Sightseeing and running: The perfect combination

Looking for a way to explore the Gulf Coast of Alabama while burning hundreds of calories at the same time? Whether you prefer jogging on pavement or on softer ground, you won't lose out on a spectacular view of the beach if you follow these routes.

Sightseeing and running: The perfect combination

Don't you love an early morning jog, so peaceful that you feel the sunrise belongs to you? On the Gulf Coast of Alabama, this feeling is magnified even more, especially at dawn, when the sun can create an orange glow on the sugar-white sand beaches.

Yes, there is something magical about exploring miles of trails, pavement and beach before the rest of the world awakens. Take advantage of every minute by following these routes:

Gulf Shores 3-mile loop

Sightseeing and running: The perfect combinationIf you are staying in a Gulf Shores beach rental on or near the West Beach area, take a quick 3-mile loop around the peninsula along West Beach Boulevard and West Lagoon Avenue. All you have to do is run for a mile and a half one way, then find a cross street or simply turn around and head back. This route is ideal for beginning runners who don't like hills, so you don't have to worry about exhausting yourself before taking on the day in Gulf Shores.

Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trail

This "trail" is actually a complex of six trails that wind through the nature-packed acreage of Orange Beach and Gulf State Park. In addition to enjoying the fresh air and the opportunity to run or hike, you can explore a number of ecosystems and see the best of the this area's natural beauty. You can experience six distinct ecosystems throughout the 11 miles of this route, making it a must-see for running and nature enthusiasts alike.

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge

For a family run or speed walk, wander into the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and enjoy a leisurely jaunt while absorbing the sights and sounds of the pristine wilderness of Alabama's Gulf Coast. On these four trails, you'll find yourself immersed in natural habitats from dunes to maritime forests over the course of one mile to more than four miles.


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In Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan, Orange Beach and Perdido Key, we celebrate Earth Day all year long as we work to preserve our beautiful ecosystem for future generations to enjoy. Great places to visit on the coast include the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Gulf State Park, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Guide to the Gulf Shores - Orange Beach Loop trail

Guide to the Gulf Shores - Orange Beach Loop trail

The great outdoors never looked as spectacular as in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. When you're in the mood to take advantage of the gorgeous sunny skies in a non-beach environment, lace up a pair of hiking boots and take the family to the trail!

Take the road less traveled at the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

Take the road less traveled at the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

From the butterfly gardens to the coastal hardwood swamps, the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is just waiting to be explored by families staying at Orange Beach area vacation rentals. With more than 10 miles of trails to choose from, you can easily spend a few hours discovering nature.

Explore the paved pathway of Coyote Crossing in Gulf State Park.

Explore Coyote Crossing in the Backcountry Trail system

The latest trail opening in the Gulf Shores area is Coyote Crossing, a 2-mile route that connects to the expansive network of paths in Gulf State Park. This route is ideal for checking out the wildlife and gorgeous natural beauty of the coastal area.

Take a day trip to the Weeks Bay Reserve

Take a day trip to the Weeks Bay Reserve

There's so much for you to do in the Gulf Shores, Alabama area that you will have a hard time fitting everything in. But the Weeks Bay Reserve, which spans 6,000 acres from Weeks Bay to Mobile Bay, is a must for your vacation experience.

Orange Beach's best-kept hiking secrets.

Orange Beach's best-kept hiking secrets

Many people head to Orange Beach for the fabulous beaches, but there are more natural gems in this region to enjoy. Immerse yourself in nature by heading out on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, where you can see a wide variety of plant and animal life.

Go birding in Gulf Shores

Go birding in Gulf Shores

With some of the best golf courses in the world and more seafood to catch than you could possibly eat, the Gulf Coast is truly an outdoorsman's paradise. But did you know that one of the most popular area attractions is the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail?

Walking the Backcountry Trail in Orange Beach is a great family vacation activity.

Backcountry Trail is a perfect route to explore

Orange Beach's Backcountry Trail is a great route for visitors who want to explore the natural beauty of the area. Located in Gulf State Park, the path is home to some beautiful and diverse wildlife that is sure to please vacationers who are looking for a place to hike.

You'll spot Brown Pelicans and other birds when you head to Bon Secour to watch the sun set.

Watch the sun set at Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge

If you are staying in Fort Morgan rentals, you have easy access to the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, which is a serene spot to experience the Gulf Coast's stunning sunsets. Stroll along the Pine Beach or Jeff Friend trails for the best view of one of nature's most beautiful phenomena.

Things to do in Fort Morgan

Things to do in Fort Morgan

Whether you're staying at Gulf Shores beach house rentals or charming accommodations anywhere else in Alabama's illustrious coastline, you should make it a point to stop in Fort Morgan, which boasts a number of museums and activities fit for the whole family.

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