The Backcountry Trail System is home to six distinct ecosystems: wet pine flatwoods, live oak maritime forests, coastal dune and swales, longleaf sand ridges, freshwater marshes and coastal hardwood swamps. Each ecosystem contains its own diversity of native plant. Among them are white-topped pitcher plants, needle palms, sundews, Florida rosemary and conradina. There are several rare and threatened plant communities found along the trail and in the Gulf State Park.
The trail is a birdwatcher’s paradise with four locations on the trail, Gulf Oak Ridge, Twin Bridges, Catman Road and Rosemary Dunes, named by the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail as viewing points. In addition the trail is home to many reptile species with two excellent viewing locations for American Alligators; Rosemary Dunes and Gulf Oak Ridge. Mammals commonly seen on the trail also include armadillos, raccoons, coyotes, otters, foxes, and wild boar. Interpretive signs are strategically placed along the trail to identify many of the natural features of this diverse terrain.