Type: Greenway, Urban Trail
Length: 24.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (on pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No
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Location: Gator Alley at I-10 in Daphne, Alabama to Weeks Bay Reserve on Scenic Highway 98 in Baldwin County, Alabama.
Latitude: 30.67153 Longitude: -87.90206
To reach the beginning of the off road trail in Daphne at Gator Alley - From Mobile, AL cross Mobile Bay on US 90 Battleship Parkway or I-10 east to exit at the first Daphne exit. From Pensacola, head west on I-10 and exit at the last Daphne exit before crossing Mobile Bay. Parking is available at Gator Alley on North Main Street, Daphne.
Ever since 1995 a non-profit grass roots group calling themselves the Baldwin County Trailblazers has engaged in a campaign to develop a continuous multi-purpose trail that follows the eastern shore of Mobile Bay in Baldwin County, Alabama. Their initial challenge was to create the public appetite for sidewalks in small communities that had "gotten along just fine without them," then to connect them all.
They wrote the grants and helped raise matching funds. In unincorporated areas they worked with county commissioners and the local press again selling a product that had yet to exist. Well known national trail enthusiasts Dan Burden, Jeff Speck, and Ed McMahon appeared at Trailblazer conferences, providing guidance and encouragement.
Today a wide variety of trails constitute the Eastern Shore Trail ...many waterfront, some historic, wilderness and small town, both off road and paralleling roads. One dubbed "Gator Alley" tunnels under an interstate highway giving hikers a close look at alligators and giant turtles swimming below in d'Olive Creek or sunning themselves on its banks.
These trails are largely constructed of concrete or asphalt but because of the wide variation in grade a lot of elevated boardwalks and high-rise bridges, both wooden and metal, are also common.
There are many attractions along the way from wilderness parks as in Daphne's Village Point Park to sophisticated waterfront resorts. But as one trailside resident says, "The trail is our front porch... where we connect with friends and neighbors while strolling the latest grandchild or walking to the library or getting our daily exercise.”
For non-residents such as our winter snowbird friends there's much to see and do from the art galleries, street corner gardens and Single Tax Colony Museum in downtown Fairhope to the historic but totally updated Grand Hotel Marriott Resort at Point Clear.
Perhaps the most fun of all is a stroll out on Fairhope's half mile municipal pier to check out the fishermen's luck, follow a sailing regatta in progress, or to marvel at windsurfers skimming by on a strong tail wind. Then there are the band concerts on the bluff overlooking the pier, the Rose Garden, duck ponds and swimming in the Bay off sandy beaches.
Width: 96 inches.
Primary Surface: Concrete
Secondary Surface: Asphalt
Average Grade: 4%
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: 158
Year Designated: 2010
Supporting Webpages and DocumentsWebsite: Baldwin County Trailblazer
Website: Featured National Reccreation Trail
Website: Facebook - Baldwin County Trailblazers
For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.
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