12295 Alabama 180, Gulf Shores, AL 36542 | (251) 540-7720
Gulf Shores, Alabama is a lovely tropical city that is home to pristine white sand beaches, rare coastal dunes, rolling hills of pine-oak forests, and the animals that live there. Stretching across seven thousand acres of lands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is a Gulf Shores attraction of vast proportions. This preserve separates the more secluded Fort Morgan area from the City of Gulf Shores. Both the public and the native Alabama wildlife benefit from Bon Secour, where visitors can explore the splendors of the Gulf Coast habitat and observe the Gulf Shores wildlife within without causing harm.
What Makes Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge a Must-See Place to Visit
Open all year long during daylight hours, Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is a breathtaking locale to visit and experience the magnificent creatures and scenic backdrops of the coast. Various types of Alabama wildlife can be seen at various points in the year on four different trails that span six miles total in length. Bobcats, red foxes, armadillos, alligators, and six-lined race runners make their appearances at Gator Lake and Little Lagoon. These watery regions can be best seen from the observation tower on Pine Beach Trail.
Bird watching, fishing, photography, and boating are popular activities in Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Spring and fall are the best seasons for bird-watching, with over three hundred and seventy bird species having been documented in the Gulf Shores wildlife refuge. Wetlands and maritime forests paint the perfect backdrop for iconic shots of Gulf Shores. The previously mentioned Little Lagoon and Gator Lake are great fishing spots, populated primarily with saltwater species.
Visitors can also go on self-guided tours of the refuge’s flora and fauna from the Visitor Center on-site, as well as seasonal ranger-led programs. You can hike through trails like the Jeff Friend Trail, a loop of one mile in length with splendid views of Little Lagoon. There is also a canoe/kayak launch at this trail to explore the Little Lagoon Waters.
Another gorgeous tour offered by Wild Native Tours, this one takes you a bit further off the beaten path. The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is a corner of paradise for many species of birds, located out near Fort Morgan. Visitors come to the Gulf Shores wildlife refuge to escape the crowds of the state parks; here, it feels like a slice of southern coastal wilderness was set aside just for your enjoyment.
Set aside more for fauna than for people, not all of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is accessible by road or foot path. The kayak tour, however, lets you explore the nooks that vehicle-bound passengers miss. In these quieter areas, you can spy unique birds such as brown pelicans, great blue herons, osprey, great egrets, cormorants, and more—dolphins, too, can make their homes here!
Even if you’re no birdbrain, the tour guides know the waters and its animals backwards and forwards. You’ll learn all about the different species and what makes the area special; by the end of the tour, you’ll have fallen in love with this corner of Alabama wildlife.
Times and Prices
Tickets are available online at the Wild Native Tours website, and can also be purchased over the phone. The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Kayak Tour lasts about three hours. It costs $65 for adults 18 and over, and $50 for anyone younger. The tour is available year-round!
Harris Properties – Your Gulf Shores Vacation Experts
Gulf Shores is the ideal vacation destination for people looking to have a great time exploring and enjoying the outdoors in a unique tropical environment. Our team of dedicated reservation specialists is more than happy to lend you their insider’s knowledge of the area and tell you more about what you can expect during your time in one of our Gulf Shores condos. If you’re a fan of the Bon Secour wildlife Refuge, you may enjoy the seclusion offered by our Fort Morgan rentals. Or, maybe you prefer to get away to a small town like Gulf Shores? Either way, Harris Properties has a delightful rental for every need, including pet-friendly rentals, small beach homes for honeymooners, large homes for family reunions, and more! Call us at 1-877-446-4853 to learn more about our offerings.