Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail

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Gulf State Park

Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is a 12.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Orange Beach, Alabama that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 12.2 miles Elevation Gain: 98 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly


nature trips

road biking


bird watching







wild flowers



All trails are paved with nice restroom building, butterfly pavillion, swings and seats for resting. Not real long trail but enjoyable trails. The fire damage is gone and many improvements have been made. This trail has many trails combined. Bicycles can get 20 miles when you ride all of the connected trails. There are at least 5 trail heads. Many places to stop and enjoy the scenery. But, the best thing about this trail is the wildlife. You can see deer, foxes, coyotes, many varieties of snakes, alligators, shore birds, turtles, birds of prey ( bald eagles and osprey), rabbits, and possum. The list is endless.

mountain biking
7 days ago

What an awesome trail...worth the visit. We biked 10 miles of it but will go back again to explore some more. Has an air station (for bikes), restrooms, rest benches. Great for all skill levels and ages as well as walkers, runners, etc.

I just don't like asphalt trails. Sure bikers love it.

road biking
3 months ago

Nice easy ride. A little wind by the lake but otherwise very enjoyable.

mountain biking
4 months ago

I absolutely loved this trail network. There seems to be something for everyone. Please see my video review here:

Fri May 31 2019

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

no shade
Tue May 14 2019

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

Mon May 13 2019

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!!

Thu May 09 2019

beautiful scenery

Thu Feb 28 2019

beautiful and well maintained trail.

Sat Feb 23 2019

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!

Thu Jan 24 2019

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

Fri Jan 18 2019

Great trail. Easy hiking

Tue Jan 15 2019

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

Fri Oct 19 2018

Great for hiking and biking. Beautiful trails and scenery!

Fri Aug 17 2018

This trail isn’t for me, but my 3-year-old loved it.

Tue Aug 07 2018

Hiked a large part of this trail in mid-July after a rainstorm. The heat and humidity had subsided so it wasn't bad. The trails are very well maintained, options of paved asphalt, raised wooden trails, or primitive dirt trails. Little elevation change, restrooms, and water all along the way. There are some beautiful scenic spots and amazing ecosystems along the way. The reason this gets a 5 star over a four is the wildlife. Saw several snakes, frogs, turtles, and birds. Even saw a bobcat on the wooden trail. Did not see alligators or armadillos but according to campers there are plenty around the area so be cautious and aware at all times. Definite must for any outdoorsy person in the Gulf Shores area.

Wed Aug 01 2018

Great place for casual ride.

Wed Aug 01 2018

Did Alligator Marsh Trail to Bear Creek Trail. Short unpaved out and back Trail.

Fri Jul 27 2018

Excellent trail system for walking, running or biking. Now that the boardwalks are complete you can easily walk or bike to the beach or fishing pier. Lots of wildlife viewing opportunities.

Thu Jun 28 2018

Very easy trails. 4.7 miles in the heat. All paved or boardwalk

Fri May 04 2018

Fun easy for all ages

road biking
Tue Mar 27 2018


Sat Feb 03 2018

Very nice set of trails. All paved and boardwalks. My wife and I walked with our black lab and enjoyed it. It was very heavy traffic even for February so I imagine once tourist season gets in full swing there will be little solitude. Great park!

road biking
Fri Nov 10 2017

Great system of trails and will be even better once the construction is finished with easy access to the beach and fishing pier.

Sat Oct 21 2017

Best area I've ever run. Boardwalks and paved around the entire state park. Campground is awesome and a good location to start.

Thu Sep 21 2017

The nicest trail I've ever been on . I walked on the south side of pavement in the grass and sand. Was about 50% shaded walking there. Plenty of rest stop benches along the way . I did the 1.5 straight out and back . Completely flat . Swinging bench at the 1.5 stop along with a restroom house . Great.

mountain biking
Fri Aug 11 2017

Potential for a 5 with a better map, but a missed turn put me on Perdido Beach Blvd with my 7 & 9 year old boys for about a mile - mile and a half. If you reach Perdido Beach from State Park Rd., go back and turn right onto the next path to access the newly developed boardwalk. There seemed to be some development underway on the trail that will deliver an optimized experience.

Mon Jul 17 2017

Great paved trail. Lots of wildlife and lots of traffic to get to the trail.

Wed Jan 18 2017

Lots of places to rest and a lot to see. You can also camp out here. Definitely will make another trip to it!

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