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Your guide to Mentone
All About Mentone
Once a popular health resort due to its mountain spring water, Mentone is nestled in the northeastern corner of Alabama, close to the state borders of Georgia and Tennessee. The small resort town is located 1,000 feet above the valley on top of Lookout Mountain, right on the doorstep of DeSoto State Park’s miles of hiking and biking trails and the impressive DeSoto Falls. The natural beauty of the park and its kayaking, fly fishing, and wildflower trail draw many visitors to cabins in Mentone. Fall’s changing foliage is a striking sight, with maples and poplars blazing a trail down the slope.
In town, there are antique stores, local arts and crafts shops, and galleries to browse, along with restaurants for refueling after a day of adventuring. The weekly summer farmers’ market showcases local, sustainably grown produce. You can even close out your day by watching the sunset in the cool mountain air from the great vantage point at nearby Brow Park.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Mentone
Fall is a great time to take a trip to Mentone, when a fiery carpet of reds and oranges descend the mountain. The annual Mentone Colorfest in October combines vendors selling handmade arts and crafts and food with live entertainment and more, all against the backdrop of sweeping views of the valley below Lookout Mountain. Winters don’t provide a lot of natural snowfall, but you can still go to Alabama’s only ski resort and show off your skills — or learn new ones — on the artificial slopes. The springtime offers plenty of mountain laurels in bloom, while summer hikers are rewarded with carpets of wildflowers that take over the mountain. The area’s annual Rhododendron Festival has been taking place every May for decades to celebrate the arrival of long summer days.
Top things to do in Mentone
Shady Grove Dude Ranch
Sitting high atop Lookout Mountain, the Shady Grove Dude Ranch features 800 acres of beautiful wooded wilderness, crisscrossed by a host of trails to explore on foot or on horseback and soak up the tranquility of this secluded spot.
Mentone Arts and Cultural Center
For a deep dive into the Lookout Mountain region’s art scene, stop by the community-operated Mentone Arts and Cultural Center in the center of town, where you can learn more about local artists and view their work in the gallery. The center also offers classes in creative arts like photography, ceramics, woodworking, and songwriting.
DeSoto State Park
Less than a 15-minute drive from Mentone sits DeSoto State Park, with its rushing waterfalls, woodland boardwalk trail, and zipline spread over more than 3,000 acres. The park is home to DeSoto Falls — the state’s largest — along with Little River, which is a popular spot for kayaking. The last two weeks in October tend to be the peak time for viewing the changing fall foliage around the park.