When you start planning a trip to Orange Beach, you'll probably spend most of the time thinking about all of the fun you and your travel companions will have relaxing on the Gulf Coast. You can certainly pass the days soaking up the sun as you lay back in the sand, but there are also plenty of opportunities for wandering through the area's natural beauty. 

Many Orange Beach vacation rentals are just a short distance from popular hiking and biking trails, and one that you won't want to miss is the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail at Gulf State Park. There are many reasons why this route may be ideal for your next Gulf Shores vacation, so learning more about the path and adding a stop into your itinerary could be a worthwhile endeavor. 

Backcountry Trail Highlights

Walking the Backcountry Trail in Orange Beach is a great family vacation activity.One of the best nature trails in all of Orange Beach is the Backcountry Trail. There are multiple route options, allowing you to create your own adventure, and you can set out to see as much of the 11 miles of trails as you'd like. As you progress down Backcountry Trail, you'll likely come across fantastic spots like the Butterfly Garden, Freshwater Marshes and swamps, which provide some great insight into the natural environment of Gulf Shores. 

You can't traverse the Backcountry Trail without pausing to appreciate the history of the area. Many sections of the path were originally used by the initial settlers of the region, as well as indigenous peoples, and it has even spawned its own local legends. You can learn more about this folklore when you visit the trails, making your experience at Gulf State Park one you are sure to remember. 

The trail is open in daylight hours only, but it is a great place to start or end your day with some quiet reflection and exploration. 

Fun for the whole family

Families looking for the perfect activity to do together will enjoy Backcountry Trail. There are plenty of route options that are well suited to meet the skill level and needs of vacationers of any age, meaning everyone from teenagers to your little ones and even pets will be able to explore the trail. It is also handicapped-accessible and has stretches that are paved, making it easy for anyone to walk.

Vacationers of any age will marvel at the unique environment surrounding the trail. Whether you want to gaze out at the water at the base of the trails or explore the marshes along the way, there are many opportunities to see different habitats - and maybe even spot an alligator or other fascinating wild animal in the process.

While you'll likely spend most of your time enjoying the beauty of the Backcountry Trail, other elements of the park are also sure to please. Freshwater lakes, beaches and other gorgeous sights will greet you at every turn, so be sure to bring along a camera to snap some great family photos when you find a backdrop you love.