If two-wheelin’ is your favorite mode of transportation or exercise, we can help you make the most of your visit to Orange Beach. The cycling trails here are beautiful and expansive, and local bike shops have everything you need – from riding gear to rentals.
Katherine Taylor of Infinity Bicycles says the best thing about biking in Coastal Alabama is you have the opportunity to bike in rural farm areas and alongside the Gulf all in one place – and, in some cases, one ride. This gives variety in training, from wind and flat land against the Gulf to rolling (and not-so-rolling) hills and random obstacles in the rural areas.
“Cycling as a form of transportation is a great option in Alabama as well,” she says. “Because the cities and towns in our area are more spread out, you can get your morning ride in on your way to the office.”
Not heading into the office? Pedal off to the zoo, beach, library … or one of many scenic bike trails in Gulf State Park and Fort Morgan. Beach Bike Rentals and Infinity Bicycles both offer park-and-cycle rentals to get you where you’re going.
Of the best places to cycle in Orange Beach, Infinity Bicycles’ Taylor says, “Hands down the Gulf State Park Backcountry Trail. It provides a safe opportunity for all cyclists no matter their ability.”
She’s not alone in her enthusiasm for the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, among the most popular for Gulf Coast cyclists. Many parts of the historic path were once inhabited by the area’s first explorers and settlers. These days, its paved trails are dotted with educational signage and a welcoming picnic pavilion. The immaculately maintained trails of Gulf State Park are for foot and bike traffic only. Five accessible trailheads lead to a central point with restrooms and water fountains.
Locals say the wildlife is the best part of this ride. Depending on the time of year, you might see snakes, deer, foxes, coyote, eagles, osprey, alligators and more. Be sure to stop by the butterfly garden. On the Backcountry Trail, immerse yourself in the beauty of local flora and fauna – but beware. Legend has it, the “Catman” (part man, part wildcat) lurks around the backwoods.
Taylor also shared a ‘local, in-the-know’ pick, for those looking to bike like a true Orange Beacher. To take on her insider selection, she suggests a dual sport or cycle-cross bike.
“Across from the west side entrance of the Gulf State Park by Highway 59 at the Fort Morgan Road intersection is a trail that runs parallel to Fort Morgan Road. The trail does not go all the way down to Fort Morgan and is not the smoothest, but it is tucked away and a fun opportunity to change up your riding style.”