Gulf State Park Trail
Nature & Parks

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

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 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. 

Gulf Shores baby alligator
Orange Beach Monarch Butterflies
humming bird gulf shores al
Bird Banding
Birder’s Paradise

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.