Leave Only Footprints On The Alabama Beaches


Alabama has the best beaches in the U.S.and they are about to get even better in 2016. One of the first things I noticed when I first visited the Alabama Coastline, was how clean the beaches were. With a new campaign, Leave Only Footprints, these beaches will be cleaner than ever before.


I can honestly say that I have never seen abandoned beach chairs along the Alabama Coastline. After speaking with some locals, I learned that several folks were leaving their beach chairs for long periods of time on the beaches. I immediately thought of how the winds can pick items like beach chairs up and toss them around.

Here’s what you need to know before you visit the beautiful beaches of Alabama.

  • All personal items must be removed from the beaches one hour after sunset

Seems pretty simple to me. Our family has spent a lot of time hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park through the years and have practiced the “leave no trace” principle. This new beach initiative in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama is very similar. “Leave Only Footprints” is the same concept. If you carry it onto the beach, carry it off. When hiking you do the same thing, everything you carry in, you carry out.

Beach The Beach Club

Did you know that the sand dunes are a vital part of Alabama’s clean coastal ecosystem? The sea oats and plant life that create such a beautiful backdrop for family beach photos hold the sand in place, so always avoid walking on the dunes. If you take a ziplining tour while in the area, the guides will offer insight as to how fragile the vegetation is along the Alabama Beaches. After seeing the beautiful sand dunes from above while ziplining, I immediately gained a new respect for these beautiful beaches.

Sara ziplining with helmet

The fact that more than 77,000 volunteers have removed 750 tons of trash from the Alabama Coastline during the 27-year effort of the Alabama Coastal Cleanup, is maybe why I had to look hard to find trash. It makes a lot more sense to have beach users pick up their own trash and/or carry their personal belongings off of the beaches. Tip: There are trash cans nearby, use them.

If you are like me, you carry your flip flops until your toes hit the fine, sugar sand. I personally love leaving my footprints on the Alabama Beaches and I know you will too. Planning to dig a hole or two? Make sure you are near it at all times and fill it in when you leave. Many folks enjoy building a sand castle or two, but be smart and leave only footprints.

Enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Alabama Coastline. Be smart and use some common sense while visiting the Alabama Beaches. I’d personally like them to remain the best beaches in the U.S., so my advice is to Leave Only Footprints!





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19 Comments to Leave Only Footprints On The Alabama Beaches

  1. Living in New Orleans, we used to love to go to Gulf Shores or Dolphin Island, though we migrated into the Florida Panhandle. I just recently went back and loved how clean and cared for it is looking. I love how they are finally working to keep it clean and preserved for the future!

  2. mags says:

    I love Alabama beaches. I used to vacation in Gulf Shores growing up in Nashville. Now that I live in Florida I usually just go to the closer beaches, but Gulf Shores still holds a special place in my heart.

  3. SaraB says:

    You are exactly right and a lot of it is simply common sense.

  4. They need these campaigns everywhere there are beaches. Nothing worse than heading to a beautiful beach to have it ruined by garbage everywhere.

  5. SaraB says:

    Alabama has the best beaches in the U.S.- my personal opinion and I speak from experience.

  6. Love this! What a great initiative! One of my pet peeves is garbage at the beach! I always carry a bag with me to take garbage out…

  7. Arvin says:

    All states should follow the ‘Leave Only Footprints’ campaign, thanks for bringing this important issue up, always wanted to go to Alabama after watching ‘Hart of Dixie’, hope to see the beaches soon.

  8. First of all, I didn’t know that Alabama had such beautiful beaches. And second, what a great program they have to ensure that they keep the beaches looking beautiful.

  9. SaraB says:

    If you enjoy zip lining, you would LOVE this course!

  10. kylieuk says:

    I completely agree, it really annoys me when people drop litter, it wouldn’t hurt them to put it back in their bag or just keep it in their pocket until they find a bin! Zip lining over the dunes sounds amazing, putting that on my bucket list!

  11. SaraB says:

    You are welcome! Simple steps can make a huge difference.

  12. Morgan says:

    YES! I am so glad you addressed the importance of keeping our beaches clean. Love the idea of this campaign, and it’s so refreshing to see people striving to protect these areas. Great job! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  13. Traveling here at Alabama beach will sure to give you lots of fun. The great experience that you’ll have with your family and friends. The white beach and wonderful sunset is perfect at Alabama beach.

  14. SaraB says:

    They don’t right now, but I think that’s a great idea!

  15. Do they run an “Adopt a Beach” program for volunteers to clean litter? South Florida does that now and I found it a very impressive initiative.

  16. SaraB says:

    It’s a fantastic campaign and I hope the regulars understand why it’s so important.

  17. Donna Hup says:

    I love this campaign and their beaches are gorgeous!

  18. SaraB says:

    It’s interesting, as it’s a great campaign. But some of this is common sense to this Iowa gal.

  19. Katy F. says:

    Love the campaign and I can’t wait to get there some day!!

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