Boca Grande Bike Path – Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande – Charlotte & Lee County, Florida

Before You Go:

If you are doing this ride in the early morning hours (before, say, 11AM), then you can probably get by without sunscreen.  As the sun clears the trees on the east side of the trail, you will need sunscreen since there are very few trees lining the western side of the trail.  Also, if you stop for any time along the beaches in Gasparilla Island State Park, you will definitely be in need of sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses (the white, sugar sands are blinding).

Getting There:

I took exit 193 off Interstate 75 and headed south and west on Jacaranda Boulevard.  Jacaranda Boulevard dead-ends at Englewood Road (County Road 776).   Take Englewood Road southeasterly.  It will become first North Indiana and then South Indiana before finally becoming S. McCall Road.  Head south on Placida Road and finally turn onto Boca Grande Causeway.  There is a toll and they do not accept Credit, Debit Cards or SunPass.  I am not aware of any designated trailhead parking.  I simply parked at the first Shopping Center I encountered at the northern end of the trail.

Trail Length

13.6 Miles – From the shopping center just south of Boca Grande Resort to the Port Boca Grande Light and back.  The mileage also includes a ride out to the nearby Boca Grande Fishing Pier.

The Trail

For more information on the trail itself or the community of Boca Grande, check out the links and gallery pictures below.

This is a fairly short trail.  There is a lot to see and do along the trail – take your time and explore this lovely barrier island.  The trail is flat and travels right through the heart of central Boca Grande.  All in all, a fine ride.

Facilities:

  • There are facilities at the Gasparilla Island State Park Beach access located about 2/3rds the way down the trail.

The Cons:

  • Just too short but, what can you do, you only have the length of Gasparilla Island to work with.  🙂
  • The golf carts that everyone uses around the island can be a hindrance at times.

The Pros:

  • The trailbed is in excellent shape.
  • The beautiful Gulf of Mexico beaches.
  • Gasparilla Rear Range Light
  • Port Boca Grande Light.
  • Boca Grande Fishing Pier

Links:

Gasparilla Island State Park

Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce

Send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

Happy Trails ~ John

Nature Coast State Trail – Fanning Springs to Cross City (Loop) – Fanning Springs, Old Town, Cross City – Gilchrist & Dixie County, Florida

Before You Go:

Along the eastern portion of this ride, there is a fair amount of shade.  The western portion, however, has very little shade.  Your riding arsenal should include sunglasses, a good pair of cushioned gloves, sunscreen and, if you are going to spend time exploring around the Suwannee River Bridge, some insect repellant.

Getting There:

This is the last in a three part review of the Nature Coast Trail.  This final installment will start at the Fanning Springs Trailhead.  Travel either north of south on U.S. Highway 19. Head north on Florida Street. The trail head is on the east side of Florida Street.

Trail Length

28.6 Miles – From the Fanning Springs Trailhead out to the western terminus in Cross City and back.

The Trail

For more information on the trail itself or the communities of Fanning Springs, Old Town and Cross City, check out the links and gallery pictures below.

If you missed the first post, click here for a link to Part I.

If you missed the second post, click here for a link to Part II.

As you did in the last section, you will head north out of the Fanning Springs Trailhead.  Keep a lookout for the direction signs that will guide you toward the Suwannee River Bridge, Old Town and Cross City.  Once you are heading due west, you keep on this heading, for the most part, all the way to the western terminus west of Cross City.  This section of the trail was my least favorite but contains one of the most scenic sections along the entire trail.  The Suwannee River Bridge and the views of the Suwannee River are not to be missed.  I must say, the section once you leave the tree lined portions of the trail are a bit monotonous.  There are also a lot of road crossings and quite a bit of traffic once you reach Cross City.  Additionally, there is the ever present traffic along U.S. Highway 19 that parallels the trail for most of the western half of the trail.

It’s a long dusty ride out to Cross City and back.  I would recommend a decent ride from Fanning Springs, out to Trenton, the west to the Suwannee River Bridge and then back to the Fanning Springs Trailhead.

Facilities:

  • There are facilities at the Fanning Springs Trailhead.
  • There are facilities at the Cross City Trailhead.

The Cons:

  • The straight trail may be monotonous to some.
  • The numerous road crossings in and around Cross City.
  • The constant traffic along U.S. Highway 19.

The Pros:

  • The trailbed is in excellent shape.
  • The Suwannee River Bridge and surrounding area.

