When it comes to exciting and inviting vacation destinations, there’s no place on the map quite like Gulf Shores, Alabama. Here, the sugar-white shorelines beckon to those who can’t wait to kick back in style while the waves are wonderful for those who are thrilled to be out boating and fishing their way through a stay. Gulf Shores is also a prime place for those with a passion for time in nature! When you’re excited to hike your way to fun, the following are a few of the best Gulf Shores hiking routes to check out the next time you’re in town.
Explore the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
Hiking your way to fun when you visit Gulf Shores is sure to be a delightful experience, but if you only have time for a single hike, make sure it’s a trek through the stunning Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. This incredible destination is situated on Alabama Highway 180 and sits only 10 miles west of Gulf Shores Public Beach. Within the refuge, hikers will find over 6 miles worth of trails waiting to be discovered. Many of these trails take hikers through incredible maritime forests that are defined by lush wetlands that lend themselves seamlessly to bird habitats and wildflower growth. This combination provides visitors with a great moment to make the most of photography as well, so be sure to pack your camera when your Gulf Shores hiking plans bring you here. Within the parameters of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, outdoor adventurers will also have the chance to experience and explore both Gator Lake and Little Lagoon Lake. The refuge is also home to beaches that host chalk-white sands and gentle surf that offer up a perfect place for everything from Loggerhead Sea Turtles to migratory sea birds to settle in with ease.
Check Out the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails
When you’re excited to lace up your hiking boots and get out into nature, adding the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry trails to your must-experience list is always a good idea. This collection of 26 thrilling nature trails offers up a diverse look at wildlife and plant life across Gulf Shores alike. The trails are often defined by coastal hardwood swamps as well as freshwater marshes. This makes for versatile ecosystems that are home to everything from beautiful butterflies to alligators! The trails are accessible at 3801 Orange Beach Boulevard and sit within Gulf State Park. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail System is home to nine different ecosystems in total that can be experienced along more than 28 miles of paved pathways. Hikers will likely be sharing the trails with walkers and bikers looking to connect with nature and enjoy photography and wildlife watching as well.
Visit Wade Ward Nature Park
An adventure in hiking in Gulf Shores should certainly include time at the Wade Ward Nature Park. Located at 500 Gulf Shores Parkway, the Wade Ward Nature Park is a wonderful place to hike your way through an afternoon while enjoying views of everything from stunning waterways to lush wetlands. This park connects Little Lagoon and Lake Shelby and comes with the added benefit for hikers of an elevated boardwalk to check out. Incredible creatures that call this nature park home include everything from alligators and otters to pelicans as well! When you’re looking to check iconic hikes off your must-try list that include options for bird watching, it’s good to note that Wade Ward Nature Park has a place on the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail site too.
Gear Up for Gulf Shores Hiking Adventures
No matter when you arrive to make the most of the hiking fun in Gulf Shores, you’re going to want to be sure you have the proper gear and attire to make the most of a safe and successful time on the trails. Fortunately, there are a variety of outdoor recreation stores to check out in this area and the surrounding communities that can help hikers get prepared for the fun and adventure that await. Head over to Academy Sports + Outdoor in nearby Foley when you’re looking to stock up on trail-specific attire and accessories. This store is located at 2410 S. McKenzie Street and is open Sunday through Thursday from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm with extended hours until 10:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The on-site staff at Academy Sports + Outdoor are more than happy to help customers pick and choose the gear they’ll need depending on the trails they hope to explore. At this stop, you can find everything from hunting and fishing great to camping equipment, footwear, outdoor apparel, and beyond.
Book Your Gulf Shores Adventure Today
Enjoying time in Gulf Shores is made easy when you partner with the property professionals at Poole & Associates. Our team is here to make sure every guest we serve gets settled into just the right vacation rental to top of their stay in style. Reach out today to learn more about our incredible options, from holiday rentals to homes for short-term stays, and to start planning your next trip to Alabama.