Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge: A safe haven for wildlife Gulf Fritillary on the Dunes The Bon Secour NWR contains 7,000 acres of wildlife habitat for migratory birds, nesting sea turtles and the endangered Alabama beach mouse. The refuge was established by Congress in 1980 to preserve the coastal dune ecosystem, to protect threatened and endangered species, to provide compatible recreational opportunities, and to serve as a living laboratory for students and scientists. The name Bon Secour comes from the French meaning "safe harbor," very appropriate considering the sanctuary for native flora and fauna that the refuge provides. The refuge serves the additional benefit of comprising one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the Alabama coast. Its dunes are a reminder of the Gulf Coast, as it once existed. As a consequence, the refuge has been named as one of the 10 natural wonders of Alabama. The refuge is small, compared to most national wildlife refuges, and is comprised of five separate units in Baldwin and Mobile counties, Alabama. The full-time staff consists of three, but the refuge has numerous committed volunteers throughout the year. The refuge hosts more than 100,000 visitors annually. The Refuge is home to the endangered Alabama beach mouse, which is associated with the sand dunes and sea oats. Refuge beaches serve as nesting sites for loggerhead, and Kemp's Ridley sea turtles. Habitats include beaches and sand dunes, scrub forest, fresh and saltwater marshes, fresh water swamps, and uplands. More than 370 species of birds have been identified on the refuge during migratory seasons. The largest are usually ospreys and several species of herons. At the other extreme, seven species of hummingbirds have been identified. Mammals such as red fox, coyotes, and armadillos are also present.

trail running
20 days ago

good trail just get ready to get your shoes wet if it has rained ... some swampy areas but otherwise a good well kept trail

hiking
1 month ago

Excellent hike and secluded beach. Remanants of an old home near the beach.

FYI. NO DOGS ALLOWED!!

trail running
2 months ago

Nice trail, well marked

hiking
3 months ago

WALKED THIS TRAIL SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE IVAN IN 2000-TO 2004, THEN IVAN PUSHED ALOT OF SALT WATER INTO THE FRESHWATER -GATOR LAKE, IT DID SOME DAMAGE TO THE ECO SYSTEM BUT I HAVE HEARD ITS BACK TO NORMAL, I AM FROM MOBILE AND LIVED IIN THE GULF SHORES AREA FOR 10 YEARS. I HAVE NOT HIKED THE BEACH TRAIL SINCE 2007 0R 2008 BUT ALL HAS RETURNED TO NORMAL FROM THE PICS I HAVE SEEN. I LOVE THE PRIVATE BEACH DOWN FROM GATOR LAKE, ..IF YOU WANT A GREAT PLACE TO LAY OUT AND SWIM IN PRIVATE TAKE THIS TRAIL, YOU MAY SEE AN OCCASIONAL HIKER BUT THATS ALL, BEFORE IVAN GATOR LAKE HAD SOME GOOD FISSHING, NOT SURE NOW

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

We saw a Pygmy rattlesnake and huge water moccasin.

hiking
5 months ago

5 months ago

beautiful view of the lagoon and beach

Did this and the latter half of pine beach trail. There are the ruins of an old house off the trail with some interesting history. The bear is secluded and probably one of the few places where there are no condos built.

on Pine Beach Trail

7 months ago

hiking
Thursday, November 03, 2016

This was a great hike and provided a very different experience than a forest or woods trail. But the last quarter mile or so was very sandy which made for a fairly strenuous hike that led to a secluded beach. There were 2 side trails off this trail. Gator lake trail was a strenuous mile long and very sandy. But the Centennial trail was easier and extremely enjoyable. All the trails are out and back and total 11 miles round trip

hiking
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Was enchanted by this very different (when you think of hikes/trails you think of forest and mountains automatically) walk. It was sublime. So much diversity in scenery and vegetation with a wonderful isolated beach finish. Two days later I did the Centennial trail that is just off of Pine Beach Trail for 6 miles (when you also do Jeff Friend). Outstanding trails.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Sunday, October 02, 2016