Friends of Bon Secour
National Wildlife Refuge
Friends of bon secour faqs
The trails are open year-round, sunrise to sunset and highlight the unique features of the area. We recommend you contact the refuge headquarters for current office hours.
12295 State Highway 180
Gulf Shores, AL 36547
The Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge plays host to over 100,000 visitors annually.
No, admittance to the refuge and trails is free.
Pets are not allowed on the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge. Please leave your pets at home to protect the many wildlife species that make the refuge their home. However, leashed dogs are allowed in certain areas of the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge and Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge, such as the designated hiking trails and Visitor Center grounds.
Neither camping nor campfires are allowed at the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge or Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
Named one of the 10 Natural Wonders of Alabama, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge comprises 7,000 acres on five parcels of land.
Congress established the Refuge in 1980 to preserve the coastal dune ecosystem and to protect threatened and endangered species along with migratory birds.
The Refuge is the last large parcel of undeveloped land on the Alabama Gulf Coast. It offers four hiking trails that range in difficulty from easy to strenuous and provides an up close and personal experience for nature lovers.
The name Bon Secour is French and means “safe harbor,” a very appropriate name for this undisturbed piece of paradise. From sandy beaches and rolling dunes to wetlands with a dense growth of evergreens and deciduous trees, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge features a diverse habitat.
More than 370 species of birds have been identified at the Refuge during migratory seasons. The largest are typically ospreys and several species of herons. Four species of hummingbirds have also been identified in the Refuge. Mammals such as the red fox, armadillo, and coyotes call the Refuge home, as does the endangered Alabama beach mouse. Endangered sea turtles also use the sandy, unspoiled beaches for nesting from May to October.
Visit the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Website.
Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1975 under the Endangered Species Act, the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge is home to the last of the wet pine savanna habitat, as well as its namesake the Mississippi Sandhill Crane. The namesake bird is the rarest birds in North America, and it only exists within the confines of the refuge and surrounding private lands. Less than 5% of the crane’s original habitat remains, and they share their refuge with a rich variety of other birds and plant species.
Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Grand Bay is located on the banks of both Mississippi and Alabama, and it is a study of transitioning ecosystems. From the wet pine savanna landscape to the Escatawpa River System down to the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. As freshwater turns to brackish water which turns to salt water, marshes, bayous, and streams are formed.
Visit the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge Website.