Vacations

Hiking Huntsville Alabama – A Local’s Guide



Monte Sano State Park

Hiking in Monte Sano State Park is one of the extraordinary perks of living in Huntsville. This 2,140-acre park nestled on the summit of a 2000′ mountain is only 6-miles from downtown. There are even campgrounds and cabins for out-of-town guests or stay-cationers. People have been traveling to Monte Sano for healthy living for over a century, and I don’t see that ending anytime soon, even with the $5 day-use fee.

However, the park hiking page is a bit on the short side, like only two sentences. Sure, there are pictures and videos of people enjoying the park, but the engineer in me wants data. They do have a good trail map with over 25-trails listed, but with an average length trail length of less than a mile, it’s hard to plan an afternoon of hiking. This map has every trail labeled and color coordinated with the color scheme of the blazes. We’re including a table of the park’s most significant trails, mainly so you can see the blaze color scheme, which helps out while you’re hiking. Note, we retained the purple color scheme on our included map for consistency between sections.

What’s even more confusing is that the published trail lengths are only the distance they travel in the park and don’t include any additional trail miles once they leave the park boundary. For instance, one of the most popular trails in the park, Bankhead, is listed as being 1.0 miles long, while the trailhead-trailhead length is closer to 2.0 miles, with half the trail sitting on Land Trust land. And don’t get me started on the debate whether the Flat Rock Trail actually exists or is a cartographic memory.

Don’t worry. That’s why we’re here to tell you our favorite hiking routes and loop in Monte Sano State Park. We divide the park into three sections: Logan Point / Stone Cuts, Monte Sano Plateau, and McKay Hollow and include some of the best hikes in each area.


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