Gulf State Park is the southernmost park in the state of Alabama, and is a beautiful 6,150 acres that is made up of a lot more than just pine forests.
It is also made from gorgeous dunes, a freshwater lake, numerous marshes, as well as several streams.
Its most famous attraction is the two-mile long white sand beach that fronts the breath-taking Gulf of Mexico.
It is located in the city of Gulf Shores in Baldwin County, which also sets on the Gulf of Mexico.
The natural beauty of Gulf State Park goes way beyond its natural attractions, as it also includes the native wildlife that can be found there.
This includes raccoons, bobcats, deer, numerous rabbits, and yes, its most famous wildlife attraction, alligators.
However, this is just the beginning, as from May through October, an endangered species, the loggerhead turtle, also calls this park home.
It is also one of the most popular stops on the world-famous Alabama Coastal Birding Trail, and is one of, if not the most popular, sites for bird watchers in the entire south.
In the year 1939, the United States Government deeded the land to the state, and Gulf State Park was officially opened that same year.
It has become so popular, that it has been inducted into the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for winning the certificate of excellence 5 years in a row.
The Park was severally hit by Hurricane Ivan in the year 2004, but most all of the original facilities have been totally rebuilt for the public to enjoy.
The famous fishing pier that was destroyed by the hurricane was also rebuilt, and today, at over 1500 feet, is the longest fishing pier in the entire Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf State Park also has a very large campground available to visitors, with over 500 sites available.
496 of these sites are for recreational vehicles and have electricity, water, as well as sewer hook-ups, and there are 11 old fashioned tent campsites.
The facilities at the campground also include bathhouses, a laundry, as well as a store specifically for campers.
There are also cottages as well as cabins for rent, as well as a full-service hotel at the main Lodge of the Park.
There are several things to do at Gulf State Park, and they include swimming, waterskiing, boating, as well as golf.
However, there are four attractions that really stand out.
The Nature Center
First on the list is the Nature Center.
The Nature Center is located near the campground, and it features several hands-on exhibits for you and your family.
These exhibits provide the visitor an educational look at the State of Alabama’s native wildlife, as well as their habitats.
There are live animal exhibits that will give you an up-close look at some of these native’s, including several reptiles, snakes, as well as alligators.
There are Park naturalists that also offer to the public interpretative programs, as well as guided tours of the parks numerous trails.
The Interpretive Center also has several interactive displays as well as informational booths, that focus on both conservation and costal ecology.
Next on the list of attractions to see at Gulf State Park is the gorgeous beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.
There are over 3.5 miles of beautiful white sand beaches that are located both in the main park in Gulf Shores, as well as Orange Beach, Alabama.
These family-friendly beaches are a great place for your family or friends to enjoy your vacation or weekend stay.
The next attraction at Gulf State Park is perhaps the most popular, as the fishing there is second to no place in the country.
The Park has some of the best as well as most scenic fishing areas you can find anywhere, and you can fish the saltwater or freshwater.
The freshwater fishing can be done at any of the three beautiful lakes in the park, Lake Shelby, Middle Lake, or Little Lake.
Lake Shelby is a very large lake at 592 acres, Middle Lake is 193 acres, as Little Lake is 39 acres.
There are several species available in these three lakes including Bass, Bream, Catfish, Speckled Trout, Redfish, and Blue Crab.
The saltwater fishing can be done by boat or charter, as well as by the beach or off the pier.
The famous Pier at the Gulf State Park offers over 2,400 feet to fish from, and there are also 3 miles of beach you can fish from.
There are several species you can catch saltwater fishing, and they include Redfish, Pompano, Sheepshead, and Spanish Mackerel.
You can also catch Speckled Trout, Catfish, Whiting, and King Mackerel.
Hiking and Biking
The final of the attraction at Gulf State Park is the hiking and biking trails.
There are several trails available to the public, including the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail System.
This is a system of trails that lead to more remote areas in the park, and the park also has additional trails through a variety of the parks unique habitats.
These unique trails will lead the hikers through marshes, overlooks, as well as beneath forests of live oaks.
Here are some of the most popular of the trails at Gulf State Park.
The Gulf Oak Ridge Trail
The Gulf Oak Ridge Trail is a 5.5-mile wooded trail, that is shared by both hikers as well as cyclists.
Visitors can enjoy the Spanish Moss-covered water oak trees, as well as numerous ecosystems to enjoy.
You can also take your dog with you on this trail, but they must be on a leash.
The Beach Mouse Bypass Trail
The Beach Mouse Bypass Trail is 1.9 miles long and is an elevated boardwalk trail.
It connects hikers to the Interpretive Center and Beach Pavilion and is great for your entire family.
If you have never been to the Gulf State Park, you will be stunned by the natural scenery that can be found only on the Alabama Gulf Coast.
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