Three of My Favorite Little Hiking Spots Within an Hour’s Drive of Mobile, Alabama!
By Candice Cravins, Girls Who Hike Alabama Ambassador
When you think of visiting Mobile, Alabama, awesome hiking trails probably aren’t the first thing to come to mind! When I moved to Mobile, the birthplace of Mardi Gras, in 2016, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that hiking opportunities abound for those willing to do a little “hunting.” I quickly discovered that what the local trails lack in difficulty, they more than make up for in terms of diverse scenery and wildlife.
Whether you’ve got thirty minutes or two hours, these trails offer the perfect opportunity to get out and experience the outdoors.
Read on to learn about three of my favorite hiking spots within an hour’s drive of Mobile, Alabama!
1. Dauphin Island Audubon Bird Sanctuary Trails (Dauphin Island)
The Audubon Bird Sanctuary on Dauphin Island is a must-see for birders and non-birders alike! The Sanctuary offers not only the opportunity for birdwatching and great beach access to enjoy an afternoon picnic, but excellent hiking through a wide variety of habitats! The Sanctuary contains approximately 4.3 miles of hiking trails. My favorite trail is the Upper Woodland Trail (1.7 miles), which meanders through a lovely pine forest, sprinkled with a little Yaupon Magnolia, and Wax Myrtle throughout. The Trails are dog and kiddo-friendly!
2. Village Point Park Preserve (Daphne)
Village Point Park Preserve has a little bit of everything, and features a combination of dirt, paved, and boardwalk hiking trails totaling approximately 1.8 miles, according to Trails.com. The Park, which is the largest in the city of Daphne, also offers visitors access to one of the few remaining public beaches on Mobile Bay!
The Park is also home to one of the largest and most historic live oaks in the state of Alabama, accessible by a boardwalk path that wraps around the perimeter of the tree.
3. Glenn Sebastian Nature Trails on the University of South Alabama campus (Mobile)
The Glenn Sebastian Nature Trails, located on the campus of the University of South Alabama in Mobile, are truly a local treasure! Although they have been in operation for more than 30 years, the Trails were officially recognized in 2012 to honor the contributions and service of Dr. Glenn Sebastian, who was a well-loved professor of earth sciences at the University of South Alabama for many years.
The Trails range in distance from 1 mile to 3.1 miles (5K), and are home to a variety of plant and wildlife. Turtles can frequently be seen swimming or basking in the sun on logs in watering holes near the Trails, and interpretive signage informs hikers of the various plants that may be found growing along the Trails. The Trails are dog and runner friendly and are a great place to sneak away quickly for a little quiet time with nature!