If you and your pup are looking for some things to do outside the house this summer, maybe it's time to hit the trails! In the heat of summer, forested areas like these provide a cooler setting for outdoor exercise than a walk around the block, making the excursions a bit more tolerable. Packed dirt and pine needle trails are also much easier on the joints and paws than hot pavement. Even better, all of these hiking trails are within one hour of Mobile and welcome leashed dogs. Balou and I love the change of scenery these hikes provide - we hope you will too!
Glenn Sebastian Nature Trail
This network of trails is located on the northwestern corner of the University of South Alabama's campus. Just over 3 miles of packed earth trails wind through about 95 acres of natural land. The well-marked, interconnected trails provide a variety of routes with informational signs along the way. If you get tired of the trails, you can always explore campus via the 1.5-mile Jag Fitness Trail, a wide gravel loop that borders part of the Nature Trail and winds through campus.
One of our favorite local parks, there's no shortage of things to do here! Hike the extensive packed-earth trails system, picnic at a table overlooking the creek, swim in the designated swimming area, or launch a canoe or kayak from the boat ramp. Trails at Chickasabogue Park are perhaps the most rugged on this list, and well-traveled by mountain bikers.
Admission: $1 per adult, $0.50 per child ages 6-11, free for children under 6 or adults 60+
Muddy Creek Interpretive Nature Trail
Just over 2 miles of quiet trails are hidden out of sight at the Muddy Creek Wetlands Management Area off of Rangeline Road. The loop trail is an easy hike on restored wetlands, with a combination of packed earth and wooden boardwalks. Informational signs along the way point out trees, plants, and topography of note.
Spanish Fort, AL
Historic Blakeley State Park
Set on an old Civil War battlefield, the hiking trails at Blakely State Park are also an interesting history lesson! You'll see lots of park users on the twenty miles of intersecting trails, including other hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Trail terrain varies from packed earth and sand to wooden boardwalks over swampy areas. Pack a lunch to enjoy at one of the many picnic areas (don't forget the dog biscuit!).
Admission: $4 per adult, $3 per child ages 6-12, free for children under 6
Spanish Fort, AL
5 Rivers Delta Resource Center
A small network of wide, easy trails criss-cross the 5 Rivers Delta area. While the trails total about 1.5 miles, they connect various parking lots to the nature center, gift shop, and picnic areas, so they're great for small children or pups who need frequent breaks. The kayak launch remains open if you have a water-loving pup!
Dauphin Island, AL
Audubon Bird Sanctuary
A beautiful system of trails on the East End of Dauphin Island, this sanctuary is a great place to enjoy several types of natural habitat in one hike. Three miles of trails meander through lush forest, around several lakes (complete with alligators!), and out onto the beach. Please be respectful of the sanctuary and make sure to keep your pup leashed to avoid disturbing ground-nesting birds. Our favorite way to end a morning spent at the sanctuary? Pulled pork tacos from Miguel's Beach'n Baja :)
🐾 Have you done any of these hikes with your family? Know any other good dog-friendly hiking spots near Mobile that didn't make our list? Tell us about them in the comments below!