rings at this site, so multiple groups could be accommodated. 

This is backcountry camping so plan appropriately(no bathroom, pack it in- pack is out). We found no cell phone service with Verizon at this site. Water can be sourced from Turkey Creek if it is flowing, but should be treated/filtered(on this visit Turkey Creek was pretty dry at the campsite after a very dry summer, but was flowing a little better up stream closer to the falls).

Clark Cemetery

The Clark Cemetery campsite is a moderate sized campsite along the Walls of Jericho trail and is located just yards from the Clark Cemetery and the Turkey Creek Bridge. The site is approximately 3.1 miles from the Alabama hikers trailhead parking lot. The campsite is level and large enough to accommodate many tents. There are also many trees that would be suitable for hammock camping. You can choose from a shaded space to a sunny space depending on which side of the site you set up on. I counted at least six fire rings at this site, so multiple groups could be accommodated. With the very close proximity to the Clark Cemetery (a 1800’s family cemetery) I imagine the campfire stories could be very entertaining. 

This is backcountry camping so plan appropriately (no bathroom, pack it in- pack is out). We found no cell phone service with Verizon at this site. Water can be sourced from Turkey Creek if it is flowing, but should be treated/filtered (on this visit Turkey Creek was pretty dry after a very dry summer, but Hurricane Creek is just a short walk away).

Small campsite near Hurricane Creek Bridge

The Hurricane Creek campsite is the smallest campsite along the Walls of Jericho trail and is located near the junction of the TN and AL trails and just yards from the Hurricane Creek Bridge. The site is approximately 2.7 miles from the Alabama hikers trailhead parking lot. The campsite is level and large enough to accommodate a handful of tents in close proximity to each other. There are also many trees that would be suitable for hammock camping. The site is mainly shaded and has one large fire ring. 

This is backcountry camping so plan appropriately (no bathroom, pack it in- pack is out). We found ok to weak cell phone service with Verizon at this site. Water can be sourced from Hurricane Creek, but should be treated/filtered.

Convenient Trailhead Camping

The trailhead campsite is a short walk from the parking lot, but makes for a great basecamp for exploring the area. The campsite is level and large enough to accommodate many tents. There are also trees that would be suitable for hammock camping. The site is on the edge of an overlook of the canyon and has multiple fire rings if there are multiple groups there. This site and trailhead serves both the Walls of Jericho trail and the Bear Den Point Loop Trail. 

This is primitive camping so no bathhouse, but there is a porta-john in the trailhead parking lot. The site is a good distance from any convenient stores or grocery stores so plan accordingly. We found good cell phone service with Verizon at this site. Trash cans are located in the trailhead parking lot. Please pack out your trash from the campsite.

Decent

Tent sites were good. The bath house was over at the day use area so that wasn't convienent. This park could use a little maintenance.

Great!

Love everything about this RV park!

Great park with lots to do

There were many options for sites, including nice pull throughs. Some were well shaded , others had nice water views. We had an oversized site that was a pull through. We got there after sunset, so it was nice to have a quick and easy set-up. Large swimming lake, hike loops, playgrounds, leisure areas including picnic sites, tennis, basketball, and disc golf give you lots to choose from. They also had a large marina and a restaurant on the property.

We will be back in warmer weather for sure.

Some much fun so close to home

Although we have been to Monte Sano many times to hike and attend events, this was our first time camping here. Monte State Park Campground is a large campground with 15 full hookup sites, 59 water& electric sites, and 21 primitive tent sites. All the sites are gravel, most sites are wooded with lots of shade, and most site are mainly level. All style sites include a picnic table and fire ring. 

Check-in is at the camp store if you arrive during store hours or with camp host if you arrive after hours. We stayed on site 24, which had complete shade throughout the day. This site backs up to a draw and each evening just before dust we could watch the deer walk up through. 

The bathhouse is centrally located, newer, and cleaned daily. There are also laundry machines available between the men’s and women’s area. 

Firewood, ice, limited grocery items, and souvenirs were available at the camp store. There is a full grocery store about 15 minutes away. 

We found ok to limited cell phone service with Verizon throughout the property. The state park did have wi-fi near the camp store. 

The park has many trails for hiking and mountain biking, as well as host the North Alabama Japanese Garden. The North Alabama Land Trust also connects to the state park and adds many more miles of trails. We hiked about 15 miles this weekend and there are many more miles to explore on another visit. 

