The state of Alabama has created great trails for cyclists, walkers, and joggers in Gulf State Park. Recently my wife and I loaded up our bikes and made the short journey from Pensacola to Gulf Shores to ride the trails. We discovered the trails on a camping trip we took with our kids at Gulf State Campgrounds. We went a short distance with the kids, but this time we would go further and faster.
We arrived at the trailhead located on State Park Road 2 around 9 am. The trail is a paved walking and cycling trail that winds through hardwood forests and wetlands.
The first leg of the trail is called Gulf Oak Ridge. I’m sure it inherited its name from the beautiful oak trees that provide shade and beauty to the surroundings. This is my favorite section of trail for its scenery and the small inclines which make for some good fun.
The next section which picks up at the Orange Beach Sports Complex is rightly named Twin Bridges. This section of trail takes you over two raised wooden boardwalks.
Adjoining Twin Bridge is Catman Road. This section of trail has a very nice screened in pavilion and restroom facilities. We stopped and spent a few minutes here refreshing and taking photos. We also observed some water bowls for walkers to refresh their pets.
Heading on Catman Road intersects a section of trail called Rosemary Dunes. We opted to take the Rosemary Dunes trail. The terrain changes from hills and oaks to marshy wetlands. One sign along the trail reads Alligator habitat. We had hoped to see one but to no avail. This section of trail dead ends to a few sandy trails that connect you to East Beach Blvd (Perdido Beach Road). The sandy trails are a short distance to the road. We were able to ride a small section but had to push our bikes a bit.
We completed our loop by following East Beach Blvd. and then took State Park Road 2. The total distance for this ride was 8.86 miles.
If you’re looking to walk, jog, or go for a ride these trails offer some beautiful scenic views. This is a great place to turn your kids loose on a bike as there is no worry about cars. Not up for an 8-mile ride? No worries. Take a map and go as long as you would like. Just have fun… Go Explore!