Monte Sano State Park
The North Plateau Loop in Monte Sano State Park is a great place for wildflowers most times of the year. There is a small fee for use of park trails. In the future, season passes may be available. Monte Sano State Park does not have large revenue producing features like golf and beach parks so needs user support to minimize the deficit to the park system.
Segments of north plateau trails were joined together into a loop and blazed a few years ago by the volunteer efforts of Carl Craig. The Loop conveniently goes through Hikers Parking Lot. Although the loop circles the most populated portion of the park, most of the time it seems like a primitive trail. The hiking only loop is about 1 1/2 miles long and being on the plateau, is mostly level. For the needy, restrooms are available at the country store and Park HQ. The store also has snacks, refreshments and maps available during business hours .
Starting from the parking lot in a clockwise direction the trail enters the woods and winds around to pass the newly constructed lodge facility at the old tavern ruins site. The amphitheater and picnic area come next with nice bluff views of McKay Hollow. The long northerly leg is mostly out of sight of public features except for the Nolen Drive crossing. After bending around through the northern end, the trail passes through the overlook parking area. The last leg enters the woods again before passing through Park HQ and then back to Hiker's parking Lot.
Wildflower season starts in early spring. The trail on the west and north side from Nolen drive to the overlook parking lot is especially productive. Summer and fall plants can be found here. Other trails are accessed from the North Plateau Loop, including Cold Spring and Sinks.