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Saturday, April 24, 2010


Site 80, Monte Sano State Park Our Opinion: Recommend, but getting to it is a tiny bit challenging.  If you have a big rig, it’s probably not worth for just an overnight or two.

Date of Stay: April 20 through 24, 2010.

Weather During Stay:  Very mild, pleasant, sunny spring weather, until the last day – when the weather turned “severe” with thunderstorms and possible tornados in the forecast.

Site Description:  Monte Sano state park campground has a mix of primitive and developed sites.  Of the 89 developed sites, 19 are FHU with 30/50 amps; the remaining 70 have 30 amp E and water.   Most sites can accommodate large rigs - sufficiently long AND sufficiently level.  All sites have picnic tables and fire rings. 

The campground is heavily forested.  Roads are paved, sites are gravel.  Each loop has a bathhouse with showers.  There is an on-site host, a playground, and a dump station.  Access to the campground is controlled by a gate with a combination keypad.

Hidden in the trees Rate: Rates here vary by day of the week, utilities, and convenience (pull-throughs cost more than back-ins).  Seniors get a 15% discount.  We stayed in a 50 amp FHU back-in for three weekdays, 2 weekend days, and got the senior discount, paying $106 plus change for 5 nights.

Phone/radio/TV: Very weak, spotty Verizon service meant phone calls and internet access was unreliable or non-existent.  Heavy forest meant trouble for our roof-mounted TV satellite, but we received half a dozen stations on antenna.  NPR is available on 89.3.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain:  Though the campground is flat, it’s hilltop location requires a climb up a winding road.  Heavy forest provides privacy and shade in the campsites. Our view is of trees and a few neighboring RV’s. 

Lighting/Noise:  Very dark, very quiet at night.

Stone cabin in state park Favorite Sites:  Site 80 worked well for us, but many other sites would have been fine.  We were pleased to have FHU.

Hiking/Walking:  This park has 21 miles of trails, from easy to strenuous - plenty of good walking or mountain biking.

Comments: The campground is just a small part of this large park, which includes a large picnic area, a stone lodge building, several trailhead parking lots, a viewpoint that is part of the Alabama Birding Trail, and 14 rustic cabins with screened porches, A/C, and great views. Conveniently located to downtown Huntsville.

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