South Plateau Loop White

Monte Sano State Park, Alabama

Distance2.9mi
Elevation Gain538ft
Trailhead Elevation1,585ft
Top1,639ft
Elevation Min/Max1547/1639ft
Elevation Start/End1585/1585ft

South Plateau Loop White

South Plateau Loop (White) is a hiking and biking trail in Madison County, Alabama. It is within Monte Sano State Park. It is 2.9 miles long and begins at 1,585 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 538 feet. The Joe B Shirley Lookout Tower (elevation 1,624 feet) observation tower and the Hikers Parking Lot parking are near the trailhead. This trail connects with the following: North Plateau Loop (Blue), Mountain Mist Trail, Family Trail Connector, Firetower Trail, Family Bike Trail, Mckay Hollow Trail, Bog Trail and Warpath Ridge Trail.

South Plateau Loop (White) Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Through History Alabama (Falcon Guides)
Joe Cuhaj
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"Enjoy a pleasant hike through history on this circuitous trail around the top of the “Mountain of Health,” Monte Sano. This easy walking path circles the mountain’s ridge and leads you to classic Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) architecture and where the man who helped America land on the moon built an observatory for local schoolchildren that still operates today. One of my favorite hiking destinations is Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville. The park has such a wide variety of hiking experiences and beautiful landscapes all within a short drive of the city. But what most people don’t realize is the history that surrounds you as you walk the trails of the park. My favorite route for a quick jaunt around the mountain are the two loop trails, the North and South Plateau Loops."
"The Plateau Loop Trail is actually a combination of two trails, the North and South Plateau Loop Trails. Together, they form a single loop around the summit of Monte Sano Mountain and offer two contrasting views of this unique state park — its geology and its history. The phrase “monte sano” is Latin for mountain of health. In the early 1800s this mountain became a refuge for people with yellow fever, cholera, and malaria who sought out its cool air and clear waters. In 1827 Dr. Thomas Fearn established a colony here for people seeking relief from illness. He built an ornate home for himself and his family, complete with stables and a smokehouse.The colony flourished until Union soldiers destroyed it during the Civil War. Trail surface: Clay footpaths."

South Plateau Loop (White) Trip Reports

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9/4/2010
My wife, dog and I hiked this trail a few Saturdays ago on a beautiful 75 degree day (odd for Alabama in September!). It's a very flat trail for all but about 100 yards. Saw several trail runners, understandable in light of the ease of the trail and proximity to the city. wish i lived closer so i could run there on a regular basis. anyway, beautiful, family friendly trail. very enjoyable.
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6/12/2009
This trial is divided into 2 parts: North and South. Both are relatively flat and easy. The North Plateau trail is about 1.2 miles and most of it is tree-covered. It circles the observatory and passes by the camp store. To me, this is the more interesting trail.
The South trail is longer [3.5 miles] but less interesting. Many parts of the South trail are unshaded and/or follow logging roads.
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8/16/2008
My wife and I just hiked the North Plateau Loop mainly by accident because we missed our turn to get to the Mountain Mist trail. Even so it was enjoyable and fun and would recommend as a short hike for anyone(it was only 1.2 miles).
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2/27/2002
This trail is located at Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville, AL. It is often used by joggers and walkers with their pets. This is an easy trail and hiking boots are not required. As you hike along the rim of the mountain, make sure you take the time to walk out to the bluffs and enjoy the views. This trail is often used as a connector trail as part of the trail system in the park. A visit to this trail after a hard days work is an excellent stress reliever. Make sure you visit the Ranger Station and get a trail map for the park. Enjoy your hike!
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South Plateau Loop (White) Photos

Trail Information

Monte Sano State Park
Nearby City
Monte Sano State Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Easy
Skill Level
Monte Sano State Park, 5105 Nolen Ave., Huntsville 35801; (256) 5343757; alapark.com/monte-sano-state-park
Local Contacts
USGS Huntsville, AL; DeLorme: Alabama Atlas & Gazetteer, page 19, D8; trail maps available free at the park office
Local Maps

Trail Log