A Mountain Escape In Mentone Alabama

Mentone is a charming mountain town perched on the western brow of Lookout Mountain in northeastern Alabama. The town has been an escape for travelers for well over 100 years. Tourists flocked to the area in the late 1880s to enjoy the healing waters of several mineral springs. Other visitors came during the summer to fashionable hotels or summer cottages to escape the heat. Located at an elevation between 1,700 and 1,800 feet, the temperatures were noticeably cooler and more comfortable on the mountain. Alabama Highway 117 runs across the mountain and through Mentone, allowing easy access to the area's scenic attractions. On County Road 89 south of Mentone, visitors will find scenic DeSoto State Park and the Little River Canyon National Preserve.

The name Mentone means musical mountain spring, and two of the mineral springs that originally brought tourists to the area are still in existence. The picturesque Little River flows through Mentone. Three miles south of town the river plunges 100 feet over DeSoto Falls on its way south through the scenic Little River Canyon. Visitors to DeSoto State Park and the Little River Canyon can enjoy hiking, fly fishing, swimming, and picnicking. In addition to DeSoto Falls, hikers will find several other waterfalls in the state park.

Many visitors make a trip to Mentone in the fall to view the spectacular leaf color. There are also scenic views off the mountain to the west over the Wills Valley. Many artists have been attracted to the area, and Mentone's galleries and shops offer artwork and crafts. There are several antique stores in town, as well as restaurants. The state park also has a restaurant located in its original stone lodge.

Mentone holds several annual festivals and events that draw visitors to the area. Fall Colorfest is held the 3rd weekend in October. This popular festival includes a parade, musical entertainment, and arts and crafts. The 2011 Fall Tour of Homes is scheduled for October 29-30. This year's tour will feature nine homes and one historic camp. Mentone puts on a Musical Mountain Christmas in December that includes a Christmas parade, music, and visits with Santa. The Rhododendron Festival is held each spring on the 3rd weekend in May. Attendees can enjoy the arts and crafts show and entertainment against the backdrop of vibrant spring blooms.

Mentone is a great place to visit at any time of the year. There are plenty of outdoors activities to enjoy amid the gorgeous views. Shoppers will find many unique items to interest them. Visitors will enjoy a scenic mountain getaway and a more relaxing pace of life.

By: Nova Sisk