Lake Shelby: Gulf Shores' Natural Treasure
Located a short walk from the Gulf of Mexico and Alabama's white-sand beaches is the Gulf State Park's Lake Shelby.
This natural treasure has hosted families, fishermen and fun seekers for generations. Boy Scouts have camped around the lake, farmers markets have sold locally grown produce, and groups of all sizes and ages have enjoyed innumerable picnics under the trees. Lake Shelby is a beloved piece of the Alabama Gulf Coast landscape.
When you combine Lake Shelby with Little Lake and Middle Lake, there are nearly 900 acres of water inviting guests to swim, fish and boat or paddle. Lake Shelby is actually one of the closest freshwater lakes near saltwater on the Gulf of Mexico. But, that's only the beginning—so much history and interesting stories surround this piece of coastal paradise.
Fishing Lake Shelby
Even though Lake Shelby is a freshwater lake, because of its proximity to the Gulf, saltwater intrudes on the lake and makes it home to both freshwater and saltwater fish, including largemouth bass, bream, crappie, redfish and speckled trout. You'll even find blue crab in the lake. It's been rumored that bass weighing as much as five pounds have been caught in the lake! To fish the lake, you'll need a freshwater fishing license. This can be purchased at the bait shop on the Gulf State Park Pier for just $9 per day or $41 for a weeklong permit.
More Outdoor Adventures
Lake Shelby offers a scenic way to spend the day when you opt to paddle around the lake. Bring a fishing kayak and drop a line or rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak onsite. Bike rentals are also available onsite at Lake Shelby. Make a day of it at the lake and bring along food to grill in the picnic area. Picnic tables and a pavilion (rentals available daily from 8 a.m. to sunset for up to 50 guests at $57/pavilion) make it easy to relax while making memories with family and friends.
Take the Gulf State Park on two wheels and leave Lake Shelby on a Segway with Coastal Segway Adventures. This unique, guided experience takes you through the various ecosystems of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail.