Nature

Get Outdoors in Orange Beach

The coastline of the Gulf Shores creates a perfect landscape for beautiful scenery, and there are several protected natural areas. Gulf State Park boasts two miles of pristine beaches, the 25-mile paved Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, and Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier, which is the largest pier on the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Catch a glimpse of threatened and endangered species like nesting sea turtles and shorebirds at Perdido Key State Park. Graham Creek Nature Preserve is 500 acres of bottomland wetlands, mixed forests, pine savannas, and tidal marshes. The preserve is home to hundreds of native plant and wildlife species. 

Hiking and Biking in Orange Beach

Orange Beach and Gulf Shores boast great hiking trails for those wanting to explore the nature preserves and parks on vacation. The coastal habitats offer scenic landscapes to explore on foot or on a bike. You'll find inland lakes, wetlands, old oak trees, and more throughout the region.

 

If you are a bike enthusiast, you must ride the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail or the 23-mile Eastern Shore Trail in nearby Daphne. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is also great for walking and running. This trail runs through nine distinct ecosystems and is a popular spot for birdwatching, wildlife viewing, photography, and more.

 

Perdido Key State Park and Graham Creek Nature Preserve both feature hiking trails to explore. Graham Creek Nature Preserve is a 500-acre preserve in Foley with several loop trails that range between .1 mile to 4.3 miles. This park also three disc golf courses, an archery range, a children's garden, a picnic area, and more. 

Bird Watching Trails In the Area

Bird watching is a popular thing to do for nature enthusiasts visiting the Alabama Coast. Home to a variety of native birds and migratory species, the Alabama Coast bird population changes throughout the year. The Great Florida Birding Trail right over the state border and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Gulf Shores are both musts for bird watching. 

Water Activities Along the Alabama Coast

Kayaking is a relaxing way to get out on the calm waters and bask in the sun. Lake Shelby at Gulf State Park has a boat launch where you can go canoeing, kayaking, boating, and more. Perdido Pass, Wolf Bay, Little Lagoon, and Bon Secour River are some of the most common spots for kayaking as well. 

 

All types of fishing are popular in the Orange Beach area. Perdido Key State Park is a popular spot for surf fishing along the coast, the Cotton Bayou Public Pier is a convenient and great spot for inline fishing, or you can book a fishing charter to get out on the waters on a deep sea excursion. 

 

Of course, there are tons of other water activities in Orange Beach and beyond. You can rent jet skis, go boogie boarding, try surfing, swim the waves, and more. 

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