Whether you want to ramble among azaleas or zebras, Madison and Morgan countries have plenty of open places to explore. Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer.
Big Spring International Park
200 Church St.
Huntsville, AL 35801 256-883-3710
Built around its eponymous “Big Spring,” this park contains the original water source for the city of Huntsville. Children will love the famously friendly ducks, geese and koi that call the Big Spring home. Enjoy gifts from other nations to the park, including the lighthouse from Norway and the famous red bridge and cherry trees from Japan. The park hosts numerous events, including the Panoply Arts Festival, Concerts in the Park and more.
293 Ditto Landing Road
Huntsville, AL 35803 256-882-1057
Ditto Landing is Huntsville’s gateway to the majestic Tennessee River, and its banks create the Rocket City’s southernmost boundary. During the warmer months, the park’s docks are bustling with boats for water skiing, swimming and fishing. In cooler months, the gorgeous Tennessee River greenway gives pedestrians a stunning view. Along with more than 20 campsites throughout 560 acres, Ditto Landing boasts a collection of pavilions that are popular options for company outings, weddings and family events.
Harmony Park Safari
431 Clouds Cove Road
Huntsville, AL 35803 877-726-4625
Harmony Park Safari is a federally licensed nature preserve of free-ranging exotic and endangered animals. Remain in your car on a 2-mile route to see zebras, zebus, antelope, buffalo, a camel, ostriches, pythons and crocodiles. The park is open seasonally from March through November.
Huntsville Botanical Garden
4747 Bob Wallace Ave.
Huntsville, AL 35805 256-830-4447
Centrally located, the 120-acre Huntsville Botanical Garden is a serene oasis of peace and tranquility that blooms throughout the year. Enjoy the spectacular colors of the wildflower, daylily, herb, butterfly, annual and perennial gardens, as well as the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house. A Fern Glade, and Nature and Dogwood Trails border the Central Corridor Garden, which features a picturesque Aquatic Garden alive with fountains, lotus and lilies. Several major festivals during the year prove that at the Huntsville Botanical Garden — there’s always something growing on!
Monte Sano State Park
5105 Nolen Ave. SE
Huntsville, AL 35801 256-534-3757
Monte Sano sits on 2,140 acres with spectacular vistas from atop the mountain, especially when the fall leaves show off their colors. In the spring, native azaleas bloom along the 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails. Fourteen rustic cabins perched on the mountainside are equipped with kitchens, fireplaces, separate showers and baths, cable television, outdoor grills, picnic tables and porches. The park also has 89 improved campsites, a primitive campground and a camp store.