Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail - Orange Beach

backcountry trail

With all the talk about the beaches you may never notice that Orange beach and Gulf Shores sport over 30 miles of walking and bike trails. The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is a collection of six walking/biking black topped trails that take you for a relaxing tour of the natural woodlands of the area.

There are several places to get on the trail called trail heads. My favorite place to enter the trail system is on State Park road #2. There are two State Park roads. State park road #1 is located directly across from the Gulf Shore State Park Pier where the zip lines are. This road follows the west edge of Shelby Lake up to Fort Morgan road. If you followed that road it turns in to State Park road #2 and returns you to the beach road.

My Favorite Trail Head

You want to follow Fort Morgan road to the right for about a mile and you will see the trail head. There is good parking there. When you enter the trail head you will cross a bridge and arrive at the trail. Take the trail to the right if this is your first time as it is my favorite

Trail Photo

These trails are quite beautiful and sport park benches, restrooms and picnic tables. Whether you are on a bicycle or walking it is a lot of fun to pack a picnic lunch and just relax in the serenity of the woodlands.

If you are looking to do some distance on a bike you try going to the left. You can go 20-25 miles as the trail follows Fort Morgan road out the Fort Morgan peninsula.

Don’t be surprised if you see some wildlife along these trails. along with the occasional alligator that you can view from viewing stands, you may see deer and if you are lucky, an armadillo. I saw my first armadillo on this trail years ago. They are amazing. They are very gentle and act a lot like a rabbit with an armored shell.

You can even take a 2 hour tour in an open motorized cart with an experienced  guide that will take you through the woodlands and explain all the different features of the trail.. These tours are by appointment only. To schedule your tour, call 981-1063.  Email booking available at:

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