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Bike Florida... West Region

18 Trails... Comments, Maps & Photos (scroll down or click on links below)

Alderman's Ford Park Trail - This moss-draped, 2-mile paved trail at Alderman's Ford Conservation Park (Lithia, FL east of Brandon, south of Plant City) was a pleasant find while checking out kayak launches on the Alafia River. The trail loops around the park, along and over the Alafia River, through cypress and oak hammock. The 1,100 acre park has parking, restrooms, picnicking, camping, hiking trails, boardwalk, and a popular canoe/kayak launch. Visitor Center, $2.00 fee. Great place to take the kids! (Reported: April 2013)

End Points: Alderman's Ford Regional Park, Lithia, FL. CR 39 north of the intersection with CR 640.
Mileage: 2 miles
Surface: Asphalt
Location: Hillsborough County (See map )
Nearby points of interest: Alafia River State Park

More Information:
Hillsborough County - Alderman's Ford Conservation Park

Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area - a Florida Eco-biking destination - Located on Florida's Gulf Coast, 15 miles south of Crystal River, this is a remote area. A 9-mile self-guided tour (brochure online or at hunter's sign-in station) is laid out for cars and bikes, but much more biking is available on the WMA roads. (Reported: June 2016)

More details, map and photos here

Chassahowitzka WMA

Dunnellon Trail - The trail is part of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, running from Bridges Road in Dunnellon 2.5 miles along the scenic Rainbow River and across a bridge over the Withlacoochee River to SR41/CR39 in Citrus Springs. Eventually, it will link to the Withlacoochee State Trail (currently, via a street route) and other trails in the planned statewide network. (Reported: August 2015)

End Points: Bridge St. (Dunnellon), to US41/CR39 (Citrus Springs)
Mileage: 2.5 miles
Surface: 12 ft. paved
Location: Marion and Citrus Counties (See map )
Nearby points of interest: Rainbow River and Rainbow Springs State Park

More Information:
Florida State Parks - Cross Florida Greenway
Florida State Parks - Dunnellon Trail

Bike Shops/Rentals:
Blue Run Bikes (Dunnellon)

Bridges Road Trailhead to Withlacoochee River Bridge - Scenic ride along the Rainbow River, mixed sun and shade. A link goes to the Blue Run Park trailhead.

Withlacoochee River Bridge to US41 Trailhead - Mixed shade and sun to the US 41 trailhead. The trail ends about .2 miles further at CR39 and the road route to the Withlacoochee State Trail.

Fort DeSoto Park - Fort DeSoto Park is a Pinellas County park, covering over 1,100 acres on 5 keys south of St. Petersburg at the mouth of Tampa Bay. The paved 7-mile bike trail runs from the boat ramp (near the entrance), past campgrounds, and connects the east and north beaches. The park has over 7 miles of waterfront, award-winning beaches, campgrounds, snack bars, picnicking and more. A boat ramp, kayak and bike rentals are available, plus an historic fort. A ferry runs to Egmont Key, a Florida State Park. Day fee applies. (Reported: Oct. 2016)

Historic Fort DeSoto dates from 1898, built to defend Tampa Bay during the Spanish-American War but never saw battle and was abandoned in 1923. The land was obtained by Pinellas County in 1948 and the park developed. Visitors at the fort can see the remaining battery and mortars.

End Points: Fort DeSoto Park - boat ramp to east beach to north beach
Mileage: 7 miles
Surface: Paved
Location: Pinellas County (See map )
Nearby points of interest: St. Petersburg, Dali Museum

More Information:
Pinellas County - Fort DeSoto Park

Bike Shops/Rentals:
The Pedaling Pelican  at Fort DeSoto Park

Also visit us here: Paddling at Fort DeSoto Park

Fort Fraser Trail - Named for Fort Fraser built in 1837 during the Second Seminole War, the trail follows an old CSX rail bed between Lakeland and Bartow in Polk County, Florida. Picnic and rest shelters are located along the way, two covered bridges and historic and informational markers (one near the location of the old fort) along the way are a nice touch. Parking in Lakeland is at Polk State College (PSC), restrooms are at the Highland City trailhead at the middle of the trail south of PSC. (Reported: Dec. 2015)

