20115 State Hwy. 135 Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Gulf State Park, a captivating coastal gem in Alabama, offers visitors an unforgettable experience with its pristine beaches, diverse ecosystems, and thrilling recreational activities. The 6,150-acre park is home to over 370 species of wildlife, the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, and the exhilarating Hummingbird Ziplines. Guests can also explore the waters of the Gulf of Mexico through kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing, while educational programs and guided nature walks provide valuable insights into the park's ecosystems. With a variety of accommodation options, Gulf State Park caters to families, couples, and adventure-seekers alike, promising a memorable and immersive experience of Alabama's picturesque coastline.
Gulf State Park offers a myriad of exciting activities for visitors to enjoy during their stay. Adventure-seekers can traverse the beautiful Back Country Trails, embark on fishing excursions from the largest fishing pier in the Gulf, or immerse themselves in the interactive Nature Center. For leisurely pursuits, guests can lounge at the scenic Beach Pavilion, play a round of tennis on the new courts, or challenge themselves to the 18-hole Refuge Golf Course. Additionally, the park boasts a well-stocked Campstore for essentials and souvenirs, and a refreshing swimming pool for cooling off on those warm Alabama afternoons.
Picnic & Trails: Sunrise to Sunset
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Mon - Fri
Wifi Access Available
Gulf State Park, a breathtaking treasure located in Alabama, offers a unique blend of pristine beaches, stunning nature trails, and exhilarating recreational activities. Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, this 6,150-acre park boasts over 3.5 miles of sugary white sand beaches, making it the perfect destination for family vacations, romantic getaways, or adventure-seeking individuals.
The park’s impressive biodiversity is a testament to the careful preservation of Alabama’s coastal habitats. Visitors can explore the nine distinct ecosystems, ranging from pine flatwoods to coastal dunes, which are home to over 370 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. A haven for birdwatchers, Gulf State Park provides ample opportunities to spot native and migratory species, including the endangered Reddish Egret and Black Skimmer.
One of the park’s main attractions is the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, a 28-mile paved trail system that weaves through the diverse landscapes. Ideal for hiking, biking, or simply taking a leisurely stroll, the trail offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the local flora and fauna. Interpretive signs dot the trail, providing fascinating insights into the park’s ecological history and the importance of conservation efforts.
For thrill-seekers, Gulf State Park’s zip-lining course provides a heart-pounding experience. The Hummingbird Ziplines cover a total of 6,000 feet, with the longest zip stretching over 1,300 feet. Participants can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour while soaring 90 feet above the ground. As they glide through the treetops, adventurers are treated to awe-inspiring views of the park’s natural beauty and shimmering coastal waters.
No trip to Gulf State Park would be complete without exploring the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. With kayak and paddleboard rentals available, visitors can navigate the calm waters of Lake Shelby, or venture out into the Gulf to catch a glimpse of dolphins and other marine life. Fishing enthusiasts can cast a line from the park’s 1,540-foot pier, or embark on a deep-sea fishing excursion to reel in a variety of species, such as red snapper and grouper.
Gulf State Park also offers an array of educational programs and workshops. The Nature Center, an interpretive facility, showcases live animal displays, interactive exhibits, and informative talks that engage visitors of all ages. Park naturalists lead guided nature walks, teaching guests about the park’s diverse ecosystems and the delicate balance of coastal habitats.
For overnight stays, the park features a variety of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs. Visitors can choose from modern cottages, cozy cabins, or a full-service campground with over 500 RV and tent sites. The luxurious Lodge at Gulf State Park provides hotel-style amenities, including a pool, a fitness center, and stunning views of the Gulf from private balconies.
In conclusion, Gulf State Park is an unforgettable destination that showcases the natural beauty and rich biodiversity of Alabama’s coastline. With a wide range of activities and accommodations, it is the perfect place for visitors to reconnect with nature, create lasting memories, and experience the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico.
Best outdoor destinations and things to do around Gulf Shores!
- Visit Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge: Explore this serene sanctuary that spans over 7,000 acres, providing a protected habitat for migratory birds, sea turtles, and the endangered Alabama beach mouse. Enjoy birdwatching, hiking, and wildlife spotting amidst pristine coastal dunes and wetlands.
- Discover the beauty of Little Lagoon: This shallow, brackish water body is perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. Located just west of Gulf Shores, Little Lagoon offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling beach scene and an opportunity to spot various bird species and marine life.
- Experience adrenaline-pumping fun at The Wharf: This entertainment district in nearby Orange Beach offers a variety of outdoor activities, including ziplining, ropes courses, and mini-golf. With numerous shops, restaurants, and an amphitheater, it’s a fantastic destination for family fun and nightlife.
- Sail the open seas with Wild Hearts Dolphin Cruises: Embark on a memorable sailing adventure aboard a 53-foot luxury catamaran, where you can spot dolphins, enjoy stunning coastal views, and even try your hand at sailing the vessel under the guidance of an experienced captain.
- Immerse yourself in history at Fort Morgan: Explore the historic fort that played a significant role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. Located at the western tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula, the site offers guided tours, reenactments, and picturesque views of Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
- Paddle through the serene waters of the Gulf State Park Kayak Launch: Located on the serene Lake Shelby, this launch site offers easy access to the park’s calm waters, providing an excellent opportunity for kayaking, paddleboarding, and observing native wildlife.
- Stroll along the Gulf Shores Public Beach: Unwind on this popular stretch of shoreline with its sugar-white sands and turquoise waters, complete with facilities such as restrooms, showers, and picnic areas. Beachgoers can also enjoy volleyball, beachside restaurants, and a variety of water sports.
- Explore the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail: Traverse this series of birding loops that encompass prime bird-watching locations throughout Baldwin and Mobile counties. With over 50 designated stops, visitors can spot an impressive variety of migratory and native bird species in their natural habitats.