Gulf State Park

Walking and Biking Trails

A Serene Afternoon of Gulf Oak Ridge Trail
Middle Lake Overlook Boardwalk
Alligator Basking Near a Trail. Photo by Farren Dell
Hurricane Ridge Trail Leads into a Less Traveled Area of the Park. Photo by Farren Dell
Al's Parkour Park on Twin Bridges Trail
Shaded Bench Area on Beach Mouse Bypass Trail
Butterfly Resting on a Flower. Photo by Farren Dell
Lake Shelby Boardwalk Over the Water
Bobcat Crossing Rosemary Dunes Trail. Photo by Farren Dell

Explore the Beautiful and Diverse Gulf State Park Trails!


The Park features 28 miles of paved trails or boardwalks, including seven trails of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail complex, that enable curious visitor to explore the nine distinct ecosystems within park boundaries. Enjoy the serenity of Gulf Oak Ridge trail, as you stroll underneath Live Oak trees draped in Spanish Moss. Take a bike ride on Rosemary Dunes and be on the look out for the elusive Bobcat. If you're hoping to see an Alligator, explore Gopher Tortoise trail along the edge of Lake Shelby! The majority of our trails are suitable for walking, running, and biking. You are sure to enjoy the stunning natural scenery only found on the Alabama Gulf Coast!


Hours of Operation:
Dawn to dusk
7 days a week


Bike Rentals are available at the Campstore and the Rosemary Dunes trailhead through Beach Bike Rentals.


Check out the Park Map for all of the trail and feature locations. To view this map, click on the image below:


Trail Distances 


Alligator Marsh - 0.4 mi (Unpaved)

Armadillo Trail - 0.7 mi (Unpaved)

Beach Mouse Bypass - 1.1 mi (Boardwalk)

Bear Creek Trail - 0.4 mi (Paved)

Bobcat Branch - 0.7 mi (Unpaved)

Campground Connector - 0.1 mi (Unpaved)

Campground Trail - 2.2 mi (Paved/Boardwalk)

Canal Trail - 1.0 mi (Paved)

Catman Trail - 2.7 mi (Paved)

Cotton Bayou - 1.1 mi (Paved)

Coyote Crossing - 2.1 mi (Paved)

Cross Park Trail - 0.8 mi (Paved/Boardwalk)

Eagle Connector - 0.2 mi (Paved)

Eagle Loop - 0.3 mi (Unpaved)

East Cabin Connector - 0.2 mi (Paved)

Gopher Tortoise Trail - 1.5 mi (Paved)

Gulf Oak Ridge - 3.0 mi (Paved)

Lake Crossing - 0.6 mi (Boardwalk)

Lake Shelby Overlook - 0.3 mi (Boardwalk)

Lakeview Trail - 2.2 mi (Paved)

Middle Lake Overlook - 0.1 mi (Boardwalk)

Rattlesnake Ridge - 1.6 mi (Paved)

Rosemary Dunes - 2.1 mi (Paved)

Sawgrass Trail - 0.5 mi (Paved)

Twin Bridges - 0.8 mi (Paved)

West Cabin Connector - 0.2 mi (Paved)

Woodside Connector - 0.1 mi (Paved)



Trail Etiquette and Safety Information


Cyclists, walkers, runners and dog walkers love using the trails at Gulf State Park! Trail Etiquette varies by region, but the following etiquette guidelines will help you and other visitors have a safe, fun and relaxing time at the park. When in doubt, remember the "golden rule" - treat other trail users how you want to be treated and respect the wildlife and lands of Alabama the beautiful.


  • Use earbuds or headphones to listen to music. This courtesy enables other guests to become immersed in their natural surroundings and enjoy activities such as viewing wildlife and listening to birds. 
  • Make yourself known. A friendly "hello" or "passing on your left" lets other trail users know your intent and helps create a friendly atmosphere. There's nothing more startling than a cyclist whizzing past you when you thought you were alone.
  • Clean up after your pet. Dog feces can contain harmful bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella and is a common carrier of hookworms and parvo! There are multiple trash cans conveniently located throughout the backcountry trails. Please bring bags with you to dispose of pet waste properly.
  • Bring water or a water bottle. There are several water fountains within the trail system, but it's always a good idea to bring a bottle with you so that you have it on hand when you or someone in your group needs it. Be sure to bring enough water for you and your pet(s). 
  • Take care of your pet. Take your dog for a walk during the cooler times of day, such as first thing in the morning or in the evening. Hot asphalt can burn your dog's paws and cause serious pain and injury. Do the seven second test to see if it's too hot for Fido's feet - touch your bare hand or foot to the ground and hold it there for 7-8 seconds. If it's too hot for you, it's too hot for them!
  • Dispose of waste properly. Please consider the impacts of what you leave behind on trails. Cigarette butts, food wrappers, and even organic litter like orange peels and pistachio shells are harmful to wildlife and the environment. Dispose of your rubbish in the trash and recycling bins located throughout the park.
  • Respect wildlife. Keep your distance from any wildlife you encounter, such as alligators and snakes, for both your safety and the safety of these animals. For detailed information, please see our Wildlife Safety Recommendations.





Become a Dirt Pass Trail Crew member! Visit the program page to learn more about how you can help younger generations enjoy the parks for years to come!

Alabama State Parks 2020 Travelers' Choice Award