Visitors flock to the area for the white-sand beaches, the exciting water sports and the breathtaking sunsets. And there’s no better place to be at one with nature than camping in Gulf State Park. The 496-site campground features sites overlooking Middle Lake, tucked among the trees and along the open field.
Pitching a tent at these sites includes access to water and electric hook-ups (as well as sewer for those in RVs and campers), plus a picnic table and pedestal grill. For those wanting something a little more natural, check out the park’s 11 new primitive sites that come with campfire rings, grill tops and picnic tables. Affording visitors a little more privacy, these sites are hidden among the trees along a creek. Campers at these sites do have access to the bathhouses, playgrounds and laundry facilities.
However, if you want a truly rustic camping vacation, check out the new Outpost Campsites along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Located 1.5 miles in from the Cotton Bayou Trailhead, these three sites – known as The Alamo, Bonanza and The Duke – feature four cots in pitched tents on a wooden platform. There’s even a canvas covered “porch” for each tent where guests can relax out of the hot sun.
Amenities at these sites are limited to a communal sink for washing dishes, a port-a-potty and a fire ring with grill top surrounded by log benches. Campers will need to pack in everything else they need, and they’ll need to pack out all refuse. Stripped down to the most basic camping experience, these sites are ideal for enjoying all that nature has to offer along the Alabama Gulf Coast.
In fact, you don’t have to stray far from any of the campsites in Gulf State Park to find a fun, natural activity. Within the park, you can enjoy the following:
- Run, walk or bike the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. More than 13.5 miles comprised of six different trails take you through seven different ecosystems, ensuring you experience something a little bit different everywhere you go.
- Seek out hidden treasure while geocaching through the park. There are numerous caches that are perfect for individuals or families, beginners to experts.
- The Nature Center at Gulf State Park offers a full schedule of educational programs that include guided nature walks, animal encounters, beach walks and more.
- Take part in any number of beach activities, ranging from parasailing and kayaking to paddleboarding and ziplining.
- See if you can land the “big one” while fishing in saltwater off the Gulf State Park Pier or in freshwater at Lake Shelby.
- Of course, you can always kick back in your beach chair to catch some rays, build a few sandcastles and splash in the surf along the Alabama Gulf Coast.
As you can see, regardless of where you pitch your tent – on a site with a few modern conveniences or none at all – you will still have an amazing vacation along the Alabama Gulf Coast. Becoming one with nature when you do? Priceless.