From those that crawl to those that fly, Coastal Alabama is home to an amazing array of animals. Explore the natural world and meet them for yourself.
Spend a day canoeing or kayaking along the southern end of the William Bartram Canoe Trail, which is more than 200 miles long and winds through Mobile’s rivers and bays. You will see all kinds of wildlife including alligators, fish, birds and many other residents of the river delta. The Mobile-Tensaw River Delta is the second largest river delta in the country and the largest in the state of Alabama. You can hop on an airboat, ride a pontoon, kayak and even camp. Stop by 5 Rivers Delta, also known as the Gateway to the Mobile-Tensaw Delta where you can experience outdoor recreation and learn about conservation and land stewardship. You can also take an eco-tour by boat with Wild Native Tours.
Be wildly entertained as energetic tour guides bring hilarity and fun to this interactive Gulf Coast Ducks Duck Boat tour. As you hop aboard the Gulf Coast’s only land and water tour you will experience the Mobile River, Downtown Mobile, Mobile Bay and Battleship Park like you’ve never seen them before. Prepare to experience over 300 years of Mobile history including a real life Game of Thrones featuring stories of colonial powers battle for control over Mobile’s waterways. Additionally, you’ll get to know the dynamic characters and personalities that make Mobile one of the most unique cultures in the world.
Fairhope’s Oak Hollow Farm is surrounded by historic oak trees and lush green fields, with a popular rustic-meets-southern charm barn. Oak Hollow Farms provides countless opportunities for fun experiences in the great outdoors including horseback riding, skeet shooting, pheasant hunting and fishing.
Check out one of the most diverse habitats for flowering plants in North America. The Weeks Bay Pitcher Plant Bog is home to several species of carnivorous pitcher plants, pine lilies and orchids. Also, be on the lookout for red-tailed hawks and butterflies.
Go on a gator hunt at Daphne’s Gator Boardwalk. Take your family for a stroll along the elevated boardwalk and spot alligators, coastal birds and turtles. The boardwalk also serves as an extension to the popular Eastern Shore Trail.
Kayaking along the Bartram Canoe Trail is also sure to please. You will find wildlife including alligators, fish, birds, and many other residents of the river delta.
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach
Stop by the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and experience an encounter with lemurs, baby kangaroos, sloths and reptiles. The “Little Zoo That Could” offers safe, nurturing and educational animal encounters for visitors to get one-on-one with some of the zoo’s most popular species.
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place for nature-lovers to visit while on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The refuge houses some of Alabama’s last remaining undisturbed coastal barrier habitat. With over 360 species of birds migrating in and out of the refuge, there is always something new to be explored. The refuge also leads towards direct beach access allowing for a full day of fun and houses several trails that are ADA accessible.
The Gulf State Park and the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail offer more than 28 miles of trails through six distinct ecosystems, some of which are home to an amazing number of endangered species, as well as a butterfly garden, picnic pavilion and children’s boulder climbing park. From maritime live oak bluffs to magnolia and long-leaf pine forests—and dozens of well-placed benches and swings–you can find a wide range of scenery for walking, biking or relaxing.
Kayak or canoe the pristine habitats and waterways of the Wolf Bay Watershed, launching from either Graham Creek Nature Preserve or Wolf Creek Park. Paddlers often see dolphins, many species of fish and land animals and plenty of shore birds.
Visit Alligator Alley and start your guided adventure with a walk on the elevated viewing platform. You’ll see more than 450 alligators from hatchlings to mature adults, relaxing, sunbathing, courting and nesting. After a breath taking view, continue your adventure with a nature walk on the elevated boardwalk and see alligators in their natural habitat along with other natural inhabitants such as turtles, ospreys, owls and bull frogs only a couple feet away!
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab serves Alabama’s 22, four-year colleges and universities through summer college courses and graduate programs. Its Estuarium, the public aquarium of the Lab, focuses solely on the Mobile-Tensaw Estuary System, and offers a variety of hands-on exhibits including the Rays of the Bay Tank, a creature table, and a touch tank.
Regarded as one of the top migratory bird paths by such esteemed organizations as the Audubon Society, Dauphin Island is indeed a bird-watchers’ paradise year-round, but most especially during spring and fall migration. Take an inspiring leisurely stroll through the Audubon Bird Sanctuary and Estuary, where you are sure to see many species of local and migratory birds, as well as beautiful butterflies, animals, alligators and flora and fauna that thrive in this very special and treasured ecosystem.