No matter if you are a novice or experienced cyclist, biking through Florida trails will help you relax with forest scenery, beach sights, and exciting wildlife. According to Alek Asaduryan, founder of Yes Cycling, these are the five best bike trails in Florida.
The Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail is one of the oldest bike trails in northern Florida. It’s 15 miles with dense and lush trees as well as a variety of wildlife. Passing by the wetlands, you could spot some alligators.
Don’t be surprised to spot wild turkeys, coral snakes, gopher tortoises, hawks, and wood storks while on the path.
Warning! Watch out for the Eastern coral snake, which is venomous with black and red bands and yellow rings separating these two colored bands.
Begin your journey at the Imeson Road trailhead since this starting area has restrooms and benches to get a final rest and refresh before you start bike riding.
During your bike ride, you will pass the Camp Milton Historic Preserve, where the largest Confederate troops camp was once located during the Civil War. Hence, you’ll get a history lesson during this bike journey, too!
The Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail stretches 16 miles through various state parks for you to see a variety of beautiful Florida scenery during your bike ride. Starting from Boulware Springs Park in Gainesville, you will pass through Paynes Prairie Reserve State Park and surrounding state parks.
The trail is open from 8 am to sundown all days of the year. What’s better is that there is no fee to enter the trail on a bicycle. Be sure to start earlier in the day to finish your journey by sundown if you are attempting to bike the entire course in one day.
You can enter from 1 of 4 trailheads. The most popular trailhead is the one located in Boulware Springs Park. There’s the option of entering in from the Prairie Creek Preserve located at the intersection of 234 and 2082 road routes in Rochelle.
Go to 7902 S.E. 200th Drive nearby route 2082 in Hawthorne for a third entry option. Navigate to 2182 S.E. 71st Ave., Hawthorne, Florida for the final entry option.
Park your car at one of these 4 locations, gear up, and bike on!
The Van Fleet Trail is known as one of the more rural, yet also well-paved biking trails in Florida. It’s also well-known because it is apart of Florida’s Statewide System of Greenways and Trails.
Stretching at 29.2 miles in length throughout 3 Florida counties, you will pass through swampy terrain, land that was once farm territory, and even piney flatlands.
Many of the wetlands and forests that you will pass through are protected, so treat the land and wildlife with care and respect during your visit. You’ll see local wildlife while passing by on your bike, mainly nearby Bay Lake Road and Green Pond Road.
Beings this is a longer trail, be sure that your phone is charged and keep a power bank on hand just in case. Don’t forget insect repellant as well if you are biking in the spring and summertime.
Beginner bike riders can enjoy this trail since there is not much incline, along with a minimal curve and a few crossroads.
Make sure to grab your mountain bike for this 4-mile long Virginia Key Trail. This trail is excellent for a quick workout for experienced cyclists and a mini journey for novice riders.
Get some pictures of the forest sights on your way back from biking the trail for a memory keepsake. Located along Virginia Key Beach Park, you will also enjoy coastal scenery during your trip. You’ll be traveling in a loop with about 91 feet of elevation gain.
If you want to explore more of the Virginia Key North Trails, they have them designated based on the difficulty level. The Yellow Brick Road Trail is the more advanced trail, while the Tom Sawyer Trail is the intermediate biking route. The Smoke on the Water trail is a novice route.
No matter the trails you decide to try, you must always wear a helmet. Signs throughout the trail markers remind you that a helmet is mandatory when biking these trails.
Known as the best urban trail in the Tampa Bay area, the Upper Tampa Bay Trail is 16.5 miles in length with an asphalt surface for more straightforward navigation.
Within the first couple miles of entering the trailhead at Peterson Park, you will be transported through rural sights of farmland and cattle to a suburban area of local eats at Ehrlich Road that will make you want to stop your bike for an early lunch.
Don’t feel tempted! Try to skip the local eateries, eat healthy snacks in your backpack, and eat at one of the places at dinner time on your way back.
You’ll pass through a pedestrian bridge, railroad corridor, and eventually a wooden bridge that overlooks Rocky Creek. There are also trailhead entry options at Memorial Highway or Lutz Lake Fern Road if you prefer.