If you’re an avid angler in Alabama, you’ll want to hear about the state’s longest pier. This pier is so long it dwarfs a football field in length – several times over! It’s not just the longest pier in Alabama, it’s also the longest fishing pier on the Gulf of Mexico. Read on to find out the length of this pier, how long it’s been around, and why hurricanes just can’t seem to leave it alone.
Which Is the Longest Pier in Alabama?
The longest pier in Alabama is the Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier. The name is often shortened to the Gulf State Park Fishing Pier, the Gulf State Park Pier, or simply the Pier. This wooden pier is a popular destination for anglers and sightseers alike who want to take advantage of the area’s excellent fishing and gorgeous views.
How Long Is the Longest Pier in Alabama?
The longest pier in Alabama is 1,540 feet long, the length of 4.28 football fields. (One football field equals 360 feet.) The Pier offers almost 2,500 feet of fishing space including both sides. Incidentally, this is also the longest fishing pier on the Gulf of Mexico.
Here are a few other ways to express the total length of the Pier:
- Meters: 469.4
- Miles: 0.3
- Kilometers: 0.47
Additionally, the Pier is 20 feet wide, giving anglers and sightseers plenty of space to spread out.
Where Is the Longest Pier in Alabama?
The Gulf State Park Pier juts out into the Gulf of Mexico from the Gulf State Park on the Gulf Coast. It is located near the city of Gulf Shores, which lies in Baldwin County. As of 2021, Gulf Shores had a population of approximately 15,736 people. The address of the Pier is as follows: 20800 E Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, AL 36542.
Gulf State Park Pier Hours and Fees
See the sections below for the hours and fees associated with the Gulf State Park Pier.
The Gulf State Park Fishing Pier is open for fishing and sightseeing 24/7. Staff are onsite to collect fees and oversee the Pier daily between the hours of 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM. When staff are not onsite, an honor box system is in place to collect fees from visitors.
The Pier also offers concessionaire windows where visitors can pay for snacks, food, and drinks. These are open daily from 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM subject to change. Covered seating is available for the concession area and indoor retail shop.
Parking, fishing, rod and reel rental, and sightseeing fees apply to any visitors to the Pier. The rates are as follows:
Daily parking rates:
- All Day (personal vehicle): $10.00
- All Day (passenger vans): $15.00
- All Day (vehicles with trailer, buses, or large RVs): $30.00
- Visit the Gulf State Park website for information on discounts for daily anglers
Annual parking rates:
- One Annual Decal (valid for one calendar year): $100.00
- Orange Beach residents and veterans do not pay for annual parking decals with proof of identity and residence/service
Visitors can find Parking Pay Stations (Kiosks) at the following locations:
- Gulf State Park Fishing and Education Pier and the Beach Pavilion in Gulf Shores
- Orange Beach – Romar Beach
- Cotton Bayou
- Alabama Point
- Shell Beach
Fishing Fees and Rod and Reel Rentals
Fishing fees are as follows:
- Daily: $9.00
- Weekly: $41.00
- Monthly: $81.00
- Semiannual: $161.00
- Annual: $321.00
Visitors may rent rods and reels for the following costs:
- Four Hours: $10.00
- All Day: $20.00
Please note that fishing and rod/reel rental fees do not include the cost of an Alabama saltwater and/or pier fishing license, which must be purchased separately. Children 11 and under are exempt from fishing fees when accompanied by a paying adult.
Sightseeing fees for visitors to the Pier are as follows:
- All Day: $2.00
Fishing from the Longest Pier in Alabama
Fishing from the Gulf State Park Pier is a great experience that anglers of all ages and experience levels can enjoy. Several artificial reefs have been constructed around the Pier to encourage aquatic life. Just be sure to abide by Alabama’s fishing regulations and purchase the appropriate permit. A few of the fish species you can expect to encounter off the Pier are:
Keep in mind that there are many other species in the Gulf of Mexico, including predators like alligators.
History of the Longest Pier in Alabama
The longest pier in Alabama dates back to 1968 when the original saltwater pier was constructed. Since then, it has suffered the ravages of several hurricanes due to its position on the testy Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Frederic first destroyed the pier in 1979, after which it was rebuilt and reopened. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan laid waste to the new pier, which led to its second reconstruction in 2009. The Pier as we know it today took about 18 months and $14.8 million to build. Before Hurricane Sally in 2020, the Pier was undergoing additional renovations. Then Sally struck and undid much of that work.
Damage Caused by Hurricane Sally
Unfortunately, Hurricane Sally caused extensive damage to the Pier when it made landfall along the Gulf Coast in September 2020. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources opened the restoration project to bidding, but the lowest bid (over $12 million) nearly doubled the projected cost. As a result, construction was delayed. However, as of June 2023, repairs were slated to go forward with a start date of November 1, 2023. The Pier remains open past the halfway point.
To find out more about the longest pier in Alabama, including updates on the repairs, visit the Gulf State Park website.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © George Dodd III/Shutterstock.com
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