Gulf State Park part of “Hike 24 in 24 Alabama’’

Gulf State Park part of “Hike 24 in 24 Alabama’’David Rainer
Al. Dept. of Natural Resources
Join the naturalists and volunteers from the foothills of the Appalachians to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico for the “Hike 24 in 24 Alabama” initiative from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. For a full schedule of hikes across the state and/or to register, visit For more Gulf State Park hike info is also available by emailing or calling 251-948- 7275 ext. 62093.
The hikes will be led by knowledgeable State Park staff and volunteers. Each hike varies in distance and difficulty with the goal of fun, engaging experiences for participants. This is an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Alabama’s natural resources with experienced guides leading the way.
Gulf Stare Park hikes include:
• April 10 at 10 a.m.: The National Gopher Tortoise Day Hike: This guided hike begins at the Butterfly Garden and travels to Rosemary Dunes to see some Gopher Tortoise burrows and learn about the tortoise.
• April 24; May 10, 17, 24 & 31: 10 a.m. – Fire and Feathers Hike. Join a naturalist on a hike through an fire dependent ecosystem to an Eagle’s nest.
• May 9; 9 a.m – Highest Point in Gulf State Park Hike: Start at the Gulf Oak Ridge Trailhead for a guided hike to the highest point in Gulf State Park. Travel through a beautiful maritime forest, where the naturalist will point out some of the common plant, bird and animal species.
• May 10; 9 a.m – Guided Hike along Lake Shelby starting at the Lake Shelby Playground and ending on Canal Trail.
• June 1; 8 a.m. – National Trails Day Hike. Meet at the Gulf Oak Ridge Trailhead and enjoy a stroll through one of GSP’s most beloved trails! This hike will be 2.5 miles total.
• June 13; 8 a.m.; Rosemary Dunes Hike. Meet us at the Rosemary Dunes Trailhead to enjoy a guided hike to try and see our favorite alligator mom, Leftie! Your guide will talk about various plant species along the way and end this hike with a brief presentation about alligators while (hopefully) getting to see one!
“All 21 parks are involved. We’re going to offer more than 300 hikes that our participants can choose from. It’s going to be really easy for them to find a hike that fits their needs, level of endurance and the locations they want to explore all over the state,’’ said Renee Raney, Alabama State Park’s Chief of Interpretation and Education.
“We have more than 250 miles of trails in the Alabama State Parks System. These trails are comfortable and accessible for people with diverse backgrounds and diverse abilities.’’ Raney has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and summitted Mt. Whitney (California), the highest point in the contiguous U.S. She has hiked the Wicklow Way in Ireland, the Verda La Mina in Puerto Rico, the Eiffel Lake Trail in Canada and portions of the Appalachian Trail.
“None of them can compare to the beauty and biodiversity of our Alabama State Parks trails,” she said. “If I had to choose trails to hike the rest of my life, and I could choose anything from across the planet, I would choose Alabama State Parks trails. You’ve got everything from the deepest canyon to the highest mountain to the most pristine Gulf to the most beautiful lakeside sunsets and sunrises.’’