The natural beauty of the Gulf Coast area is a major draw for many visitors - between the white sand beaches, sparkling turquoise waters and range of ecosystems in the region, you could spend your entire vacation simply soaking up the gorgeous surroundings. You can experience some stunning natural beauty no matter where you stay on the shore, but bird enthusiasts may want to book Fort Morgan beach house rentals, since this Gulf Coast peninsula serves as a vital refuge for migratory birds as they head south in the winter and north in the summer.
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is one specific site near many Fort Morgan rentals that is known as a sanctuary for birds. In 1980, it was established as a wildlife refuge by Congress to serve as a habitat for non-game birds whose migration paths to Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America cut through southern Alabama. The refuge is no more than a 15-minute drive from Fort Morgan condos and beach houses, making it a perfect place to visit on any day of your vacation to this spectacular region.
The refuge was named after the French phrase meaning "safe harbor," and that is exactly what it serves as for a range of native and endangered flora and fauna today. More than 400 migratory bird species have been identified and banded at this refuge, including herons, ospreys and hummingbirds. In addition to migratory birds, you will likely spot a number of endangered species when you visit Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge. Animals like red foxes, armadillos, coyotes, and green, loggerhead, and Kemp's Ridley sea turtles call this sanctuary home.
In addition to the fauna at this refuge is some endangered and important flora. The dunes and sea oats support the beach animals. Other ecosystems in the reserve - such as scrub forest, fresh and saltwater marshes, freshwater swamps and uplands - support a range of other animal life.
The refuge is about 6,700 acres and there are four wonderful trails that are perfect for a family outing or a quiet nature walk. The trails encircle Little Lagoon and traverse maritime forests, frontal dunes and scrub habitats, ensuring an ecologically diverse experience for nature lovers. The Jeff Friend Trail is wheelchair accessible and winds through the maritime forest along Little Lagoon. On the Centennial Trail, you'll see the transition from maritime forests to dune swales and swamps, and on the Gator Lake Trail, you can spot the many species of birds that flock to the maritime forest and frontal dunes. The Pine Beach Trail follows an intact dune ecosystem where you'll see a maritime forest, scrub and dune habitats, as well as a saltwater lagoon on one side and a freshwater lake on the other.
Lace up your walking shoes and head over to Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge to spend an afternoon among nature during your Fort Morgan vacation.