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State of Alabama Parks

USA Parks
Gulf Coast Region
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
Yellowhammer ©
Oh Yell ©
12295 AL-180
Gulf Shores, Alabama   36542
(lat:30.2409 lon:-87.8245)

Phone: (251) 540-7720
The Bon Secour NWR contains 7,000 acres of wildlife habitat for migratory birds, nesting sea turtles and the endangered Alabama beach mouse. The refuge was established by Congress in 1980 to preserve the coastal dune ecosystem, to protect threatened and endangered species, to provide compatible recreational opportunities, and to serve as a living laboratory for students and scientists. The refuge is small, compared to most national wildlife refuges, and is comprised of five separate units in Baldwin and Mobile counties, Alabama. The full-time staff consists of three, but the refuge has numerous committed volunteers throughout the year. The refuge hosts more than 100,000 visitors annually.

The Refuge is home to the endangered Alabama beach mouse, which is associated with the sand dunes and sea oats. Refuge beaches serve as nesting sites for loggerhead, and Kemp's Ridley sea turtles. Habitats include beaches and sand dunes, scrub forest, fresh and saltwater marshes, fresh water swamps, and uplands.

More than 370 species of birds have been identified on the refuge during migratory seasons. The largest are usually ospreys and several species of herons. At the other extreme, seven species of hummingbirds have been identified. Mammals such as red fox, coyotes, and armadillos are also present.
History of the Area
The name Bon Secour comes from the French meaning "safe harbor," very appropriate considering the sanctuary for native flora and fauna that the refuge provides. The refuge serves the additional benefit of comprising one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the Alabama coast. Its dunes are a reminder of the Gulf Coast, as it once existed. As a consequence, the refuge has been named as one of the 10 natural wonders of Alabama.
Day-UseHiking Trailyes

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is located near Fairhope, Foley and Gulf Shores

The trail system at Bon Secour NWR offers a variety of viewing opportunities for visitors. From short 1 mile hikes to 4+ mile expansions, the trails are all unique and give an opportunity to discover different habitats of the refuge: dunes, swales, wetlands, maritime forests and scrub habitats.

All of the established trails are on the Perdue Unit. There are no pets allowed on the refuge, please leave your pets at home to protect the many wildlife species that make the refuge their home.

Refuge beaches and trails are open 7 days a week during daylight hours only.

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Area Campgrounds
Anchors Aweigh RV Resort
19814 County Road 20 South
Foley, AL
Fort Morgan RV Park
10397 - 2nd Street
Gulf Shores, AL
Nearby Hotels

Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Fort Morgan Peninsula in southern Alabama. You can reach the refuge by riding the ferry from the west side of Mobile Bay or drive through Mobile and down to Gulf Shores.

From Highway 59 in Gulf Shores, Alabama, turn west on Highway 180 and continue for approximately:

6 miles to the Jeff Friend Trail

7.5 miles to the Refuge Office

9 miles to the Pine Beach Trail

Several signs are also posted on Highway 180 that will direct you to the refuge office and nature trails.


State of Alabama Parks