Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge

There’s a simplicity and elegance to the natural ambiance of the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge. Surrounded by maritime forests and subtle marshes, this wildlife refuge is a local favorite.

You can find quite a few once-in-a-lifetime sights in a relaxed setting rarely found at major tourist destinations. Come to Gulf Shores to unlock a new adventure in nature.

The Quiet Forestry of Coastal Alabama

The Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge is located in Gulf Shores. It is one of the most extensive undeveloped lands in the coast of Alabama, filled with numerous possible outdoor activities such as wildlife viewing, photography, fishing, boating, educational programs and hiking.

The refuge is unique for its natural characteristics. Unlike many gulf side areas along Alabama and the Florida panhandle, the Bon Secour Refuge is dense in foliage and vegetation. The area features undeveloped sandy dunes and beaches as well as gorgeous uplands, maritime forestry, and thickly-forested terrain.

The result is a rich, protected environment that makes a perfect home for many local animals, sea turtles, and flying visitors, including over 370 bird species and several neotropical migratory species that make their way to the refuge in the fall and spring.

The denseness also helps make the region one of the best Alabama birding destinations. You can escape in the wonderful and accessible trails, finding a nice and captivating romp away from it all.

Four marked trails in the refuge encompass 5 incredible miles of hiking in total. Throughout the trip you can spot bobcats, deer, wild hog, coyotes, and red foxes among hundreds of unique bird species.

The Snowy Plover is a threatened bird species that make their home along Alabama’s Gulf Coast. Photo Credit: Marshal Hedin

Rare Species

Kids will get a kick out of one of Bon Secour’s tiniest critters: the Alabama Beach Mouse. It is federally endangered and exists nowhere else. Yet, in the beaches and grasses of the Fort Morgan peninsula, this calm and creative critter scours the beaches looking for small treats. They eat seasonal seeds and insects, and are only found in this region.

This endangered species has a special place in the heart of Alabama. Perhaps you can find this rare furry friend traversing the dunes outside the rental homes near Gulf Shores. They leave small and easy-to-spot foot trails across the beaches.

Also keep an eye out for the beautiful Snowy Plover. This bright white and curious bird spends its entire life around the Gulf of Mexico, and relies heavily on Bon Secour. If you are fortunate, you can spot these life-long residents nesting in the thick foliage.

The region is also famous for the notoriously endangered Loggerhead Turtle. Loggerheads will lay about 4 nests per nesting season, with about 100 eggs per nest. Loggerheads only nest in a few select beaches including those near Bon Secour, and no scientist yet knows why and how they reliably return to a select few single small beaches every year.

Winter Walks and Talks

Visitors can venture down through the trails of the refuge with an experienced local guide. A guided tour here is truly one of the best outdoor activities near Fort Morgan.

Throughout February and into March, guests come for the Walks and Talks series, covering the delicate seasonal balance, the local migratory bird populations, and all the wonderful ecological facts covering this treasured coastline. Signup is required for every tour of this wild animal sanctuary in Fort Morgan, and all ages are welcome.

Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge is one of our favorite things to do during your Gulf Shores vacation
The refuge covers 7,157 staggering and picturesque acres of Alabama’s coast, and is home to diverse wildlife and ecosystems.

A Crucial Alabama Wildlife Refuge

The refuge covers 7,157 staggering and picturesque acres of Alabama’s coast. This makes up a massive portion of the Fort Morgan peninsula, and is directly responsible for the area’s protected natural beauty.

Interestingly, Bon Secour comes from the French words meaning “safe harbor.” The region could not be titled better. It is a collective of elegant landscapes, dense foliage, and miraculous species that come from all over the world.

Seasonal guides can take you deep into the refuge. You are free to explore it as you see fit, while respecting the nature and following signposts.

Entrance is free year-round. Visitors can utilize the parking and hike access point, located at 180 Uninc Baldwin County, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.

For more information about the fascinating Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge, questions about attractions and things to do in Gulf Shores, or the finest and most affordable Fort Morgan vacation rentals, request information online today.


Fort Morgan Property Management
6930 Hwy 180
Gulf Shores, AL 36542, USA
(800) 959-7326