Bikes at the Lake Shelby picnic area
Biking

Exploring Gulf State Park on Electric Bikes: A Game Changer for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Our Gulf State Park adventure was a unique experience, exploring the 6,500 acres of coastal land on Biria electric bikes provided by Bikes Plus on 9th in Pensacola. With over 20 miles of trails to discover, the electric bikes were a game changer, offering us the freedom to explore the park’s diverse ecosystems and hidden gems.

Bikes in front of pedestrian bridge
Gulf State Park pedestrian bridge in the background
Bikes at the Lake Shelby picnic area
Bikes at the Lake Shelby picnic area

Our adventure began at The Lodge, where we biked the pedestrian bridge to Lake Shelby. We hydrated, snapped photos, and plotted our course at Lake Shelby. We then took the lake crossing trail, an elevated boardwalk connecting the picnic area to the campground and the eastern lakeside trails. After exiting the boardwalk, we went north on Gopher Tortoise Trail to Campground Trail. On the Campground Trail, we stopped at a bridge where a small crowd had gathered to watch a stare-down between an alligator and some turtles. We continued on the Campground trail to Catman Trail, where we took a break at the Forest Pavilion and Butterfly Garden.

Our Bike Route

We started our adventure at the Lodge.

20115 State Park Rd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

The Forest Pavilion and Butterfly Garden

The Forest Pavilion and Butterfly Garden are a perfect setting to rest and take in the park’s beauty. At the Forest Pavilion, you can picnic, refill water bottles, explore the gardens, and even test your bouldering skills. After recharging, we continued our ride on Catman Trail. At the end of Catman Trail, you can exit the park, head north to jump on Rattlesnake Ridge Trail, or head south on Cotton Bayou Trail. We opted to exit to get some food and coffee.

Bike Break and Coffee and Lunch At Local Cafes

We headed north on the bike path along Orange Blvd. to Canal Road and went west for a short distance to Cosmo’s Restaurant and BuzzCatz. After a delicious lunch of fish tacos at Cosmo’s, we got iced mochas at BuzzCatz Coffee Shop and sat in the grassy courtyard outside the cafe. It was terrific; we sat on the lawn and enjoyed the beautiful spring air, coffee, and company.

BuzzCatz Coffee Shop
BuzzCatz Coffee Shop

After coffee, we headed back down Canal Rd. to Orang Blvd., where we entered the park on Rattlesnake Ridge. We stayed on Rattlesnake Ridge to Gulf Oak Ridge, which takes you on windy and hilly trails through an upland forest with a stunning lookout on the ridge. This is my favorite section, and we have biked it with nonelectric and electric bikes. Having self-assistance in this section is a plus.

Views and Rest Breaks at Gulf Oak Ridge

The Gulf Oak Ridge is a good break point. We stopped and walked out on the observation deck that looked out from the ridge. Get your camera ready because this location is excellent for getting good shots. After taking in the view from the ridge, we continued biking until we arrived at Gopher Tortoise Trail and headed south toward home base. The Gopher Tortoise Trail brought us back to the lake crossing, where we concluded our e-bike adventure through Gulf State Park.

Adventure Checklist for a Memorable and Safe Adventure

If you plan a visit, here is our Adventure Checklist to make a memorable and safe adventure:

  • Bikes
  • Helmet
  • Sunscreen
  • Lock
  • Backpack
  • Phone for photos and navigation
  • Stop by the visitor center for a map

About the Biria Folding Bikes Provided by Bikes Plus

Biria folding e-bike
Biria folding e-bike 5 Series

Bikes Plus on 9th in Pensacola provided us with Biria folding bikes, which are great if you have limited room for transportation. We fit both bikes in the back of our Toyota Forerunner. We used the Series 5 on the Step-through 3.0. Both bikes are self-assist and have a hand throttle if you choose to use that. Top speed is around 20 mph.

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