The Jeff Friend Trail hiking trail is an excellent introduction to the four trail choices of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. The one mile loop provides a preview of Bon Secour’s range of habitats from dense plant species to shoreline views of Little Lagoon.
The Jeff Friend hiking trail is an inviting experience for every level of hiker into a lively home for migratory birds and other coastal species. The trail begins in a tree shrouded parking lot with a gravel path directing visitors through wind swept and moss laden oaks. Along the gravel path, foliage is at times as diverse as it is dense. A boardwalk begins near the shoreline of Little Lagoon which opens up to an observation deck.
What Makes It Great
A favorite among many, the Jeff Friend Trail is particularly interesting to hikers who study migratory birds. More than 300 species of birds have been identified in the refuge. Little Lagoon attracts seaturtles and other aquatic wildlife seldom found near other hiking trails.
The gentle breeze off Little Lagoon and the shading of the large oaks makes this trail pleasantly cool which is a plus during the warmer months.
Who is Going to Love It
The Jeff Friend Trail is one of the best places for first time hikers on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Those looking for a more natural coastline and wanting to get a firsthand encounter with the more primitive beach setting will enjoy this habitat. It is family friendly and educational for every age. Everyone will walk away with a greater appreciation for the beauty of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
No pets are allowed within the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Directions to the Jeff Friend trail begin from the intersection of AL 59 South and AL 180 West. Traveling 6 miles westward on AL 180, the entrance to the trail is on the left hand side. A sign marks the gated entrance to parking. There are no fees and the trail is open only during daylight hours.