The state park is located 5 minutes from Huntsville where you can find many restaurants, breweries, and the Space& Rocket Center. Check the Huntsville visitor’s center website for all that is offered in the area. In addition, the Burritt on the Mountain located just minutes from the park entrance and has an open air museum and an amazing overlook of Huntsville. 

We are very excited that this gem is located so close to use and are proud to call this our home camp!

Awesome site

Super clean bathrooms, beautiful view of the lake

Nice lakeside park

Nice quiet park out on the lake. We were in loop C at the end of the improved sites. The site was level, but the power, water, and sewer were all closer to the center or front of the site than the rear. That wasn’t a dealbreaker, but the sewer was a good bit higher than the paved pad. This made dumping the black tank a little iffy at best. That aside, the park is full of deer, squirrels, birds, all kinds of stuff for the kids to look at. The playground is a bit dated, and the bathhouse could use renovation, but was functioning and relatively clean. The sites are too close together which was nice. It looked as though all of the improved sites had a fire ring and picnic table. There was a dumpster at the end of our loop where the road to the primitive campsites started, so it was only about a minute walk away. The camp store at the front had all the essentials and some souvenirs, as well as the laundry facility. Everyone we met there, including the staff and volunteers, were all great. The kids loved it, and we will definitely be back to the park again.

Mountain views

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.

Long term

Down here working for a few months and wanted a clean quiet safe place. This place is all the above. The owners are very nice and helpful. Will definitely stay here when ever I'm down here again working. $450 a month including utilities. No pool. Does have a laundry room. Pond on site.

Relax

I love this campground and at least stay a weekend every time I’m in TN. I love how close to the city it is and the warm water.

Pretty good

We got a tent site with power. Great price! Clean park, lake is always a good thing. Lights at camp ground kinda bright, but guess if I needed to go pee that would help lol. Lady working office was pretty nice and helpful. Has a little store can get almost anything you might need. Bath house shower had great hot water with good pressure. Felt safe here that’s important. I’d definitely come back. Probably next weekend lol the beach area had a lot of rocks! Probably due to water level low had to go buy some water shoes, but then it was all good.

Great camp ground

Stop there when we go to Nashville.

Best Kept Secret in North Alabama

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 HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA

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

So Much to Do at Monte Sano.

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.

Riverside camping!

Love camping by the river in gunnersville! And the people there are usually quiet friendly!! :)

A hidden gem

This is a wonderful park that is worth the time and effort to visit. We’ve gone here a few times now as it’s one of our favorites on a hot summer day. The temperature inside the cave stays a cool 62 degrees and the paths through the cave are wide and paved. The tours take about two hours and we’ve never seen it crowded, the guides are very knowledgeable and entertaining. The price to see the cave is $19.00 per person and the tours are started at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00, be sure to go to the office to obtain you tickets before the tour starts.

There is a small campground here that as a limited number of sites with 30 amp electricity, water but no sewer. The sites are not reservable yet so call beforehand for availability. There are also tent camping sites and a bath house for the campground. We like it here and will come again in the future.

Beautiful and Convenient to Huntsville

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

Very quiet

No shade but a very clean campground.

Great Place To See The Stars

Most campgrounds in Tennessee are buried in the woods, but not this yurt campsite at Ray of Hope.  The yurt sets on the side of a beautiful Tennessee Hill offering almost a complete view of the nighttime sky.  We watched the moon rise over a hill directly in front of the campsite, and we even saw a brilliant shooting star blaze across the sky for what seems like an eternity.  The Ray of Hope campground is a private campground that went above and beyond our expectations.  The yurt was clean, included battery powered lights and a LED lantern, and a full sized bed that made the night pass with ease.  The campsite also offers free firewood and a large fire ring.  There are two deck chairs at the campsite which are perfect for stargazing.  The entrance of the yurt faces sunrise and the farm animals serenade you in the morning when the mist begins to burn off the valley.  There is a well stocked outside shower surrounded by sweet smelling herbs.  Water and a toilet are near the shower stall.   The campsite is near the small town of Petersburg, TN where you can find two gas stations and a Dollar Store.  If it's hot outside, you might want to bring a battery operated fan.  This place is a perfect glamping experience for an extended date or weekend in beautiful Tennessee.

One complaint

This was a pretty campground. Very clean…didn’t go to bathhouse but did see laundry area and bathroom area and it was very clean. Our only complaint was our pull through site. Our slide is on the left side and if opened would have been almost in the road. It was however overlooking the lake.

