Monte Sano Mountain

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Monte Sano Mountain
Monte Sano Mountain is located in Alabama
Monte Sano Mountain
Monte Sano Mountain
Madison County, Alabama, U.S.
Elevation 1,621 ft (494 m)[1]
Coordinates 34°44′42″N 86°30′42″W / 34.74500°N 86.51167°W / 34.74500; -86.51167Coordinates: 34°44′42″N 86°30′42″W / 34.74500°N 86.51167°W / 34.74500; -86.51167[1]
Topo map USGS Huntsville

Monte Sano is a horseshoe-shaped mountain in Madison County, Alabama beside the city of Huntsville. The top is relatively flat and lies just under 500 meters above sea level. This elevation is about 300 meters higher than the floor of the Tennessee Valley, which surrounds it. A residential neighborhood occupies the western portion of the top. The eastern portion and slopes of the mountain are occupied by Monte Sano State Park.

Much of the western slope of the mountain is encompassed in the Monte Sano Preserve and is owned by The Land Trust of Huntsville and North Alabama, a member-supported, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving greenspace. It is one of three mountain preserves in the area, maintained by Land Trust volunteers.[2]

Monte Sano is connected to Round Top (Burritt) Mountain by a col to the south.

The name Monte Sano is Italian for "mount of health" (Italian for "mountain" is "montagna"). This name comes from the fact that curative health resorts used to be located on the mountain, to take advantage of the fresh air, clean water and cooler temperatures.[citation needed]

Geologically, Monte Sano is a mesa separated from the main Cumberland Plateau by the Flint River Valley. It is characterized by a resistant sandstone caprock of the Pennsylvanian Pottsville Formation overlying more soluble layers of Mississippian limestone. The Mississippian limestone is rich in marine fossils, especially crinoids and blastoids.[citation needed]