Now that the hot summer sun has passed, Alabama’s Gulf Shores are more appealing than ever. Autumn is a great time to enjoy milder weather in Alabama, though you should keep an eye on the tropical forecast. If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors, however, there’s no better place than Gulf State Park.
Crisscrossed with hiking and biking trails, Gulf State Park is easy to explore. You can trek through various ecosystems as you explore the area’s forests and lakes. And if you choose the right path, you may just end up on Alabama’s famous beaches.
It’s time to discover the best trails in Gulf State Park.
6 Gulf State Park Trails to Try
1. Gulf Oak Ridge Trail
3.0 Miles (Paved)
The Gulf Oak Ridge Trail is the longest single trail in Gulf State Park. It stretches east to west across the northern border of the preserve. Plenty of picnic areas are tucked away in the forest on this winding trail, allowing you to pack a lunch for the trek. Additionally, the trail connects the park to the Orange Beach Sportsplex, providing you easy access to local sports facilities.
2. Lakeview Trail and Lake Crossing
2.8 Miles (Paved/Boardwalk)
If you’re looking for a fine walk along Lake Shelby, hop on the Lakeview Trail. This smooth paved path stretches around the western side of the lake. On the southernmost portion, it becomes the Lake Crossing Trail, a beautiful boardwalk traversing the water. Take a walk or bike ride at sunrise for a stunning sight!
3. Gopher Tortoise Trail
1.5 Miles (Paved)
If you’re looking to continue the Lake Shelby experience, try out the Gopher Tortoise Trail. This extends along the lake’s eastern edge and is one of the most beloved trails in Gulf State Park. Additionally, it connects to the Lake Shelby overlook, a short boardwalk offering fishing on the water.
4. Beach Mouse Bypass
1.1. Miles (Boardwalk)
A boardwalk by the Gulf Shores, the Beach Mouse Bypass is an easy trail suitable for children. You’ll get great views of coastal pines, sandy beaches, sparkling waters, and high-rise hotels overlooking the water. Even better, the Beach Mouse Bypass connects to a pedestrian bridge over AL-182, giving you safe and easy access to the Orange Beach.
5. Catman Trail
2.7 Miles (Paved)
The Catman Trail at Gulf State Park is well-maintained and resembles a city greenway. It runs along Catman Road and takes you through natural environment that includes pine forests, sand banks, and marshy lakes. As a bonus, the path runs right to the Forest Pavilion and Butterfly Garden. After a hike or bike ride, head inside to view the magnificent winged insects.
6. Rosemary Dunes Trail
2.1 Miles (Paved)
Finishing our list of hiking and biking trails at Gulf State Park is the Rosemary Dunes trail. Clocking in at about two miles one way, this path will take you along its namesake dunes and past plenty of picnic spots. It has several connections, including to AL-182, Beach Mouse Bypass, and Catman Road. If you’re looking for an easy, low-stress trail, Rosemary Dunes may be right for you.
Pandion Ridge RV Resort Offers Camping near Gulf State Park
Located just north of Gulf State Park, Pandion Ridge RV Resort gives you easy access to all the gorgeous nature that’s native to Alabama’s unique geography. In fact, you don’t even need to go the state park (though you should!) to get outdoors. Walking trails wind their way through the Alabama woods at Pandion Ridge. Lace up your shoes and head out for a walk or jog during your visit.
Take some time today and plan your vacation to Gulf State Park in Alabama. And before you do, don’t forget to share this post and let others know about hiking and biking in Gulf Shores!