While the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area is known for impressive restaurants, awesome shops and, of course, beautiful white-sand beaches, the hiking trails and nature walks are second to none. The loop trail that spans Gulf Shores to Orange Beach is well-suited for the entire family. With more than a dozen trails in this loop, you can easily spend the entire day frolicking in the wilderness and spotting creatures and plants that you can photograph and tell all of your friends about back home.

Boggy Point

Guide to the Gulf Shores - Orange Beach Loop trailTo get to Boggy Point in Orange Beach, you'll have to drive north on Marina Road before turning down a small street that ends at a boat launch. Here you can enjoy a morning or afternoon at the small beach while gazing eastward at the nearby Robinson Island. Keep your eyes peeled for the roosting herons and egrets that call Robinson Island home, and feel free to bring your picnic basket for a pleasant snack or meal along the tranquil shore.

Rosemary Dunes

Rosemary Dunes is a perfect place to start a bird-watching excursion. Raptors, green herons, bitterns and egrets are only a few of the avian creatures prevalent in the area. This trail stretches 2.4 miles, making it a pleasant half-day discovery hike suited for family members of all ages.

Shelby Lake picnic grounds and Nature Center

The Nature Center at the Shelby Lake picnic grounds is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it's a great educational center for your blossoming natural biologist. While here, grab a bird checklist to help you keep track of the native and migratory species you encounter.

After walking, hiking and admiring the natural beauty of the trails, rest your legs and relax at the picnic grounds for a light meal before heading back to your beach house or condo rental in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan or Perdido Key for the next exciting activity on your vacation list.