Pinellas Trail Mile Marker 17.5 to 28 – Belleair, Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Pinellas County, Florida

Before You Go:

Except for the Dunedin Trailhead, there are no designated facilities along this section of the trail.  There are, however, some stores adjacent to the trail as you travel through Clearwater.  As always, I advocate a good pair of biking gloves to relieve palm pressure and a helmet whenever venturing out on your bicycle.  Whenever traveling outdoors in Florida for any lenght of time, it is a good idea to wear sunscreen.

Getting There:

Since I rode this on the weekend, I parked at an office complex just off Alternate 19 near the Belleaire Golf Course & Country Club.  Zoom  in on the map below to find your best starting point and to get your bearings.

Trail Length

20.1 miles according to the GPX file that marks the route on the map.  I believe I mismarked the turnaround point – the length should be 21 miles.

The Trail

Facilities:

  • The Dunedin Trailhead has water and restrooms along with a wealth of restaurants along Main Street.
  • There is a 7-11 adjacent to the trail just south of downtown Clearwater.
  • At the intersection of the trail and Curlew Road (County Road 586), there is a McDonalds at the northwest side of the intersection and a large shopping plaza just behind the McDonalds.

The Cons:

  • Like the trek to downtown St. Petersburg, there are many street crossings since this is a trail running through the most densely populated county in Florida.
  • The route through downtown Clearwater. At least they did make an improvement by moving the trail off the sidewalks and onto a designated portion of the road.

The Pros:

  • The view of St. Josephs Sound from the overpass at Alternate 19 (just north of the Curlew Road intersection mentioned above).
  • Dunedin – no community seems to have embraced the Pinellas Trail like this picturesque community.
  • A small bridge just before the Stephenson Avenue crossing – you get your first glimpse of the Gulf of Mexico just west of the trail.

The section starting from Dunedin and all points north of there are my absolute favorite part of the trail.  Being such a nice section, it is also a very heavily used part of the trail.  You will encounter a lot of joggers, in-line skaters and fellow cyclists.

As nice as the Dunedian, at north, section of the trail is; I can’t say the same for the section through Clearwater.  Watch some of the road crossing south of downtown.  Some of the gutters are deep “V” shaped and, if you hit them the right way, are fairly bone jarring.  It just is not a pleasant route through downtown.  I truly believe they did the best job they could accommodating the trail.

Always a pleasure riding the Pinellas Trail!

Happy Trails ~ John

Pinellas Trail – Mile Marker 7 to 17.5 – St. Petersburg, Largo, Seminole, Pinellas County, Florida

Before You Go:

I always advocate a good pair of biking gloves and a helmet whenever venturing out on your bicycle. As always, in Florida, it is a good idea to wear sunscreen.

Getting There:

This trek begins at the intersection of Tyrone Boulevard/Bay Pines Boulevard and Park Street North. The best place to park is the southwest corner of the Target parking lot (north side of Bay Pines Boulevard).

Trail Length

21.4 Miles from Mile Marker 7 to the Belleview Biltmore sign at the intersection of Belleview Boulevard (County Road 233) and Clearwater largo Road North and back.

The Trail

Facilities:

  • Target has restrooms and water at the start of this trek.
  • The KOA Campground at 95th Street North has an area, near the entrance, that caters to cyclists.
  • Seminole City Park has restrooms, picnic pavillions and water.
  • Taylor Park, at 8th Avenue SW has picnic pavillions, restrooms and water.
  • The McDonalds, at the West Bay Drive Overpass seem to be accommodating were cyclists are concerned.

The Cons:

  • Like the trek to downtown St. Petersburg, there are many street crossings since this is a trail running through the most densely populated county in Florida.
  • If you don’t like the extra exertion, the 5 overpasses in this section can become tedious.

The Pros:

  • Relatively flat course. The only climbs are the overpasses across major thoroughfares.
  • If you like the climbs, the 5 overpasses in this section of the trail.
  • The bridge across Long Bayou that runs parallel to Bay Pines Boulevard just west of the Target.

Except for the Long Bayou bridge, the Seminole City Park and Taylor Park, there isn’t a lot of scenery to stop and enjoy along the way.  The scenery, for the most part, is made up of back yards, fences and the occassional bit of green space.  For those wanting a steady cadence, this section will disappoint since there are 17 roads crossings.

Take extra caution at the County Road 296 (102nd Avenue North) crossing.  It has a traffic control device and I would recommend waiting for the green light.  Also, the crossing of Walsingham Road should be taken with care since this is a very busy road with no option for cross traffic to stop.  Finally, the Rosery Road NW crossing should be taken with care also – very busy.

All in all, a fine trail for the casual cyclist.

Happy Trails ~ John

Pinellas Trail – Mile Marker 7 to Demens Landing (downtown St. Petersburg spur) – St. Petersburg, Gulfport, Pinellas County, Florida

Before You Go:

There isn’t a lot of shade along this route. Depending on the season, you might need to apply sunscreen. Also, during the warm, humid months, you might want to consider some insect repellant if you intend to stop for any length of time along the trail.

Getting There:

This trek begins at the intersection of Tyrone Boulevard/Bay Pines Boulevard and Park Street North. The best place to park is the southwest corner of the Target parking lot (north side of Bay Pines Boulevard).

Trail Length

21 Miles from Mile Marker 7 to Demens Landing in downtown St. Petersburg and back.

The Trail

Facilities:

  • Target has restrooms and water at the start of this trek.
  • Demens Landing has restroom and water facilities.

The Cons:

  • There are many street crossings since this is a trail running through the most densely populated county in Florida.
  • When riding through downtown St. Petersburg, you share the same side of the road coming and going.  When you are heading back traveling against vehicular traffic, it can be a little disconcerting.
  • If you don’t enjoy climbs, you will not like the climbs up the overpasses along the trail.  If you are of average health, though, you should have no problem as they aren’t particularly taxing.
  • The pass through the old St. Petersburg Times shipping facility is creepy at best – I would not recommend sight seeing around this area.

The Pros:

  • Relatively flat course.  The only climbs are the overpasses across major thoroughfares.
  • The St. Petersburg waterfront at Demens Landing
  • Tropicana Field – current home to the Tampa Bay Rays major league baseball team
  • A fine view of the St. Petersburg Pier.  See this iconic landmark before it is leveled to make way for a new tourist destination.

Since this is my first post, please feel free to leave a comment below on what additional information I can provide or helpful information I can add.  Be sure to check out the Gallery Pictures below!

 

Happy Trails ~ John