This is an adapted version of a post that was first listed on my original blog, also titled Live the Adventure.
Monte Sano, Italian for ‘mountain of health’, is located just outside the Huntsville City Limits and offers over 14 miles of hiking trails. It is rumored that the mountain air of Monte Sano is cleaner and fresher than the surrounding area.
As a full-time RV Family, we can choose to live anywhere that our money and time can take us and this wonderful state park located atop a mountain seemed to be an awesome choice for our first home on the road. With bike trails, hiking trails and a disc golf course, there is something sure to please everyone at Monte Sano State Park. Well, since we didn't pack bikes and don't know how to play disc golf- though it certainly looks like fun, and we plan to learn- we chose to take advantage of the good weather, between rain showers, and enjoy the scenic views from the trails. We found several surprises tucked away in the woods of Monte Sano.
Located amid the Bamboo and Weeping Cherry trees, we found an enchanting Japanese Tea House in the midst of a Japanese Garden, minutes from our campsite. But you don't have to be a camper here to discover this neat little hideaway, just drop by the camp store and you'll see a sign pointing the way.
This wasn't our first trip to Monte Sano State Park, when we were in Huntsville two years ago, we discovered that this was a great place to hike. Perhaps you can see why we enjoyed it from the pictures I've included.
We took this photo from the scenic overlook. We spent quite a bit of time here, as this was the only place in the park that we were able to get cell phone reception. It is particulary beautiful at sunset and offers incredible views of the Tennessee Valley below.
Though Monte Sano doesn't offer educational Ranger programs, if you'd like to learn more about the park, they do sell a guidebook for teachers in the Campground Office that will lead you on a self guided tour of the outdoor classroom. There is also a small brochure for young children that will introduce them to the history of the park. Speaking of which...intrigued by the history of Monte Sano, we spent some time at the library learning about this beautiful place.
There is a romantic legend that tells how Monte Sano got it's name. A young man, Monte, the son of a pioneer settler fell in love with a beautiful, young Indian maiden, the daughter of the Chief. The couple would meet often and secretly and make plans to marry at Inspiration Point. One night, Monte told his lover that the marraige they had been planning could never be. Not only did his father object to the union, but so did the chief. Sadly, the maiden cried "Oh, Monte, say 'No', and not able to bear the thought of living apart, they both jumped to their deaths from Inspiration Point so they could be reunited in the 'happy hunting grounds'.
So, what about you? Do you have a state park nearby that you like to visit? or one you've enjoyed while traveling?