Explore Gulf Shores State Park on Your Next Vacation

About Gulf Shores State Park

Nestled in the peak of the Gulf of Mexico is Gulf Shores, Alabama, a haven of white sands, glistening oceans, and smiling faces.

The air is warm and smells of the ocean as you drive along Route 182, passing beachfront condo towers on one side and quaint restaurants, shops, and stilted homes on the other. 

The beaches of the Alabama Gulf Coast stretch 32 miles across, including 10 total public-access beaches and one state park. Gulf State Park, also sometimes known as Gulf Shores State Park, is 6,500 acres of land behind Shelby Lakes that encompasses trails, campgrounds, conference centers, a nature center, and two miles of beaches. All these incredible things to do in Gulf Shores near our luxury beachfront rentals.


Gulf Shores beach trail in Gulf Shores State Park

Gulf State Park is more than just surf and sand – it’s more than 28 miles of trails that wind through the thick green foliage, over bubbling creeks, and past rolling piles of dunes. The trails take hikers and bikers through nine recognizable ecosystems, home to animals like bobcats, deer, alligators, tortoises, and more. The park also offers some of the best trails near Gulf Shores.

The longest trail in the park is the Gulf Oak Ridge trail, three miles of paved pathways that intersect with other trails and loops around the campgrounds. There are 27 trails on the park map, most of which are paved roads or boardwalks. 


While there are many fun things to do in Gulf Shores, like plan a road trip to Fort Morgan, a day spent at Gulf State Park is definitely one to plan for. 

Not only are there trails for hiking, jogging, biking, and strolling, but there is also the Gulf State Park fishing pier, great spots for picnicking, swimming, and learning. 

Lake Shelby offers kayak, canoe, and paddleboat rentals for daytime fun. In the evenings, the campgrounds come alive with bonfires, colorful tents, and communities of RVs. 

View native flora and fauna at the Nature Center or tour the Butterfly Garden. Rent Segways and breeze down the park’s boardwalks standing on two wheels, admiring the Delta and its wildlife – with or without a tour guide for a party of any size.

Gulf Shores State Park

Equipment Rentals

All equipment rentals offered in the Gulf State Park come with the Southern hospitality expected so far down in Alabama. Attendants set up beach rentals like lounge chairs and umbrellas, and trainers teach Segway riders how to use the electric scooter.

Other available rentals include parasailing gear, beach wheelchairs, paddleboards, banana boat rides, kayaks, and of course, bikes and bike gear of all sizes. Most rentals are priced on a daily-weekly-monthly basis.

Mountain Biking

Some of the best trails for mountain biking are located within the state park – and the best part is there is a trail for every level of biker, from experienced to advanced. 

The Gopher Tortoise Trail is a mile and a half of paved roads that curve around the lake and feature flat, family-friendly routes through the marsh. A quick detour from the Catman Trail takes bikers on the Armadillo Trail, an unpaved path that stretches less than a mile across but features the Middle Lake Overlook, a beautiful spot for photos and scenic views over one of the Shelby Lakes.


Visitors can use their GPS to find hidden locations or objects in the park – a great family activity when the weather is simply too hot to be outside for long. One cool thing about Gulf State Park is that its geocache location is educational and unique, demonstrating how the earth has been shaped by geological processes and what scientists use that information for. 

Gulf Shores State Park pier out on the water near our gulf shores gulf front rentals

Simply visit geocaching.com and use the GPS coordinates to find cache items.


Whether a vacation is spent in one of our Fort Morgan gulf front rentals or onsite at one of the state park’s campgrounds, reserving a spot for a party of any size can be achieved using alapark.com’s online tool or by calling reservationists at (251) 948-7275. 

Book Your Stay

If you are planning to check out Gulf State Park, you will want to find a comfortable gulf shores beach rental nearby to stay in. We can help you with that! Check out our offerings and start planning your vacation!

Choose a campground, cabin, lodge, or cottage option and the preferred arrival and departure dates. If desired sites are unavailable, try mixing up arrival and departure dates.

Time spent at any of our Gulf Shores vacation rentals or the local state park is a recipe for an unforgettable visit, perfect for all ages and interests. Between all the fun activities, delicious food, unique boutiques, and pristine beaches, Gulf Shores is definitely the place you want to book your next vacation!


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