Monte Sano State Park (Site #29, Northeast Loop) sits atop a remnant ridge of the Cumberland Plateau, giving a fantastic view of the surrounding valleys and plateaus that cover northeastern Alabama. These islands in the sky are covered in thick hardwood forest, which is home to a number of neotropical migrants. As you explore the trails in the park, look and listen for Indigo Buntings, Great Crested Flycatchers, and Red-eyed Vireos. During migration, these can be augmented with species that nest farther north. The Overlook is an excellent site for the fall flight of southbound raptors and a great sunrise view. Resident Turkey Vultures and other raptors can be seen gliding past at eye level, soaring on warm air currents rising from the valley below.
GPS: N 34.7470, W 86.5104
Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Handicap Access, Picnic Area, Viewing Area, Hiking
Monte Sano St. Park
5105 Nolen Avenue
Huntsville, AL 35801
The paved parking lot at the overlook on Monte Sano is very accessible and one of the most popular locations for area birders (and the birds they are looking for) in the park. The top of the mountain is a well documented migrant trap in spring each year and offers excellent views of raptors as they move south each fall. Well worth a visit!
In Huntsville from the intersection of I-565 and US Highway 431/231 (Memorial Parkway), take Highway 431 south for 4.5 miles. Turn left on Monte Sano Boulevard, and travel 2.6 miles to Nolen Avenue. Turn right on Nolen Avenue and stay on Nolen until you enter the park. Follow the state park signs to the Scenic Overlook.
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