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Gulf State Park Gulf Shores AL

Gulf State Park Pier

Beauty and nature awaits you at the coastal Alabama Gulf State Park Gulf Shores AL.  This 6,150 acre property covers mostly the land behind the Gulf Shores beach community, between Highway 59 and SH 161, but the west end extends further south to a wide beach area along the Gulf of Mexico.  There are 3 fresh water lakes within Gulf State Park including Lake Shelby, Middle Lake and Little Lake.

Almost  2.5 miles of sugar white sand beaches along the Gulf, primitive and modern campgrounds, nature trails, an 18-hole championship golf course, fresh and saltwater fishing with the longest fishing pier in the Gulf of Mexico will delight nature lovers .  Nature programs and picnic areas are great amenities for family outings.

Gulf State Park has 154 renovated campsites with 50 amp service and water and sewer hook-ups.  Gulf State Park has weathered several hurricanes, but in 2004 Hurricane Ivan largely devastated the area.  Major renovations are underway and the park is almost back to full capacity.

There are 20 modern cabins within walking distance of the golf course and snow white beaches.  Four of these referred to as “wood” cabins are surrounded by the amazing longleaf pine and palmetto forest of coastal Alabama.  The remaining “lakeside” cabins are located on the shores of Lake Shelby.  The cabins vary slightly in size sleeping four to six with one or two baths.  Two of the lakeside cabins are handicapped accessible.  All are equipped with a full kitchen, screened porches, barbeque grills and picnic tables.

Larger three bedroom, three bath cottages, along the northern shore of Lake Shelby, are also available.

The Park’s many trails are all unique, exciting and picturesque.  Four of the most popular include:

–       Hurricane Ridge Trail – constructed after Hurricane Frederic struck the Gulf Coast in 1979 creating this natural ridge through sand deposits, twigs and vegetation from the force of the surge.

–       Middle Lake Trail – one of the park’s major trails that follows Middle Lake and intersects with Hurricane Trail.  Look out for alligators floating along the surface of the small canal.

–       Bear Creek Trail – this paved trail heading toward Orange Beach is popular for families with small children in strollers.  Signs located throughout identify the local trees and shrubs.  Covering many of the trees and shrubs on this trail is a thick, woody vine called Muscadine Grape Vines enjoyed by the local animals including gray fox, bleak bear, coyote, raccoon and a variety of bird species.

–       Alligator Marsh Trail – winding behind a small canal, this trail offers the perfect place for small alligators, turtles and frogs.  Watch out for Saw Grass, with saw-toothed edges, which is abundant around this area.

Beach areas in Orange Beach are free of charge.  There is a $5 charge per car for access to the beach area in Gulf Shores.  A new beach pavilion with a large concession stand open on a seasonal basis offers the perfect place for families to picnic at the covered tables, join in fun beach parties or witness a sunset wedding.  For more information, call 251.968.7296 or 251.968.7245 Wednesday  – Sunday.