written by zenovia stephens
After moving to Huntsville for college, it didn’t take long for my bonus dad to begin reaching out to campus staff in search of a local fishing hole. As the recommendations poured in, he set out to take each for a spin, but one in particular stuck out, and when Huntsville finally became my permanent home, it became my little sanctuary.
Driving South down Memorial Parkway takes you over a bridge that crosses the Tennessee River and out of town. The ride over is scenic and offers water views that stretch for miles. But what if you hung a left on Hobbs Island Road instead of crossing the bridge? You’d find yourself immersed in nature, where endless outdoor adventures abound.
Nestled in the most Southern point of Huntsville, Ditto Landing is a gateway to outdoor recreation, incredible sunsets, and is one of the city’s best-kept secrets.
Established in the early 1970s by the Huntsville-Madison County Marina and Port Authority, Executive Director Brandi Quick says, “Ditto Landing seeks to become a regional destination for outdoor recreation.” Covering 800 acres, Ditto Landing is home to 70 campsites for tent camping, glamping, and RV camping. When considering tent camping or glamping, be mindful that tents are not permitted from November through March. You may however, consider renting an RV and taking advantage of one of their full hookup sites. No matter which accommodations you choose, camping at Ditto is the perfect nature escape with conveniences nearby.
Beyond the campground is a recently remodeled bathhouse, a modest playground in the woods, and the Tennessee River Greenway. The 1.4-mile pathway makes up one of two walkways in the area and is a great way to see the riverfront without a boat. It’s also one of the best places to view unfiltered sunsets. “You can’t go anywhere in the city and enjoy the glisten of the Tennessee River, and the silhouette of the Tennessee River Bridge as the sun slowly goes to rest beyond the horizon,” says Quick.
Aldridge Creek Greenway is 5 plus miles of paved path and accessible at the entrance of Ditto Landing. This greenway gives visitors an easy way to check out the areas neighboring parks, creeks, and stores while maintaining a sense of being disconnected.
Ditto Landing features two pavilions available for rent as well as BBQ grills, benches, and wildlife encounters. As one of Huntsville’s few riverfront venues, it’s a unique choice for parties, family reunions, weddings, and community events.
Ditto Landing hosts several annual events with a passion for celebrating alongside customers. From giant slip and slides marking the beginning and end of summer, BBQ competitions, live music and fireworks for Independence Day, and something new this year, South Huntsville’s Christmas on the River at Ditto Landing.
Fueled by stories from the community about the effects Ditto Landing has had on them, Quick is excited about the upcoming holiday tradition. “Christmas on the River was created with the help and support of Phil Riddick with the Madison County Commission and South Huntsville Main Business Association.” The event will feature a train depot, large holiday cards along the river, a Christmas tree lot, and more. As the city continues to expand, you can anticipate that Ditto Landing will do its part to follow. Please visit the Ditto Landing website for information on camping, upcoming events, and activities.