About Gulf State Park
USA Today recently named the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail the best recreational trail in the country for 2023. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is an award-winning 28+ mile paved trail system that takes visitors throughout the 6,150 acres of Gulf State Park. The trails are multi-use, meaning they are suitable for hikers and cyclists and are ADA-accessible. There are trailheads surrounding the perimeter of the park, making it easy to find and access while vacationing on our shores. This trail system is just one of the amenities that Gulf State Park provides on your list of things to do while visiting the park.
Gulf State Park has two miles of beaches, a spacious campground and a brand new Lodge to greet you. Yes, we have gorgeous white sand, surging surf, seagulls and a variety of activities, but there is more than sand and surf to sink your toes into.
Gulf State Park is a destination you’re destined to visit over and over again. It’s the only way to enjoy all we have to offer. Just when you’re done hiking, it’s time to go biking. Tired of swimming and paddling in the Gulf? Swim and paddle in Lake Shelby. And if camping under the stars isn’t your thing, take advantage of our indoor lodging amenities. Discover the Park's incredible biodiversity at our Nature Center and take part in one of the educational programs offered daily by our Naturalists. Boredom is about the only thing you won’t find here.
There is something for everyone inside Gulf State Park. The beach pavilion provides picnic tables as an escape from the beach, the nature center is a great place for the kids to learn, the swimming pool provides refreshment for our guests and the Lake Shelby day use area offers kayaking and canoeing. For a change of pace while visiting check out the fishing and education pier, miles of biking on the Backcountry trail, beautiful flowers in the butterfly garden, and additional education at the learning campus, interpretive center in the near future.
Gulf State Park has a multitude of activities to participate in that includes: Hiking. biking, fishing, exploring, geocaching, paddling just to name of few. We even provide beach vendors for things like parasailing and kayaking.
Use the ADCNR Interactive Map to learn more about the Alabama State Parks.
Use this park map to help you make your plans.
Book Online Campground Reservations Here.
Book Online Eagle Cottage Reservations Here.
Book Online Cabin Reservations Here.
Book Online Lodge Reservations Here.
Reconstruction of The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel, is complete, and new hostel-style accommodations are available nearby as well. The Lakeside Cabins and Eagle Cottages are also available for overnight stays. Longleaf pines and the local palmetto forest surround our four “woods cabins”. Remaining “lakeside cabins” along Lake Shelby offer swimming, fishing, and sunrise walks right outside your front door. And with recent trail enhancements, waking up to jog or bike ride is easier than ever.
The park’s 20 cabins provide guests with beautiful views of Lake Shelby or the beautiful longleaf pines and the palmetto forest of coastal Alabama.
Guests choose to stay at Eagle Cottages because of all the fishing, swimming, boating, and other activities found along the shores of Lake Shelby. This 900-acre freshwater lake is one of the closest to saltwater along the Gulf of Mexico.
From canvas tents to full hook-up RV sites, camping comes naturally to our guests. We offer a 496-site improved campground including 11 modern bathhouses, pull-thru sites, back-in sites, waterfront campsites, and ADA accessible sites. Our paved camping pads fit large RV’s and provide full hookups with water, sewer, electricity, a picnic table, and pedestal grill. The park even has 3 new “glamping” sites and 11 primitive camping sites that include stone campfire rings, grill tops, and picnic tables nestled among the trees and along the creek.
The park’s close proximity to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Foley, Fairhope and Mobile, provides Gulf State Park with several retail and restaurant options to choose from. The Five Rivers Delta Resource Center, Weeks Bay Reserve, The USS Alabama and Meaher State Park are all within driving distance.