So Much to Explore
The Alabama Gulf Coast has lots of beautiful parks for you to explore and new adventures abound. You’ll find a variety of parks in the area from state parks, nature preserves, wildlife refuges to dog parks.
Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail
With twenty-seven miles of walking and hiking trails, Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail takes you through nine separate ecosystems. Located within the boundaries of Gulf State Park, it spans the region from Gulf Shores to Orange Beach. From flat pine woods to coastal hardwood swamps, you’ll find a wondrous diversity of plant and animal life. You might even run across Lefty the Alligator or one of his cousins basking in the sun, so take along a camera.
Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge
With a network of hiking trails, the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge part of Alabama's Coastal Connection, provides a look into the natural habitat of regional plants and animals. Explore the seasonal homes of migrating songbirds. Catch a glimpse of endangered species like sea turtles and the Alabama sea mouse. Available guided walks combine education with the park's astounding natural beauty.
Wade Ward Nature Park
Wade Ward Nature Park's boardwalk trail allows you to explore this unique wetlands ecosystem up close. Connecting Little Lagoon with Lake Shelby, the park is home to diverse wildlife, including otters, pelicans and alligators. Wherever you choose to explore, whichever path you hike, the beauty of the coastal Alabama backcountry will fill you with awe.
Alabama’s Coastal Connection
Discover 130 miles of scenic beauty on Alabama’s southern tip,surrounded by sunshine, history, culture, unspoiled natural areas and southern hospitality where the Deep South meets the beach. Over 10,000 years ago, Pre-Mississippian Native American cultures lived here before the first Europeans arrived in 1702. They began a rich history that grew under the Spanish, French and English, and more recently under the Confederate and American flags. Learn the story behind the famous words from the Battle of Mobile Bay “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! Although much of the area is still farmed, when the rich soil gives way to white sands, watermen gather bountiful seafood. Outdoor recreational opportunities abound in Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and arts and culture blooms in the breathtaking Bellingrath Gardens.
Winding through Mobile and Baldwin counties, the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail is a genuine bird watcher’s paradise. Fifty birding sites along the trails and an abundance of perennial and migrating bird residents offer unparalleled viewing opportunities. You'll see a multitude of Gulf Coast bird species from Peregrine falcons to colorful songbirds and waterfowl of every description. It will take more than one visit to see it all, so plan to spend some time here.
Outdoor History Sites
If you're looking for a historic angle on your outdoor adventure, tour Fort Morgan. This AL state historic site was used to protect Mobile Bay during the Civil War, it remained in service until after World War II. Another popular site is the Historic Oakleigh House Museum, which provides a look into the daily life of another era. Continuously in use for more than a hundred and eighty years, the Greek Revival house is a superb example of historic preservation.
Combine history with nature as you visit Historic Blakely Park State Park on the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. Part of Alabama's Coastal Scenic Connection Byway, the park’s ten miles of boardwalk trails allow you to explore nature and the history of the region. Sightings of eagles, black bears and alligators are a bonus that you won’t find at many historic sites.