Gulf State Park is located on the coast of Alabama and is home to 6,500 acres of protected land. Though there are 2 1/2 miles of beach shoreline, the majority of the Park lies inland. Originally 9 1/2 miles of trails connected various destinations in the Park. ArchitectureWorks worked with the State to design and implement more than 25 miles of trails across the Park, creating loop systems to encourage visitors’ education of the various ecosystems unique to the area. The vehicular-free system includes paved trails and elevated boardwalks connected to the beachfront trails by two pedestrian bridges. The trails create a universally accessible system for all ages and abilities to safely experience the Park.
In addition to the Trails, our firm designed a variety of Pause Places to escape the heat of the summer or the cold winter winds. The respites are scattered in the Park and each creates a unique experience at its location. The Pause Places also create informal meeting places where visitors are encouraged to meet one another and share experiences.
AIA Birmingham Design Awards, Citation Award, 2023