Things to Do

Explore

With our 28 miles of nature trails, the lake, and all the wildlife we have to offer, exploring Gulf State Park holds endless possibilities to escape the hectic pace of your daily life and find relaxation in peaceful surroundings.

Trails

With a trail network of almost 28 miles, it’s easy to see why a walk in the park is one of our most popular activities. With new trailheads and places to pause, as well as interpretive and wayfinding signage along the way, it’s ideal for enjoying the stunning natural beauty of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Our extensive car-free trail network is ideal for exploring everything the park has to offer. So park your car and leave it behind for an unforgettable (and heart healthy) hike.

Bike Share

No bike of your own? No problem! Simply hop on a complimentary bike at one of our many Bike Share stations. For up to three hours, riders can use one of over 100 complimentary bikes free of charge. The best part? Anyone with a smartphone can bikeshare. Simply download the Gulf State Park Bike Share and scan a QR code at one of the many bike stations throughout the park, such as at the Pavilion, The Lodge, Woodside Restaurant, Eagles Loop, and Gulf Oak Ridge. When you’re done, just return the bike to the station of your choice.

Beaches

No park along the Gulf would be complete without beach access. And few beaches compare to the nearly four-mile stretch of beautiful white sand and rolling dunes found here. Your stay will include complimentary parking at the Beach Pavilion and the Gulf State Park Pier.

Segway Tours

Cruise along the Backcountry Trail on a 2-hour guided tour. Experience the beauty of our forests, lakes, and swamps with stops at popular destinations like the Butterfly Garden and Boulder Park. For more information on booking your Coastal Segway Adventure, visit coastalsegwayadventures.com.

Wildlife

Gulf State Park is home to animals from the land, air, and sea. Wherever you look, you will be able to spot the incredible wildlife that makes the park so special. Ospreys, loons, great blue herons, and regal bald eagles fill the air while alligators, red foxes, and river otters make their homes in the brush. These are just a few reasons wildlife enthusiasts visit the park to pursue their passion every year.

Nature Center

Meet some of the critters that call Gulf State Park home at our Nature Center. Come with a curiosity to learn more about the Gulf’s precious natural resources and leave with a new appreciation of your connection to the natural world.  Weekly programs and guided tours offer unique learning opportunities for kids of all ages.

Butterfly Garden and Pavilion

Flowers and butterflies offer a rainbow of natural splendor, making this a perfect place to relax and unwind. Its lush green gardens and the nearby shaded and screened pavilion are popular with families and other groups.

Education

Whether you’re young or old, whether you’re biking, hiking, or fishing, there’s so much to discover and learn along the way. Our park naturalist conducts a variety of programs for school and homeschool groups and park visitors throughout the year.

Nature Center

At the Nature Center, kids of all ages get to interact with native animals, insects, and plants while guided walks help them experience nature up close. Meet some of the critters that call Gulf State Park their home. Come with a curiosity to learn more about the Gulf’s precious natural resources and leave with a new appreciation of your connection to the natural world. Weekly programs and guided tours offer unique learning opportunities for kids of all ages.

Learning Campus

Located behind Park Headquarters, this facility provides an opportunity for learning through immersive programming and hands-on experiences to connect with the natural and cultural heritage of the park. The sustainably designed and operated facilities include indoor and outdoor classrooms, a laboratory, meeting space, overnight accommodations, and dining. The Learning Campus offers an educational basecamp for visiting school groups, post-secondary students, teachers, researchers, scout troops, adult learners, and other nature enthusiasts.

Education & Fishing Pier

You don’t just fish on our pier. You learn on it. Stretching more than a quarter mile into the Gulf, it features signs along the rails with information on species of fish, birds, and other area wildlife.

Fishing

Anglers of all types come here to enjoy the largest pier on the Gulf and almost 900 acres of freshwater lakes.  And now, thanks to no fewer than eight piers, Lake Shelby will keep you busy reeling in various freshwater species, while nearly 2,500 feet of fishing space on our Gulf State Park Pier offers maximum saltwater action

Education & Fishing Pier

You don’t just fish on our pier. You learn on it. Stretching more than a quarter-mile into the Gulf, it features signs along the rails with information on species of fish, birds, and other area wildlife.

Lake Shelby Fishing Piers

While many visitors enjoy saltwater fishing, some anglers prefer to have the best of both worlds. At Lake Shelby, eight piers along our extensive trail network offer freshwater access to bass, bream, speckled trout, and other fish.

Geocaching

Gulf State Park is officially designated as a geocaching destination. Whether you’re a novice or have been doing it for years, it’s a blast for families and other groups. Plus, it’s a great way to learn about the park’s natural resources and history thanks to the descriptions on our many geocaching listings. If you’re new to this form of outdoor adventure, click here and watch a Geocaching 101 video to learn more about it.

Our Activities Calendar

Are you someone who enjoys planning your vacation in advance?  Explore the link below to discover the array of tours and activities awaiting you during your stay with us.  We continuously update our programs; we recommend checking back closer to your visit to explore any new additions we have introduced over the dates of your stay.  




The Cabins at Gulf State Park