Mississippi’s Gulf Islands National Seashore

Motorcycle Ride in Mississippi’s Gulf Islands National Seashore

The Gulf Islands National Seashore spans 160 miles of protected seashore in Florida’s Gulf Coast and Mississippi. The seashore has thirteen accessible barrier islands, six in Mississippi and seven in Florida. The six barrier islands in Mississippi include:

  • Cat Island
  • Horn Island
  • Petit Bois Island
  • Ship Island
  • Coastal Mississippi

Each region has something distinctive and unique to offer, and many riders plan more than one Gulf Islands National Seashore motorcycle trip to see them all. 

Driving Through the Gulf Islands National Seashore

Driving through the national park can be tricky since most of it is located offshore in one of the thirteen barrier islands. Luckily, you can find three areas where you can drive up to the park via the mainland — one in Mississippi and two in Florida. 

The drive-up location in Mississippi is the William M. Corner Visitor Center near Ocean Springs. Using one of these drive-up locations means you can easily plan a series of road trips that take advantage of the great coastal roads in the region and visit one of the drive-up locations for a day trip. You can also consider a half road trip, half camping experience, as many islands are accessible via kayak or boat.

As an alternative, stick to the beach areas around the Gulf Islands national seashore, some of which have multi-use trails and road access. Most of these beaches are in Florida, including Opal Beach near Pensacola Beach and Okaloosa Island near Fort Walton. 

Popular Activities for Your Gulf Islands National Seashore Motorcycle Trip

Most bikers plan their trips around the roads, but everyone needs a break eventually. Luckily, the Gulf Islands National Seashore has plenty of activities that let you rest up for the next leg of your journey.

Wildlife Watching

Today, large sections of the overdeveloped Gulf Coast have little untouched natural beauty left. The National Seashore is a protected area that remains pristine, perfect for a quiet retreat from the road. If you want to see the wildlife of Mississippi and Florida in its natural habitat, this is the place to be. Not only can you find plenty of marine life, but the area is a paradise for bird watchers. 


If you enjoy riding your bike offroad, you’ll love camping at Davis Bayou in Mississippi campground. The campground has high-end facilities and amenities, and you can get ferry access to Fort Massachusetts for a historical excursion. 

If you prefer a quieter camping experience with private access to the green waters and white sands of some pristine beaches, you can hire a boat to take you to one of the backcountry camping sites on Cat Island, Horn Island, and Petit Bois. While it requires some planning, camping offers respite from your road trip and gives you some time off the grid.

Soaking Up the Regional History

The National Seashore contains three historic forts that offer a glimpse into the coast’s colonial past during the War of 1812 and the late 19th century. While two forts — Fort Pickens and Fort Barrancas — are in Florida, Fort Massachusetts sits 12 miles off the Mississippi coast in the Davis Bayou Area. The area offers a seasonal ferry service, so you can leave your bike behind and enjoy the island before moving on.

Access Legal Assistance When You Ride

Nothing can ruin a Gulf Islands National Seashore motorcycle trip faster than an accident. Working with an attorney can give you peace of mind and legal protection, and the Law Tigers team of attorneys is standing by. Call us at 1-888-863-7216 to find a motorcycle lawyer near you, or sign up for a free Rider Benefit Card to access an attorney while you’re on the road.