United States

Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Best Places to Run in the Gulf Shores Area. See also our guides to nearby Pensacola and Mobile

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.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Gulf Shores, Alabama

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Big Lagoon State Park

Gulf Shores, Alabama

An attractive waterfront park, also popular for kayaking and birding. Best running options include the 2.5 mile main park road, and the 5 miles of hiking/nature trails. Can also connect to our routes in Perdido Key.
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Gulf Shores has a lovely climate for running, except for the super hot and humid months of June through September — average high temperatures in summer are 90F (32C), with sultry nights. Winters are delightfully mild, with daytime highs near of 60F (16C) and lows around 40F (4C). Spring and fall are delightful. It’s a fairly wet climate, with 67 inches (1700mm) of average annual rainfall. There are no particularly dry months. Summers can have monsoonal rains, with downpours and near daily thunderstorms.

Running Stores

Running Wild is the main indy running store in the area, with a location in Fairhope. They have an extensive calendar of group runs.

There are also Nike and Adidas factory store outlets.

Group Runs

The Running Wild store has an extensive calendar of group runs.

Lower Alabama Fleet Feet is a local running club.

This calendar has a list of the signature races in the Gulf Shores area.

Key events in the Gulf Shores area:

Big Beach Marathon and Half Marathon. January.