The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
is regarded as one of the ten natural wonders in Alabama
. This is because it lays claim to a bounty of endangered wildlife and fauna. Bon Secour was founded in 1980, by Congress in an effort to preserve Alabama’s ecosystem. Today thousands of visitors flock to the Refuge to see the beauty of nature in action.
Threatened and Endangered Species Include:
• The Beach Mouse – To counteract the threat to these species, dunes have been set up to protect beach mice. The beach mouse is an important part of Alabama’s ecosystem as they gather and distribute seeds that help protect the dunes and other animals that reside in them.
• Loggerhead, Kemp Riley’s, Leatherback and Green Turtles – The Refuge provides nesting sites that are constantly monitored and protected by local volunteers. In addition, the organization provides educational campaigns that are aimed at informing residents about the threat of turtle extinction.
More Wildlife Viewings:
• Over 300 Migratory Bird Species – just like Ospreys, Herons, Pelicans, Egrets, Flycatchers and more. The diversity is dizzying, as the bird species fluctuate through different seasons of migration.
• Mammals – like Armadillos, Red Foxes, River Otters, Bob Cats, Feral Pigs, Marsh Rabbits and more.
• Reptiles – That include, but aren’t limited to: American Alligators, Black Racers, Corn Snakes, Green Anoles and Black Tortoises.
• Amphibians – such as Southern Toads, Green Treefrogs, Spring Peepers, Bull Frogs and others.
Visitors who are staying at Gulf Shores vacation rentals
can hike over seven trails to see the different types of wildlife described above. The Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge combines over seven thousand acres in total.
Reservations can be arranged for a tour, in which visitors can plan for approximately two hours of trailing. In addition, the only restrooms are located at the office, so before doing a tour, it’s recommended that restrooms are used at the main office of the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge.
Habitats for diverse plant species are spread throughout Gulf Shores beaches, where visitors can walk along the shorelines to examine them. Also, dedicated trails provide access to other habitats for plants, like the scrub forests, marshes, swamps and uplands.
Bon Secour Trailing Facts:
• Specific trails, such as the Jeff Friend Trail is wheelchair accessible.
• No camping is allowed on the facilities.
• Seasonal events are planned throughout the year, and current ones can be viewed here.
• The office is open between 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
• Reservations are required at least 24 hours before the scheduled date.
• Kiosks contain maps, so that visitors are able to trail on their own.
• To protect visitors, boardwalks and observation pavilions have been set up a good distance above the ground. This distances wildlife such as gators, alligators, coyotes and others from onlookers.
Shuttles and other transportation services can also be arranged between Golf Shores vacation rentals and one of the following trails: Jeff Friend, Centennial, Gator Lake, Pine Beach trails, or the Dynamic Dunes Beach Tour.