Perfect for a short stroll, a family bike ride, or a relaxing hike through the native wilderness of the Alabama Gulf Coast, the Fort Morgan Road Trail is a popular multi-use paved trail that meanders through pine forests, sand dunes, cypress groves, coastal marshes, and peaceful tree-lined neighborhoods. Grab the bikes – or rent from one of three nearby cycling centers – and enjoy a scenic 11-mile (round-trip) ride that is perfect for all ages and skill levels on your next vacation. Along the way you will see plenty of wildlife including eagles, ospreys, and even the occasional alligator (fortunately at a distance).
Beautiful Views at the Fort Morgan Road Trail
The Fort Morgan Road Trail is a rails-to-trails success story. An old rail line, it connects the Rouses Shopping Center in the west (at the intersection of Highways 59 and 180) with the Peninsula Golf and Racket Club in the east. Most of its 11 miles is flat, though there are a few small sections of hills at the western reaches. And while the paved trail at times parallels the roadway with which it shares its name, it spends most of its time meandering through deep and pristine forests, marshes, and dunes, all of them alive with the song of forest birds, the drone of insects, and the peaceful whispers of the wind in the dangling Spanish moss. There is a sense of history here (and the occasional historical marker); the Union Army used this very same trail during its march on Fort Morgan during the Civil War.
NOTE: Cyclists will want to keep an eye out for cracked pavement, road crossings, the occasional rattlesnake sunning itself, and the curious alligators that can be seen in the distance at Little Lagoon.
Hitting the Trail
Most visitors opt to hop on the trail at the eastern end. We recommend you do likewise, if only because you can fuel up on coffee and beignets at Café Beignet in the shopping center. After passing a scenic golf course you can enjoy a pit stop for refreshments at the Island Quik Mart at the 4-mile mark (it is 5.4 miles each way). Rehydrate and press on until your arrival in the tranquil neighborhoods and wooded groves around the Peninsula Golf Course. For those looking for a more advanced and more scenic ride, additional trails head east through Gulf State Park, a beautiful sanctuary of dunes, lakes, and postcard-worthy white sand beaches.