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Biking Along the Gulf Coast Places Cyclists in a Winter Wonderland

by S. Lynne on February 16th, 2021
Couple enjoying a winter bike ride on Hwy 30a beaches in Florida.
Moderate temperatures and beautiful beaches make winter a wonderful time for biking along the Gulf Coast.

Winter’s a great time for biking along the Gulf Coast in Northwest Florida and Alabama. The beach is still beautiful, the crowds have gone home, and the temperatures and rental rates have dropped. Best of all, the area offers plenty of paved bike paths that are safe as well as scenic. In fact, all of the major roadways between Fort Morgan and Perdido Key have biker-friendly lanes on the shoulders, with the exception of Gulf Shores Parkway — and it has a sidewalk that doubles as a bike path.

Alabama's Eastern Shore Biking Trail
Alabama’s Eastern Shore Trail winds along and near Mobile Bay.

Alabama’s Eastern Shore Trail

Alabama’s Eastern Shore Trail winds along Mobile Bay and through the picturesque towns of Point Clear, Fairhope, and Daphne. Gracious homes, quaint shops, and trees trailing Spanish moss make this a truly pleasurable ride.

Alabama’s Fort Morgan Road Trail

The Fort Morgan Road Trail starts in Gulf Shores at the intersection of Alabama Highways 59 and 180 and leads cyclists 5.4 miles — one-way — both parallel to 180 and venturing off beyond the tree line. It runs along a narrow peninsula bordered on one side by the Gulf and the other by Mobile Bay. The route offers views of woods, marshland, and Little Lagoon.  When the path returns to the highway, the road isn’t heavily traveled, so it’s still a pleasant ride.

Alabama’s Gulf State Park Area Trail

In and near Gulf State Park, the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail system traverses a dozen scenic square miles. Bikers on its eight paved multi-use trails can view the vegetation and wildlife of nine different ecosystems, ranging from pine and oak forests to lakes, marshes, and dunes. Birdwatchers will appreciate the fact that four locations on the trail, Gulf Oak Ridge, Twin Bridges, Catman Road, and Rosemary Dunes, have been chosen as viewing points by the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail. Animals commonly seen along the trail include alligators, armadillos, raccoons, coyotes, otters, foxes, and wild boar. Interpretive signs placed at intervals identify many of the area’s natural features.

The Coyote Crossing Trail runs along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, paralleling Alabama Highway 135 and State Park Road 2 from Alabama Highway 59 to the Branyon Backcountry Trail’s Gulf Oak Ridge trailhead.

The Alabama to Florida Trail

This 27.4-mile round-trip trail starts at the Gulf Shores Public Beach parking area at the end of Alabama Highway 59. The trail follows the scenic shoreline on Alabama Highway 182 across the Florida state line to the Perdido Beach State Park.

Florida’s Destin to Fort Walton Beach Trail

There’s a 15-mile out-and-back ride along U.S. Highway 98 that takes cyclists from Destin to Fort Walton Beach and back. It includes a ride across the double-bridge crossing to and from Okaloosa Island, where riders can enjoy the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Choctawhatchee Bay on the other. A 7.5-mile stretch of the north side of U.S. 98 on Okaloosa Island includes a lane designated for beach access, which makes it an excellent choice for cycling traveling east and west.

Florida’s Highway 30-A Timpoochee Trail

In the Highway 30-A area is the Timpoochee Trail, nearly 20 miles of paved surface that stretches from Dune Allen (Emerald Coast Parkway) at its western end to Rosemary Beach at the east. Wide enough to accommodate bikers cycling in either direction, it passes through forests of pine, oak, magnolia, and palmetto palm, runs over dunes and down to the beach. Lakes and marshes dot the route, which also runs through the picturesque villages lining Highway 30-A.

Visit BeachGuide online for vacation rentals on the Alabama and Northwest Florida Gulf coasts. We’ve got great condos, houses, and cottages available at: Gulf Shores Alabama Vacation Rentals, Orange Beach Alabama Vacation Rentals, Pensacola Beach Vacation Rentals, Destin Florida Vacation Rentals, Highway 30A Vacation Rentals, Panama City Beach Condos, and more! Or you can call one of our friendly vacation planners at 1-888-698-1488 seven days a week. We’ll be happy to help you find the perfect accommodations for your needs! And we’ll see you out biking along the Gulf Coast!

gulf coast paved biking trail
Paved bike paths provide safe and scenic biking routes year-round.

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