Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around us...to touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Gulf State Park
Our first stop was the state park pier. This pier appeared to extend out into Gulf Shores about 150 yards. We didn’t walk the entire length on this day.
We did enjoy listening to the waves clap onto the beach and watching a lone boat head back to shore. From here we made our way across the street to the Gulf State Park Nature Center. This nature center was a pleasant surprise. It had many exhibits of live animals that are normally found throughout the park. As we strolled through the center we noticed a cage housing two owls.
We don’t normally like to see animals like these caged but the lady told us their stories. It appears one of the owls had lost his right eye. If sent back into the wild he would die. She explained that he will never be set free. The other owl had been hit by a car and was on the mend. He will be able to be released upon his ability to survive.
After leaving the nature center we took a quick drive through the campground. This campground is quite large with 496 sites offering 50 amp service along with water and sewer hookups. The roads were paved as well as the parking pads. Although we didn’t visit the bathhouses, camp store or laundry we were told they were clean and in good repair. You can also rent bicycles here and ride on many of the bike trails available.
There is a beach pavilion, lakeside cottages as well as cabins. Lake Shelby is a 900 acre freshwater lake providing activities such a fishing, boating, skiiing and swimming. For the golf enthusiast there is even a Gulf State Park 18 hole Par 72 championship golf course located near Lake Shelby.
We were interested in exploring a few of the trails so today we ventured onto the Gulf Oak Ridge trail. This trail is 2.75 miles and is asphalt. Along the way there are benches for resting. We passed a few bikers along the trail while we were there. The reason we chose this trail is because the gentleman in the nature center implied there was an alligator near the approach bridge that usually lays in the sun. Mike was dying to see an alligator. Well…..not today. We didn’t see him or at least we don’t think we did. He he!
There are several other trails that we hope to get back to before we leave. All in all this is quite an impressive state park. We had a great day and hope to return for further hiking, some bird watching and photography.