Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Gulf State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
off trail
16 days ago

Other than getting caught in the rain it was wonderful :D if you must come while it’s raining, I would suggest bringing a coat and gloves for your hands because it got cold real quick! My hands were so stiff! you can’t see it but I’m typing really slowly... haha anyway, it was an exhilarating hike nonetheless.

bike touring
1 month ago

I biked this trail in October, and the weather was perfect! There is really very little shade on it until you get in the marsh by the lakes or to the north part of the park where there are lots of large hardwood trees. Otherwise, you are exposed to the sun, so in June, you would want to do this very early in the morning. The highlights for me are the elevated walkway through the marsh that you turn on off of Rosemary Dunes and the hardwoods. Lots of birds and natural gulf beauty. This is a perfect bike route. It took me about an hour and half because I went slow and stopped a few times. Highly recommended. But if you are walking, I'd park by the lake and do the walkway through the marsh and Gulf Oak Ridge Trail part of it. My mom was with me and walked, and only saw the Rattlesnake Ridge part of it, which is a little boring comparatively speaking.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a very nice trail. It goes through several habitat types. It’s a great place to bird and herp. If you keep your eyes out while one it you can see things like the alligator, gopher tortoises, lizards, snakes, and a multitude of bird species. It also has a small playground on the trail. It’s not much, but it’s a nice place to take a break if you have kids. The trail ends at another trail which has a cool pollinator garden, picnic area, and bathrooms. It does have a a fair about of traffic (runners, bikers, and walkers), but it was still really nice to be on.

hiking
2 months ago

End

hiking
2 months ago

Visiting from Phoenix, this was a great walk thru the local vegetation. The trail system is one of the best maintained I’ve ever seen. No graffiti or trash anywhere. Clearly the local residents take great pride here. I loved the signage that highlighted interesting facts about the local animals. The wooden walkways over the bayous were so well built that I didn’t even hear someone riding their bike behind me.

hiking
2 months ago

Fairly shaded, no elevation change. Scenery was great, had obvious ecosystem change. From heavily wooded, to sand banks and onto the little lake. One of the best trails we hiked.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Wife and I hiked this trail during noon hours. No shade and the scenery was ok, once you hiked the first .5 mile you’ve basically seen it all. But provides a great looping trail to get on Catman. There is also a pavilion, water and restroom at the end in front of the Fire Department. Which made a great trail end. Biggest complaint is the lack of shade, definitely not a trail to hike mid day in August.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail. Lots of Spanish Moss covered Water Oak Trees. Breezy and shaded during morning hours. One of more natural beauty trails. If you are footing it do watch for cyclists, it’s obviously one of the more popular trails, but everyone on a bike was friendly and let you know they are coming up on you.

running
bugs
no shade
4 months ago

We did a long run in the park and loved it. Started at 6 with the sunrise and wouldn’t want to go much later due to heat. Absolutely pristine paved trails and boardwalks that clearly are well taken care of. Not much off road type trails but great for nature running and if you want to go fast. Very flat and fast running. Well marked trails with many maps at trail intersections. We ran through most of the state park and this was our least favorite section though due to more horse flies and no shade. This is a nice connecting trail.

running
bugs
4 months ago

We did a long run in the park and loved it. Started at 6 with the sunrise and wouldn’t want to go much later due to heat. Absolutely pristine paved trails and boardwalks that clearly are well taken care of. Well marked trails with many maps at trail intersections. Very good sunset or sunrise overlook between the .5 and 1 mile marks. Much of this section of the park was under live oaks with Spanish moss. The heat is the only thing that makes this a moderate trail though. Even with the slight elevation change the paths are wide and paved and pretty flat so I mark this easy. The flies were bad but running helped that.

We did a long run in the park and loved it. Started at 6 with the sunrise and wouldn’t want to go much later due to heat. Absolutely pristine paved trails and boardwalks that clearly are well taken care of. Not much off road type trails but great for nature running and if you want to go fast. Very flat. Well marked trails with many maps at trail intersections. A couple neat play structures for kids along the way. Great for a run although very buggy with the flies.

Enjoyed it very much! Fun to have something different to do instead of beaching. Great trail!

Nice connector trail between the campground and the Gulf Oak Ridge Trail. The trail offers great views of Shelby Land and also connects to the Park Headquarters. Further north to the park headquarters is the recently opened Woodside Restaurant with bike parking, food and cold beverages.

road biking
5 months ago

One of the best sections of the entire trail system. Lots of curves and elevation changes with a nice woodland trail surrounded by moss covered live oaks and Longleaf Pine.

road biking
5 months ago

Nice connection between Rosemary Dunes and the Catman Road trail. Only disappointment was that the trail was closed near E Beach Blvd

road biking
5 months ago

This was a beautiful and well maintained trail. I biked down it but there were numerous walkers. All the trails at Gulf State Park we're scenic and we'll maintained.

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

Always an awesome hike, but it does lack in shade so come prepared.

Rode this trail saturday, saw two alligators, four eagles, one very long snake, one rabbit, and a nice coke machine. Really needed a drink since I left my water in the truck. Great Trail!!

beautiful scenery

hiking
6 months ago

A very nice outting. Lots to see. It is a paved trail. There are bathrooms at the other end and water. Lots of park benches to rest along the way. It’s a little longer than what it says it is if you go to the end of this particular trail. It intersects with other trails as well. It’s a little over 5 miles to the end and back.

hiking
7 months ago

Although this section does not provide of great views its a well maintained city type trail that connects into the larger Gulf State Park. There are nicer sections of the park that this connects into. At the end of the path they do have a butterfly house and if you take the Rosemary Dunes Trail there is a Bald Eagles nest that has a great over viewing point to the nest with a sign clearly telling people not to venture off trail due to the nest. Parking is limited at the trailhead off 161. Plenty of access points to the park from 182 to the south or in the heart of the park around Shelby Lake.

beautiful and well maintained trail.

Great biking trail that connects with many other trails. Saw great birds, turtles, and more. Overcast foggy day but great on the trail. No charge for parking in the State Park. Bathrooms and air station along the trail.

Great biking and hiking trail. A little along the shoulder of a highway... but mostly not. Rode through an alligator habitat and past a bald eagle's nest!

easy trail to walk, bike or hike. several acess points with good parking areas. well marked, lots of benches, several restrooms with drinking water.

I would rate this easy; wide, paved paths and sections of boardwalk that are good for easy walks, strollers, and children on bicycles. There are benches, playgrounds, bathrooms, and drinking fountains available at several points. Good chance of seeing armadillos and various birds.

Great trail. Easy hiking

Nice set of trails. Very easy walk. Great for seniors.

Great for hiking and biking. Beautiful trails and scenery!

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