Places to Ride Your Bike in Gulf Shores

Are you an avid cyclist or just looking for something fun to do with your family? Looking for a nice place to cruise along the beautiful sandy beach or perhaps go off down a dirt path? Just wanting to see all the sites you can while staying in Gulf Shores while getting great exercise?

Gulf Shores has a lot of great places where you can ride a bike! You can bring your own bike, of course, or hit up one of the Gulf Shores bike rentals before heading out.

There are some seriously stunning nature trails you can explore, so strap on your helmet and prepare to check out some awesome Gulf Shores cycling spots.

Where to Ride Your Bike

Bike leaning up on the pier overlooking the water

One of the best things to do while staying in one of the lovely Fort Morgan vacation rentals is to get out and ride a bike. Trips can be easy, moderate, or difficult depending on what you prefer. For example, you can take a 4-mile return trip from the Gulf State Park Pier to the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail Rosemary Dunes Trailhead, which passes by the Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion. Pick your starting spot at either pier or at the Rosemary Dunes Trailhead. If you start at Backcountry Trail, you can rent a bike at Beach Bike Rentals. You do not have to bring your own bike this way, but you can certainly bring your dog for a run along with you as you bike!

The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail has 10 miles of different trail options – eight trails of differing lengths that take you through six unique ecosystems. You can experience coastal wetlands, marshes, freshwater lakes, and longleaf pine forests. Throughout these areas, you might see everything from alligators to bobcats. But do not fear, they will not be taking the trail along with you. Also, note that there are two water fountains and six restrooms along the trail so you and the family can stop and refresh. The 3-mile loop from Orange Beach Sportsplex back to the Twin Bridges is a favorite one.

Fort Morgan Road Trail is a bit longer and has a moderate difficulty rating. It takes you from the intersection of Alabama Highway 59 and Highway 180 for a distance of 5.4 miles going one way. You will find a convenience shop at the 4-mile mark – the Island Quik Mart – where you can load up on snacks and drinks or use the restroom if needed. The path itself is paved and wide, which is ideal for larger groups.

Coyote Crossing Trail is a neat little hidden route that is 3.2 miles round-trip and is a super easy one to take. This is a multi-use route that is the most recent addition to the Branyon Backcountry Trail. It runs alongside Alabama Highway 135 and State Park Road 2, going from Highway 59 to the Gulf Oak Ridge Trailhead. Start at the trailhead and go west to the Gulf State Park Headquarters and return from there. It is tucked away and a nice distance from the highway, so the ride is a peaceful one.

Ready to do some off-road cycling? Head out on Graham Creek Nature Preserve’s trail! It goes for up to 10 miles and is easy to moderate to ride on. This preserve’s main challenge is water since you will have to navigate a few low-lying swales and cross two streams. After a good rainfall, these spots will be perfect for mud-running! The paths themselves are wide and lined with luscious greenery.

Okay, here is a difficult one: Fort Morgan Road West. It is 24 miles round-trip and is moderate to difficult because of this factor. And it is all road. You get started at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuges Pine Beach Trailhead along Highway 180 then take the bike lanes west for 12 miles to Fort Morgan itself. Along the way, you can stop at Behind the Pines Restaurant and Fort Morgan Pizza if you get hungry. Just be leery of traffic for the first few miles as the bike lane gets pretty narrow around those bends.

Want something super hard? Challenge yourself with a 27.4-mile round-trip jaunt over the state line into Florida. Kick-off from the Public Beach parking lot at the end of Highway 59 and go along Highway 182 to Perdido Beach State Park in Florida. You will see some stunning sand dunes and sandy white beaches along the way, all lining the turquoise waves of the Gulf.

Girl holding bike on the beach

Things to See

Obviously, the biggest attraction along any bike path is dear old Fort Morgan itself. That means you will have to endure the 12-mile ride there and back along Fort Morgan Road West, but it is totally worth it! This is the site of the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. Today, you can tour the fort and watch as actors re-enact scenes from this famous battle. In addition, you can go fishing, do some birdwatching, and even participate in a really cool escape room!

When you take the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, you will pass by Adventure Island. This is a neat amusement park that has its own erupting (but not real) volcano! If you have the kids in tow, they will probably beg you to make a pit stop there. And we cannot say we would blame them!

Graham Creek Nature Preserve is a great place to do more than just go bicycling. You will get to see many rare plant and animal species residing in their natural habitats! Also, there is an archery park that has ranges for all levels of archers, three 18-basket disc golf courses for novices and amateurs, and a canoe and kayak launch, which guests at the preserve can use for free. You can launch any non-motorized vessel from here during the daytime.

rack of bikes

Gulf Shores Bike Rentals

There are bike rentals galore in Gulf Shores! Just step outside your Gulf Shores vacation rentals and look around; chances are, you will not have to go far to find a bike rental shop. Gulf State Park has bike rentals as well as Segway tours. You can take bike tours for $35 an hour, rent a cruiser at $25 per day or a kid’s bike for $20 per day, or get a cruiser and burley combo for $45 a day. There is a waiver you will have to sign, either online at their website or in person.

Tiki’s Bike Shack on Gulf Shores Parkway is open every day of the week from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and rents new bikes by the hour, half-day, or for the entire day. They are right up on the beach and provide quick access to Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail.

Beach Bike Rentals on Orange Beach has all sorts of rentals available. They are just 30 yards away from the Gulf State Park Rosemary Trail entrance and offer the ultra-cool Electra Bicycles (a Bosch-powered Go! E-bike that you can rent for $60 a day). You can even get a burley trailer for your pet or a recumbent bike if you struggle with balance.

Bike Safety

Always practice safety while riding around Gulf Shores. Be sure you obey all rules of the road, from stop signs to hand signal usage. If you have kids with you, teach them the rules before heading out. For them, elbow and knee pads might be ideal in case of a tumble, and helmets should absolutely be worn by everyone. And no worries, you get a helmet wherever you rent your bike from. The rental shops have everything you need to keep you and your family safe, but it is up to you to know and obey the traffic regulations and use common sense.

Biking is a superb way to get out and be active while vacationing in Gulf Shores. There are many trails, composing dozens of miles, to traverse. Whether you are looking for an easy ride or something more challenging, there is a trail or roadway for you. This is a fast, eco-friendly, and healthy way to experience Gulf shores’ wildlife, beaches, and historic sites. And, of course, there are plenty of restaurants to hit along the way since you will need to refuel your belly!