End Points: Lakeland to Bartow, Florida. The trail runs along US 98 between SR 540 and SR 60.
Mileage: 7.8 miles
Surface: Asphalt
Location: Polk County (See map )

More Information:
Polk County Friends of the Parks Foundation - Fort Fraser Trail Fact Sheet (pdf)

Fort Fraser Trail

Gasparilla - Boca Grande Rail Trail - An early Florida rail-trail, it runs the length of Gasparilla Island. Be aware: golf carts share the trail. A jogging path parallels the trail at the north. The Village Center at Boca Grande, located about the midpoint of the trail, features shops and restaurants. To the south, the trail narrows before ending at Garparilla Island State Park. There are many access points to the beach. Crossing the causeway to the island requires paying a toll. (Updated: January 2019)

End Points: Gasparilla Island, from the causeway at the north to Gasparilla Island State Park at the south. The State Park provides parking, but parking is available all along the trail which is easily accessible from anywhere on the island.
Mileage: 6 miles
Surface: Asphalt, 6' - 9'
Location: Charlotte and Lee Counties (See map )
Nearby points of interest: Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum, Rear Range Lighthouse, Gasparilla Inn & Club

More Information:
Florida State Parks - Gasparilla Island State Park

Bike Shops/Rentals:
Gasparilla Adventures

Good Neighbor Trail - The trail runs 10 miles east from Brooksville. Comprising part of the Coast-to-Coast Trail, it links to the east with the Withlacoochee State Trail and to the west a connector will link to the Suncoast Trail. The Trailhead at Russell Street Park in Brooksville has restrooms, picnic tables, and historic exhibits - the 1885 Train Station and the One Room Schoolhouse. Plans are to relocate other buildings to the site, creating a historic village. (Updated: October 2018)

End Points: Russell Street Park to Withlacoochee State Trail
Mileage: 10 miles
Surface: Asphalt
Location: Hernando County (Brooksville) (See map )
Nearby points of interest: Weeki Wachee
More Information:
City of Brooksville - Good Neighbor Trail brochure (pdf)

Brooksville Trailhead to Weatherly Road (section 1). The original section of the trail, the first 4 miles from Brooksville runs alternately along the road, along power lines, and through natural areas.

Weatherly Road to Withlacoochee State Trail (section 2). The second section, completed in September 2018, starts off alongside Richbarn Road but then runs through Withlacoochee State Forest to the State Trail. Through the forest is very remote - straight and with only moderate grades this is great for long-distance bikers. We visited when this section was newly built - a trail head is planned where the trail enters the forest, a covered bench or table through the forest would be a nice amenity.

Legacy Trail - a Top 10 Florida bike Trail - The bike trail runs from Venice to south Sarasota along an old Seaboard Air Line Railroad corridor. It passes through Oscar Scherer State Park; in Venice, it connects near the Historic Venice Train Depot to Venetian Waterway Park.

More details, map and photos here

Legacy Trail, Venetian Waterway Park

North Bay Trail - We were wow'ed by the southernmost portion of this St. Petersburg trail. The best section runs from Demens Landing to Coffee Pot Park, about 3 miles with water views. (Reported: Feb. 2018)

More details, map and photos here

Legacy Trail, Venetian Waterway Park

Old Fort King Trail - Multi-use trail (biking, walking/hiking, horseback riding). First 2.4 miles from Sargeant Park is paved, with a portion sharing the roadway with autos (private driveway crossings). The remainder is off-road through forest at Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve and Hillsborough River State Park. Due to heat but mostly due to bugs, we recommend this as a cold-weather ride! (Reported: Feb. 2013)

End Points: John B. Sargeant State Park to Hillsborough River State Park
Mileage: 6.7 miles along Hwy. 301 North
Surface: Asphalt 12', packed dirt
Location: Hillsborough County (Thonotasassa) (See map )
Nearby points of interest: Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve
More Information:
SW Florida Water Management District - Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve

Pinellas Trail - a Top 10 Florida bike Trail - This is a 53-mile urban rail-trail with about 75,000 users each month including bikers, walkers, joggers, and skateboarers. The popular, well-marked trail links Pinellas County cities, parks, scenic coastal areas, and residential neighborhoods. Part of the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail.

