Gulf Shores is a the southernmost point in Alabama, located on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a popular visitor location, known for its extensive beaches, ocean fishing, and numerous golf courses. The main beach road, Rt. 182, runs east-west, while a parallel road, Rt. 180 (Fort Morgan Rd.) runs just north of Little Lagoon. Our guide to running in Gulf Shores also includes Ocean Beach, Perdido Key Beach, and Johnson Beach National Seashore to the east. See also our guides to nearby Pensacola (FL) and Mobile.
The best places to run center on the 40+ miles of beach in the area, including numerous runnable roads alongside the beach. The prettiest road for running is Johnson Beach Rd., into Johnson Beach National Seashore. For off-road running, the signature spot is the 28+ miles of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trails in Gulf State Park. Big Lagoon Park and Graham Creek Nature Preserve also have scenic trails winding through forests and marshland.
Runners should note that summers in Gulf Shores are very hot and humid, and that the beaches and beachside roads are open and exposed.