honestly the biggest hills are the three feet for the elevated board walk trails in the back end of the campground. From the central SP road to the beach (nearest point at the end of Camp Road #2) where there is shaded bike parking) it's as ....
FLAT AS A BOARD.
PS - there is a 1-foot rise on the campground over the canal that connects the two lakes that let's the gators pass back and forth but, hey, just keep moving....
PPS - if you get back on the Backcountry Trails, you might encounter about a 30-foot elevation change near the old Gulf State Park golf course - it's way in the back of the State Park (although it's very gradual). But from the camping area directly to the beach, I gave you my opinion. My Gulf DIS buddies will beat me up of course if I am incorrect.
PPPS - there are boardwalks to several parts of the beach (over by the Gulf Lodge, over by the Gulf Beach Pavilion). Those have cross-overs over the highway (ramp/hill involved). But for the route that goes to the beach along the way you drive in, it's flat.
In the picture above, the campground is circled in the red line. It has all ground level or slightly (3 ft) elevated boardwalk bike trails. You get there off the beach highway coming in on the yellow circled road. (the bold green lines are the walking/bike trails). That's the ONLY way in to the campground.
The green lines are bike/paved walking trails and the brown dashed lines on either side of the yellow to the blue circled areas are board walk or paved trail. But the blue circles are both board walks OVER the beach highway (walk up - ride down). On the left side the blue goes to the Gulf Hotel Lodge and Fishing Pier; on the right the the blue circle goes to the GSP Pavilion (up/over the highway) but it has bathrooms, covered picnic tables, rental beach chairs/umbrellas, and some concessions in summer. Free parking in both for GSP campers.
The part I circled in purple is the highest elevation on the Backcountry Trail over by the Gulf Course (now closed). It is a rim from a 1,000 year storm that pushed a bunch of sand that HIGH back there. It is gradual to get to but that is the highest point in much of Gulf Shores proper.
So from the red campground you can ride down to the beach along the yellow circle and park at the covered bike parking on the NORTH side of the Beach Highway. Pretty level. Push the pedestrian crossing button at the light and walk across the Beach Highway and along the boardwalk onto the beach. This is my favorite stretch. No bathrooms, no rental chairs or umbrellas, no concessions: just access on an elevated flat walkway to an empty quiet stretch of beach.
From the yellow circle up to the left side of the purple circle is now CLOSED to vehicular traffic but open and flat for bikes or walkers (it's the old Park Road #2 to the Campground). I hope this picture clears things up. GSP is great for bikes and foot traffic.
PS - get out in the mornings before it gets too humid after lunch.
Thanks Ed. We are in site 31. We scheduled this trip because of reading the accounts of yours and others at dis meets there. Love the fact it is flat and a covered bike area at the beach. Thanks again. Hope to run into you sometime at the fort.
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