More details, map and photos here

Pinellas Trail

Sanibel Island - a Top 10 Florida bike Trail - Sanibel Island features 22 miles of paved trails, plus Wildlife Drive, a 4.3-mile limestone road through the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Trails lead to the lighthouse, beaches, restaurants, and shopping.

More details, map and photos here

Sanibel Island biking

Starkey Wilderness Trail - This trail runs through the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park and is part of the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail with an existing link to the Suncoast Trail and future to the Pinellas Trail. The trail was very popular, all types of bikes from long-range road bikes (coming off the Suncoast Trail) to recumbents. Wide, well maintained trail through pine woods, wetland, and palmetto scrub, with benches and shelters, plus water stations, (a good benefit, given the lack of shade. The 8,300 acre park also has parking, restrooms, hiking and equestrian trails, picnic pavilions, playground, camping. (Reported: Feb. 2015)

End Points: Starkey Wilderness Park; links to Suncoast Trail
Mileage: 7.3 miles
Surface: Asphalt
Location: Pasco County (See map )
Nearby points of interest: Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park

More Information:
Pasco County - Starkey Wilderness Park
SW FL Water Management District - Starkey Wilderness Park

Suncoast Trail - This 41-mile trail parallels the Suncoast Parkway and is part of the Coast-to-Coast Trail between links to the Starkey Trail and Good Neighbor Trails. Some stretches along the highway are not particularly interesting rides, but others run through natural areas. (Reported: Jan. 2012)

End Points: From Lutz Lake Fern Road in Hillsborough County, through Pasco County, to Hernando County (US Hwy 98)
Mileage: 41.3 miles
Surface: Asphalt
Location: Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando Counties (See map )
Nearby points of interest: Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park

More Information:
Pasco County - Suncoast Trail

Upper Tampa Bay Trail - Popular multi-use trail for bikers, runners, walkers, and skaters in the Tampa Bay Area. There are two sections, with unique characteristics - eventually they will be connected. At the north, links to the Suncoast Trail, providing another route to the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail. (Reported: April 2018)

More details, map and photos here

Suncoast Bike Trail, Florida

Venetian Waterway Park - This linear park runs on both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway at Venice, FL, from the link with the Legacy Trail to Caspersen Beach on the west side and to Shamrock Park and Nature Center on the east.(Reported: Nov. 2012)

More details, map and photos here

Suncoast Bike Trail, Florida

Withlacoochee Bay Trail - This trail parallels the historic old Cross Florida Barge Canal for 6.2 miles from the Withlacoochee River east of the Felburn Park Trailhead to Withlacoochee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. An observation deck at the west end of the trail overlooks Withlacoochee Bay. The trail is the westernmost portion of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway. (Latest update: Oct. 2012)

End Points: From Crystal River, go north on US 19 to Suncoast Parkway, turn right and continue north to Felburn Park (8 miles)
Mileage: 6.2 miles
Surface: 12 ft. paved
Location: Citrus County (See map )
Nearby points of interest: Crystal River State Archaeological Park

More Information:
Florida State Parks - Withlacoochee Bay Trail

Withlacoochee State Trail - a Top 10 Florida bike Trail. This 46-mile paved rail trail goes through small towns, the Withlacoochee State Forest and other natural areas. A linear state park, the trail offers a variety of recreational opportunities with parks, river, and lake views. Uses include walking, in-line skating, cycling, fishing, and horseback riding.

More details, map and photos here


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