T’s outback

Very nice campground The owner is so helpful. It was tight but the owner helped us get backed in at 6:30 pm on a Sunday. Very much under priced for what this park is. I’m here for work but would come to have a great get a way. Not many aminities as far as pool and such but super nice level spots. And very quiet

First to Review
I’ll pass

Campground is now leased out to KOA rates have skyrocketed and is now an additional charge if you want power. Park is not kept up and bath house is in need of major repairs.

First to Review
Negative 5

This is not a campground. It’s a mobile home park and I would be afraid to park my camper here!

Parking lot

This is your typical military PCS campground for people in transit. No shade! Cement pads to park on. A laundry room, pavilion and showerhouse. There is a dog park and you are off the beaten path. Which makes it a little difficult to find the first time. But when you do your like “Duh! It was right here.” So useful for an overnight if you have a military/retired ID.

Always something new

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.

Clean, Quiet, Comfortable

My son Charlie(age 8) and I camped at Cathedral Caverns State Park on June 17, 2019. It was a Monday night. We chose one of the primitive campground sites and paid a little under$20 for one night. Since we were camping we received a discount on our cave tour the next day. It's worth noting that all of the primitive and RV campsites are outside of the state park’s main gates which means that anyone can easily enter or leave the camp at anytime day or night; however, two state employees live fulltime within walking distance of the campsites. It was encouraging to know that help was only steps away if we needed it. One of the rangers actually stopped and introduced himself while making his early evening round. He verified that I had registered at the camp, informed me that it might rain that night, and wished us a good evening. A father and son also drove through the campground about that time in a personal car. I expected him to camp, but later when we went for a walk, we didn’t find him. On our walk we went down to the restrooms gathering kindling in large, reusable grocery bags. We also brought our one gallon water jug. It’s quite a walk to the restroom and unless you are driving, it would be unreasonable to rely on it as your bathroom. Bring a camping toilet or a shovel. The RV sites are right next to the restrooms, which means that if you are in the primitive site it is very unlikely that you will hear RV generators all night. There were no RVs there on our night because the sites were being overhauled and it was closed though the restrooms were still up and running. The restrooms were very clean and spacious with clean, new shower curtains and it was fully stocked with supplies. I can’t say if the water was hot, but my suspicion is that it probably was since the rest of the facility is well kept. Back to the kindling: There’s plenty to be had and we even found four or five logs left by our campsite by a previous camper. Speaking of firewood, there’s plenty of that for sale for a reasonable$10.00 at the restroom facility. Money’s left in a box on the honor system. After cooking two cans of Southgate chili on an improvised Sweedish fire using the charitable camper’s firewood, we played in the field which was easily accessible from the primitive campsite. It’s guarded by a feral but entertaining cat who has an appetite for small rabbits. He almost caught one when he chased it through the campsite and under the picnic table where we happened to be eating supper. I’m not sure if he ever caught him but the last time I saw them they were running through the campsite like the wind. The campsite was simple. There was a fire ring and an old picnic table. You might want to bring a table cloth along or use a tarp if you’re doing more than heating up canned chili. The site was clean as was the entire park. I was easily able to back into the site with a 2007 Trailblazer. Though we had planned on tent camping, we ended up sleeping in the Trailblazer. Dad brought the tent, but he forgot the poles. All of the sites were clean and would have made wonderful tent sites. They were spaced adequately apart to provide a sense of privacy though if you’re pooping in a bucket you might have to be strategic in your temporary John placement. I don’t think my wife would have liked the bathroom situation at all and it might have been a bigger issue for Charlie and me if there’d been anyone else on the campground. We were the sole campers at Cathedral Caverns during our visit. We weren’t the only people using the park though. There were plenty who come to see the cave which true to its name feels like a Cathedral. I’ve been in a few tourist caves but there’s something different about this one. Our tour guide did a great job not only telling us about the beauty and history of the cave, but helped us to imagine one of the caves first explorers and its benefactor Mr, Gurly. If that description doesn’t make you want to visit, here’s this: Legend says there’s a ledge in the cave and if you toss a coin and land it right on the ledge you get your wish. After I tossed my dime I regretted instantly not wishing for a billion instead of a million dollars. I was assured by the tour guide that I could expect my check any day now, so the star review might change depending on how quickly the check rolls in.