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Featured National Recreation Trails

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Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.


Eastern Shore National Recreation Trail, Alabama

The Eastern Shore Trail is a dedicated multipurpose trail for pedestrian and non-motorized vehicle use that generally follows the shores of Mobile Bay in South Alabama for 36 miles.


Map of Alabama

photo of kids on bridge

Kindergarten class at Gator Alley Boardwalk

Ever since 1995 a nonprofit grass-roots group calling themselves the Baldwin County Trailblazers has engaged in a relentless 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.

photo of menwith signs

VOlunteers Terry and Lloyd post Trailside signs



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 histroric but totally updated Grand Hotel Marriott Resort at Point Clear... with two Robert Trent Jones golf courses, tennis complex, swimming pools, marina, and European spa.

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 thebluff overlooking the pier, the Rose Garden, duck ponds and swimming in the Bay off sandy beaches.


Out on the six mile causeway that crosses the Bay we have...

photo of big bridge

Montrose Steel Bridge

With all said and done, the Eastern Shore Trail satisfies the appetites for adventure of ecotourists, cyclists and joggers, fitness seekers, fishermen, sailers, and families on vacation. And it's all accessible to families and people of all ages, to strollers, and to people using wheelchairs.

photo of bikes on trail

The Battleship USS Alabama is one of the historic sights along the
Eastern Shore Trail (Photo by Bill Tunnell)


Directions to Trail:

From Mobile, Alabama, head East on I-10 to Battleship Parkway (also known as the Causeway) to Battleship USS Alabama Memorial Park. From Pensacola, head West on I-10 to Battleship Parkway and Battleship USS Alabama Memorial Park.


For more information:

The Baldwin County Trail Blazers
P.O. Box 701 Daphne, AL 36526
Phone number: (251) 279-0661
Fax number: (251) 990-0156



The mission of the Baldwin County Trailblazers is to enhance the quality of life of all Baldwin Countians by taking a leading role in the plannig and development of a countywide network of hiking/biking trails connecting community to community, town to country, and people to people.


trail noteWe frequently add NRT information, photos and maps to these pages. Send suggestions and information requests to American Trails. Research additional NRTs in the NRT database. Trail managers can update online trail information in the NRT database. You may also e-mail information on minor changes or to update Featured NRT pages.



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The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails:


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Promote your trail through the National Recreation Trails Program


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