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.