Bike North Florida
14 Trails... maps, reports, photos. Scroll down or click on links below (view locator map):
Cedar Key - See our Top Ten Listing!
Dixie Mainline Road - Nine miles at Florida's Big Bend between Horseshoe Beach and Suwannee. Not a bike trail, but a bike route on an old light logging railbed - this remote road now is open to cars, bikes and pedestrians. Auto traffic is light with slow speed limits so suitable for biking if you want to view mostly natural, untouched habitat up close. We do not recommended visiting in the summer due to insects and voracious flies, or in October-November during hunting season. The road parallels the coastline along the Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge. Habitat viewing is varied, with some of the best views from the bridges over the tidal creeks - cypress swamps, pine forest, hardwood hammock, marsh islands and tidal creeks, plus a variety of plants and wildlife including alligators, turtles, herons, egrets, ibis, owls, and small mammals.
End Points: Horseshoe Beach to
Four Freedoms Trail - This paved trail runs 12 miles north from Madison, FL, to the Withlacoochee River-north on the Georgia border. The trail is mostly rural and parallels the road but with a wide buffer and trees that provide shade; there are a few areas where you must share the road for relatively short stretches. There's a picnic area and observation deck at the river. We’ve read other reviews highlighting the amount of leaves and debris on the trail, plus the many tree root bumps. For the most part, we found this to be true. If you have a need for speed, we suggest the Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail to the east, or the St. Marks Trail to the west. Otherwise for the more casual recreational rider, this is a pleasant rural trail with lots of shade. From about ½ mile outside Pinetta to the end point at the river, there is a fairly steady 1 or 2 degree downward grade, so a nice burn coming back (for Florida at least). (Trip report: March 2014)
End Points: Madison to Pinetta (Withlacoochee River-north)
Ichetucknee to O'Leno Trail - This paved trail runs from the Ichetucknee River to O'Leno State Park, passing through Fort White, Florida. From the Ichetucknee to Fort White the trail parallels busy US 27; past Fort White along CR 18 to O'Leno State Park is more rustic. Across the Ichetucknee River, connect to the Suwannee River Greenway for a 25-mile ride total. (Trip report: Oct. 2012)
End Points: Ichetucknee River to
O'Leno State Park
Nature Coast State Trail is built along an abandoned Atlantic Coastline Railroad rail bed. From Fanning Springs in the middle proceed south to Chiefland, or north to the intersection at Wilcox Junction to go to either east to Trenton or west to Old Town and Cross City. A scenic highlight is the Historic Suwannee River Railroad Bridge over the Suwannee River just east of Old Town. Much of the trail parallels US19 and SR26 with little shade, other sections are off-road through forest. Many benches and rest stops. Close to Fanning Springs and Manatee Springs State Parks. (First report: Sept. 2012; latest update Nov. 2015)
End Points: Trailheads at Cross City,
Trenton, Fanning Springs and Chiefland.
Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail - Located on an old Norfolk-Southern Railroad right-of-way, two segments of the planned 47 mile trail are completed (paved): 4 miles at Lake Butler, and 19 miles from Keystone Heights to Palatka. The trail will run 47 miles when completed, and reach 100 miles via a connector to the planned Palatka-St. Augustine State Trail. The trail between Keystone Heights and Palatka runs largely along Highway 100 but with a wide buffer; other sections run through forest including at Etoniah Creek State Park. The main trailhead is at Twin Lakes Park in Keystone, other trail parking along the street in Keystone Heights, in Grandin, in Florahome, and on Roberts Lane in Palatka. (First report: March 2014; lates update: Jan. 2017)
End Points: Lake Butler to Palatka,
2 segments completed
Palatka-St. Augustine State Trail - 8.5 miles of the total 19 are currently open, from Vermont Heights (near I-95) to Spuds, FL. Easy to ride, wide and straight trail through forest land and past farms. Eventually, will connect to the Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail and be part of the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop (a component of the East Coast Greenway). The trail largely follows SR207 with parking (no facilities) at Vermont Blvd. and along SR207 (other parking along the roadway is possible). A section at Elkmont runs next to the roadway with no shade, but other sections are off-road, mostly shady and scenic. (Trip report: March 2016)
Vermont Heights to Spuds; when completed, will extend to Palatka
Ravine Gardens-Palatka - If you're in the area this is a pleasant attraction in Palatka, the rim road is popular for bicycling (shared by motor vehicles and pedestrians). The 120-foot deep ravine was created by water from the St. John's River, the gardens were added by the WPA in the 1930's. (Trip report: March 2014)
End Points: Palatka, FL
St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach - The narrow streets and limited parking make St. Augustine popular for bicycling (but do be careful of the cars). Ride across the Bridge of Lions to Anastasia Island and the Anastasia State Park. We had not realized what a surprisingly pleasant ride St. Augustine Beach is (at low tide!) and plan to be back. At the park are over 4 miles of beach plus park roads are available for biking. (Trip report: Sept. 2012)
Suwannee River Greenway - This greenway runs on an old CSX Railroad corridor from the Suwannee River to the Ichetucknee River, mostly along US 129 and US 27. Several parks are accessible along the way. Park at the Branford Trailhead or Ivey Memorial Park. Across the Ichetucknee River, connect to the Ichetucknee to O'Leno Trail for a 25-mile ride total. (Trip report: Oct. 2012)
End Points: Suwannee River to Ichetucknee River
Woodpecker Paved Trail - This 3.4 mile paved multi-use trail at Big Shoals State Park along the Suwannee River connects the Big Shoals and Little Shoals entrances of the park. Not a major bike ride, but a pleasant diversion if you're in the area, and there also are 28 miles of trails for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. The park has the largest whitewater rapids in Florida, with 80 foot limestone bluffs overlooking the river. (Trip report: March 2014)
End Points: Big Shoals to Little Shoals entrances, Big Shoals
State Park (CR135, White Springs)
See also: Paddling in North Florida
Bike Florida - Top Florida Bike Trails for the Best in Recreational Florida Biking.
Our Top 10 FL Biking