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Latest update: Jan. 2017

Top 10... Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail

Rail-trail, Paved, Rural. Although just outside Jacksonville, Florida, this is an enjoyable rural trail - very well maintained (kudos to the Florida Department of Transportation and Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail volunteers) and for the most part, tree-lined and no traffic noise. Benches and trash cans are provided at regular intervals. Bring your own food and water - no restaurants (or latte shops!  (Detailed map and photos below.)

Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail

End Points: Jacksonville, Imeson Rd. trailhead to Brady Branch Rd., just west of Baldwin, FL
Mileage: 14.5 miles
Surface: Paved asphalt, 12 ft.
Location: Duval County
Trailheads at Imeson Road, Camp Milton, Halsema Road, Baldwin (Center St.), and Brandy Branch Rd. (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Camp Milton Historic Preserve Civil War site (about 6 miles west of the Imeson trailhead).

Bike Shops/Rentals

Lakeshore Bicycles (Jacksonville)


From what we observed, there are no congested road crossings anywhere along the trail. Most of the "Vehicle Crossings" signs you will see are for gated forestry-service roads that haven't been used in years. Natural habitats include pine flatwoods, wetlands, and hardwood uplands. Wildlife includes hawks, songbirds, wild turkey, turtles, snakes, and deer. A few roosters make their presence known. An equestrian trail parallels the bike trail.

Imeson Trailhead to Hannah Road

From the eastern Imeson trailhead, the first 3.5 miles are mostly open, with wide grassy shoulders and a good field of view, including woods, fields, and residential areas. Since the trail here follows a power line, there is little shade - unlike much of the rest of the trail. Proximity to Jacksonville, ample parking and restrooms make this a busy section, with many family groups in addition to long-distance and recreational bikers - this is one of the few trails we've seen with speed limits (20 mph) posted! Commonwealth Avenue is the busiest crossing.

Hannah Road to Camp Milton/Halsema Trailhead

The trail leaves the power lines and enters a more narrow, tree-lined corridor. It's about 2 miles to the Camp Milton Historic Preserve (more information below) and the Halsema Road Trailhead. Full facilities are located at the Camp Milton trailhead. The Halsema Trailhead serves as the main equestrian trailhead, with horse trailer parking and a horse wash rack. Near the mid-point of the trail, this is a good option for parking.

Halsema Trailhead to Baldwin

The narrow, tree-lined corridor continues virtually uninterrupted for about 6 miles - with only one real road crossing (Otis Road), this is the type of serene riding we love. At mile marker 12, it enters an open residential area and goes under US301, before arriving at the Baldwin Trailhead. The old Baldwin train depot serves as a Visitor Center with restrooms and parking, though the office was closed when we visited. A community park here has picnic facilities, a fitness path, playground, and a caboose exhibit.

Baldwin to Brandy Branch

The last 2 miles to Brandy Branch Road is a little more open but still mostly shady. The Brandy Branch trailhead has parking and a port-a-potty.

Camp Milton Historic Preserve

The bike trail forms the northern boundary of Camp Milton Historic Preserve . There is plenty of free parking, with a short paved path (parallel to Halsema Road) leading to the bike trail. Civil War buffs will want to explore the preserve. Bicycles are allowed.

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