Links:

Nature Coast State Trail – Office of Greenways & Trails

Nature Coast State Trail – Florida State Parks

Old Town, Florida

Cross City, Florida

Send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

Happy Trails ~ John

Nature Coast State Trail – Fanning Springs to Trenton (Loop) – Fanning Springs, Trenton – Gilchrist County, Florida

Before You Go:

There is long stretches with no shade along this trail so wear sunscreen.  Sunglasses are always a necessity when traveling in Florida; also, a good pair of cycling gloves help cushion your palms.

Getting There:

This is the second of a three part review of the Nature Coast Trail.  This second section and the final installment will both start at the Fanning Springs Trailhead.  Travel either north of south on U.S. Highway 19. Head north on Florida Street. The trail head is on the east side of Florida Street.

Trail Length

17.7 Miles – From the Fanning Springs Trailhead out to the Trenton Trailhead and back.

The Trail

For more information on the trail itself or the communities of Fanning Springs and Trenton, check out the links and gallery pictures below.

If you missed the first post, click here for a link to Part I.

You will head north out of the Fanning Springs Trailhead.  Keep a lookout for the direction signs that will guide you toward Trenton.  Once you are heading due east, you will head arrow straight toward the town of Trenton. Of the three sections, this happened to be my favorite. Perhaps it was the rain shower I encountered or the picturesque town of Trenton. There are a few road crossings but traffic was mostly light. The only traffic is the constant whir of traffic along State Road 26 which parallels most of the ride into Trenton.

The day I rode into the Trenton Trailhead, it was a lively place. It seems to be a social gathering spot for the town.

If you have the time, a stop in the town of Trenton would be worth the time exploring.

Facilities:

  • There are facilities at the Fanning Springs Trailhead.
  • There are facilities at the Trenton Trailhead.

The Cons:

  • The straight trail may be monotonous to some.

The Pros:

  • The trailbed is in excellent shape.
  • Relatively light trail traffic. You won’t be fighting through any crowds.
  • The Trenton community. I found it to be very friendly

Links:

Nature Coast State Trail – Office of Greenways & Trails

Nature Coast State Trail – Florida State Parks

Trenton, Florida

Send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

Happy Trails ~ John

Nature Coast State Trail – Chiefland to Fanning Springs (Loop) – Chiefland, Fanning Springs – Levy & Gilchrist County, Florida

Before You Go:

There is long stretches with no shade along this trail so wear sunscreen.  Sunglasses are always a necessity when traveling in Florida; also, a good pair of cycling gloves help cushion your palms.

Getting There:

This ride will be done in three parts to keep it around the 20 mile mark for each leg.  This first section started at the Chiefland Trailhead. The Trailhead shares space with the Chiefland Chamber of Commerce. Travel either north of south on U.S. Highway 19 (which is Main Street in Cheifland). The trail head is on the southeast corner of the intersection of South Main Street and SE 2nd Avenue.

Trail Length

18.4 Miles – From the Chiefland Trailhead out to the Fanning Springs Trailhead and back.

The Trail

For more information on the trail itself or the communities of Cheifland and Fanning Springs, check out the links and gallery pictures below.

This is your typical Florida rails-to-trails project. The trail is, pretty much, arrow straight between the two major trailheads. There are only two major road crossings and it ends up being the same major highway. You will have to cross U.S. Highway 19 at the Chiefland Trailhead and, again, just south of the Fanning Springs Trailhead.

While there are a lot of road crossings, they are mostly in the immediate Chiefland area. As you progress north and west along the trail, they become fewer and further between. Additionally, traffic along most of the crossings was little to non-existent the morning I rode.

If you have the time, a stop in the Fanning Springs State Park is worth the visit.

Facilities:

  • There are facilities at the Chiefland Trailhead – they were pretty creepy.
  • There are facilities a the Fanning Springs Trailhead – they were locked the morning I rode.

The Cons:

  • The straight trail may be monotonous to some.
  • 15 road crossings (one way – 30 for the whole trip). Most of them in the immediate Chiefland area. They thin out as you head further north and west.

The Pros:

  • The trailbed is in excellent shape.
  • Relatively light trail traffic. You won’t be fighting through any crowds.
  • Saw and heard a lot of bird song along the trail. Cardinals were abundant.

Links:

Nature Coast State Trail – Office of Greenways & Trails
Nature Coast State Trail – Florida State Parks
Fanning Springs State Park – Florida State Parks
Chiefland, Florida
Fanning Springs, Florida

Send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

Happy Trails ~ John