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“One of Our Favorite Beach Access Areas”

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
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US$71.50*
and up
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Kayak Tour
Ranked #6 of 47 things to do in Gulf Shores
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A 6,000-acre nature preserve with a number of endangered species.
Reviewed 10 August 2014

The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge has a day use beach access area that is off the beaten path. This is one of our favorite places to go spend some time at the beach and have been several times.

1  Thank Sgirl0629
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"pine beach trail"
in 37 reviews
"gator lake"
in 23 reviews
"jeff friend trail"
in 19 reviews
"secluded beach"
in 9 reviews
"centennial trail"
in 9 reviews
"mile loop"
in 8 reviews
"observation tower"
in 7 reviews
"short hike"
in 5 reviews
"scenic walk"
in 3 reviews
"bug spray"
in 9 reviews
"nice hike"
in 4 reviews
"fort morgan"
in 12 reviews
"great blue heron"
in 4 reviews
"bird watching"
in 3 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 6 reviews
"beautiful area"
in 3 reviews
"few hours"
in 5 reviews
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151 - 155 of 207 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2014

I went twice to Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge during our recent beach trip to Gulf Shores. I went first time with husband & 2 active young boys then again just the hubby & I. We did the Pine Beach Trail hike both times. This place is super cool if you want to see what natural, untouched beach property looked like before buildings, condos & such. We stopped beforehand down the road at the main headquarters to get a map. The ranger was very friendly & helpful. She gave my sons a couple of Sea Turtle coloring books. Bring water and/or sports drinks/coconut water because there is no water available. Bring a snack or two (just in case) because u exert some serious energy hiking that last 1/2 mile or so through the sand. There is a port-a-potty type facility along the trail, but it was gross as you might expect. You pass a swampy area at first. Did not see gators but was on alert the whole time. : ) You pass through dense woods which was a cool break from the sun. Saw some animal poop & tracks which the boys thought was cool (and funny of course.) Forgot the animal brochure in the car, so could not identify the tracks or the poop. : )'The observation tower was at the halfway point. There was one bird watcher up there who pointed out a Great Blue Heron to us. Just past the tower, you encounter the lagoon. My gosh, it is beautiful. We saw a small black-ish snake in this area all coiled up & cute as he could be, so be on the lookout. Just past the lagoon, it gets sandy with dunes as tall as houses. Unbelievable. We took off our shoes at this point. You venture through several dunes until you reach the beach. We were only ones there both times. Wear your swimsuit if it is warm, because you will never appreciate the water more than you do now. ; ) If u want to hangout, one person could carry a light beach umbrella & towel or blanket.
You can see condos way down the beach on either side, but they are far enough away to get a true feeling of solitude. You head back the way you came in and I think the view of the lagoon on the way back is even more beautiful. Even if you can only physically make it to the lagoon, it is worth it.
Wear bugspray & bring it along with you. Bullfrog makes a sunscreen/bug repellent that was perfect for this trip. There were no mosquitos, but some serious biting flies periodically along the trail. No pets allowed on trail.

2  Thank KSenorita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We visited the park to hike so that we could get away from the crowd and get some exercise. It was pretty and the trails were kept up with however you will be walking on a gravel/sand trail the entire time so it is not much of a challenge. The scenery is nice though and there are some nice overlooks.

Thank Sara L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

The trail to gator lake was not worth the hike . Met a family on the way that had to turn back. Half our group went back to car.

1  Thank Beverly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 July 2014

Taking the Pine Beach Trail to the beach is one of my favorite things to do while in Gulf Shores. It's relatively empty of other people as most folks like to drive up and park close to the beach to easily haul stuff to the sand and avoid the long, sweaty walk along Pine Beach Trail. We love it, however, and do it every time we're in the Gulf (and promptly jump in to the water as soon as we get to the end). Wear sunscreen and bug spray. Think about taking binoculars, I never remember and always wish I had them. There's an observation tower about halfway in that offers some shade and breeze and a good position for looking out for gators, cranes, and other wildlife.

1  Thank somedayrainbows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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