East of Gulf Shores, there are good running options on the barrier island that includes Perdido Beach and neighboring Johnson Beach National Seashore. There’s some excellent beach running, some multi-use trails, and a decent road loop. Our recommendations:
Beach Run: Perdido Beach and Johnson Beach National Seashore Beaches. More undeveloped than the beaches in Gulf Shores. The sand is soft but can be firm near the water and at tidally dependent. Heading west from the intersection of Rt. 292, it’s 3.5 miles to the end of Perdido State Park, and 7.5 miles to the break with Orange Beach. Heading east, the beach continues into the Johnson Beach National Seashore for 3 miles to the end of the road, and 6 miles to the end of the beach at to Fort McRee.
Road Run: Perdido Key Dr./Johnson Beach Rd. There’s a decent shoulder along Rt. 292/Perdido Key Dr., with some decent water views. The best section is Johnson Beach Rd., starting from where Rt. 292 turns north. The road winds through dunes, with views of the water on both sides, for 3 miles one-way. There’s a no shoulder/sidewalk for most of this road, but it’s lightly trafficked.
Road Run: River Rd. Loop. One of the only loop options in the area is this 4.4 mile route incorporating Perdido Key Dr. and River Rd. Start at the intersection of Perdido Key Dr. and River Rd., and head east on Perdido Key Dr., staying on it as it turns inland at Johnson Beach Rd. At the 2.3 mile mark, LEFT on River Rd., with the golf course on the left and the water on the right, for 2 miles back to the start.