On an island with very few roads to begin with, losing one is a pretty big deal.
“I didn’t know they were going to close the road at all,” says cyclist Morgan Mount.
State Park Road 2, through Gulf State Park, has been shut down as part of the Gulf State Park Project. “I feel like it’s going to be somewhat of a hassle to the through traffic,” says motorist Tom Gartman.
A mile and a half stretch from the trail head of the Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trail, all the way to the entrance of the campground is now off limits to cars and trucks. Only bikes and foot traffic are allowed.
“I think that’s great,” says cyclist Rachael Cline. “There is so many roads for cars to travel on. I think it would be really great for bikes to have that. It’ll be a lot safer.”
The closure was part of the big picture enhancements to the park but was expected years from now. It happened overnight.
“It was a surprise to all of us and it was disappointing.” Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft says he was informed about the closure in a text message half an hour after the road closed. “We are already overcrowded as we are and taking out one roadway adds to that complication.”
Road crews are already removing stripping from the freshly paved road that is now the newest addition to the trail system in the park.