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Latest update: March 2017

Top 10...  Withlacoochee State Trail

A 46-mile paved rail trail in Florida, the Withlacoochee State 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. Food and drink is available in the small towns along the trail. For a taste of "old Florida," visit Istachatta and Floral City. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Withlacochee State Trail

End Points:  Owensboro to Citrus Springs
Mileage: 46 miles
Surface: Asphalt, 12'
Location: Hernando, Citrus, Pasco Counties
Trailheads (south to north): Owensboro, Trilby, Ridge Manor Trailhead, Silver Lake Campground, Townsen Lake Regional Park, Istachatta, Floral City, Inverness, Wallace Brooks Park (Inverness), Hernando, South Citrus Springs, Gulf Junction (North Citrus Springs). (See map)
Nearby points of interest: Withlacoochee State Forest, Fort Cooper State Park, Croom Wildlife Management Area, Withlacoochee River

Bike Shops/Rentals

Trailside Bike (Floral City)

David's World Cycles (Inverness)

Support and Advocacy

Rails to Trails of the Withlacoochee


The entire 46 miles is paved and in very good shape. Typical of rail-trails, there are not a lot of road crossings or driveways. Recumbent cycles are especially popular here. If you have never tried one and would like to take a test ride, bicycle shops in Floral City and Inverness have recumbent bikes for rent. A volunteer support organization does much to keep the Withlacoochee State Trail in tip-top condition - support them and ride in style with a colorful Trail tee shirt .

Southern Terminus at Owensboro to Ridge Manor Trailhead - 6 miles

Sunny with limited shade - plan accordingly. The southern terminus at Owensboro has parking and picnicking, but no other facilities.If you like totally rural, the entire southern section of the trail is rural. The only town is tiny Trilby, about a mile north of the trail's southern terminus at Hwy 301, about 5 miles north of Dade City. The FL Hwy 50 trail bridge at Ridge Manor Trailhead is an interesting feature - bike the only "hill" on the trail. (Latest update: Nov. 2016).

Ridge Manor Trailhead to Croom Road - 5 miles

Ridge Manor Trailhead offers the only full facilities along this section of the trail. The ride to Croom Road through the Croom Tract of Withlacoochee State Forest to Croom-Rital Road crossing has some shade. The trail passes under I-75 near the turn-off to Silver Lake Campground. At Croom Road is an entrance to mountain bike trails. (Reported: Jan. 2011)

Croom Road to Nobleton to Ischatta - 5.5 miles

Mixed sun and shade, some forest canopy. Pass behind the old timber town of Nobleton. Stop at Lake Townsen Regional Park (part of the "Lake Townsen Reserve" shown on Google maps), near the intersection of CR 439 and CR 476. While not an "official" trailhead, there are parking and full facilities here and the trail runs through the Park. Look for the unpaved path to a fishing pier on the Withlacoochee River (just south of the Park before CR 476). Riding north from Lake Townsen Regional Park, it's slightly over 1/2 mile to the Istachatta General Store. (Reported: Jan. 2011)

Istachatta to Floral City - 7 miles

Rural, sun and sometimes tree-lined. Corner of US 41 in Floral City is a cross-section of "old Florida." The local garden club has made this a very attractive trailhead, with a quaint trailside gazebo and flower garden. Trailside Bikes (formerly Hampton's Edge) is just across the street, specializing in the sales, service and rentals of recumbent bicycles and trikes. If you have ever wanted to try one out, this is the perfect bike shop and bike trail to do so! (Reported: Jan. 2011)

Floral City to Inverness - 7 miles

Between Floral City and Inverness, the trail passes Fort Cooper State Park. While mostly shaded and away from the road, some portions run next to Hwy 41. However, there is enough space to allow for a line of tall shade trees between the trail and the road. This provides a shadier, more pleasant close-to-road experience than most other roadside trails. The 2 miles south of Inverness Trailhead takes you past two lakeside parks plus another large lake. We very much enjoy this 4 to 5 miles through Inverness. (Reported: Jan. 2011)

Inverness Trailhead, City Parks and Sights

Parking, restrooms, picnic, bike shop. Inverness has scenic lake views and some other intriguing sights, plus shopping, restaurants, accommodations. Park at the Inverness Trailhead near mile marker 30 N, 16 S (look for the red caboose). This is across the road from the old Inverness train depot (now a restaurant) and just north of Liberty and Wallace Brooks city parks on the scenic Tsala Apopka chain of lakes. (Latest update: Feb. 2017)

Inverness to Hernando - 5 miles

Parallels Hwy. 41, but mostly divided by a wide buffer. Some unshaded areas, but we were pleasantly surprised at how wooded and shady this section was. Riding north from the Inverness trailhead, you cross a canal joining two lakes. About 1 mile north of the trailhead, you leave Inverness and pass under Hwy 41. Here begins 1.5 miles of pleasant tree canopy before emerging next to Hwy 41, just before Arlington Street. If you ride another 1/2 mile to Independence Hwy, you can gaze upon the only pink elephant on the trail. (OK, see for yourself.) Hernando Trailhead has parking, restrooms, picnicking. (Reported: March 2017)

Hernando to South Citrus Springs - 5.5 miles

Areas of sun, shade. The trail continues to parallel Hwy. 41 with a mostly wide buffer, next to or near the highway, passing through light industrial areas, suburbia and small patches of woods. Central Ridge District Park links to the trail and provides parking, restrooms, playing fields. (Reported: March 2017)

South Citrus Springs to Gulf Junction Trailhead - 4.5 miles

Little or no shade. Parallels Hwy 41, then veers through the Citrus Springs subdivision. There are a few more road crossings in this area than most others. (Reported: March 2017)

Connection to Dunnellon Trail

Eventually, the trail will link to the Dunnellon Trail - currently via a street route (about 2 miles)

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