Gulf State Park, located in the town of Gulf Shores, Ala., offers visitors the opportunity to camp, fish, swim, picnic and hike. For those who want to go on short treks or longer, more arduous journeys, the park has numerous hiking trails.
The Bear Creek Trail is a paved path that allows the handicapped, as well as those pushing children in strollers, to partake of the area's beauty. Signs along the trail identify various types of trees and shrubs.
While most people don't associate Alabama with alligators, these reptiles do live in the state. The Alligator Marsh Trail meanders next to a canal in which people have a chance to see alligators, turtles and other wildlife. Note that hikers should stay clear from any alligators they may see.
The three-quarter-mile-long Hurricane Ridge Trail follows a natural ridge that formed when Hurricane Ivan came ashore in the region in 1979. The power of the tidal surge precipitated the build-up of vegetation and sand. Many of the trees felled during Ivan are still visible on the ground.
The Gulf State Park Nature Center hosts guided nature walks, walks along the park's beach and other educational programs focusing on the plants and animals of the park.
A 496-site campground, complete with RV pads, is located about a mile and a half from the beach area.