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North Plateau Loop

Intermediate
 3.7 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A nice loop within Monte Sano State Park.


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Map Key

1.9

Miles

3.0

KM

Loop

1,625' 495 m

High

1,580' 482 m

Low

79' 24 m

Up

81' 25 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · Views

Family Friendly Older kids who can handle a bit of off-road terrain will enjoy this loop.

Overview

A great loop to enjoy some of the best views in Monte Sano.

Description

The North Plateau Loop Trail runs an inner loop within Monte Sano State Park and acts as a great access point for a lot of the trails within the park. It offers some great views; one near Bankhead parkway and other Behind the Monte Sano Lodge.

If you head north from the parking area by the lookout one of the first things you'll see is an old vinyl trail marker shaped like a space shuttle. From here the trail inclines and is narrow with some steeper drop-offs has you get closer Cold Springs Trail as well as rocky in places with plenty of roots to watch out for. In about 0.25 miles, you'll pass the Van Braun Astronomical Society building.

A half mile in, Cold Springs Trail bears off to the right and while North Plateau Trail heads southwest until it crosses Nolen Avenue near the Monte Sano Toll Booth. From there it continues south where at about a mile McKay Hollow Trail merges with it. This section does have some roots but is not as rocky.

From here, it heads east behind the lodge where you have some nice views of the mountains as well as the limestone rock ledges and formations. Eventually, you'll intersect with the Fire Tower Trail just before a commonly used parking lot around the 1.5-mile mark. From there, head north, crossing Nolen Avenue Southeast/Bankhead Parkway Northeast, until you reach your origin point.

From North Plateau Loop, you can connect to Cold Springs Trail, Fire Tower Trail, and McKay Hollow Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Luke Brisk

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#4125

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#46

in Alabama

#4,125

Overall
45 Views Last Month
1,084 Since May 5, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Nice limestone rock formation near the primitive lodge
May 6, 2015 near Huntsville, AL
View of McKay Hollow from Picnic Point.
May 12, 2015 near Huntsville, AL
You've been warned.  Extremely difficult trail
Jul 25, 2015 near Huntsville, AL
Monte Sano State Park
Mar 23, 2020 near Huntsville, AL
Monte Sano State Park
Mar 23, 2020 near Huntsville, AL
little waterfall
Mar 23, 2020 near Huntsville, AL

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Nov 26, 2019
Janet Lauderdale
Oct 23, 2018
Stephanie Wilson

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