Before You Go:
The western half of the trail is relatively shady and you can probably get by without sunscreen and sunglasses depending on your tolerance for sun. The eastern half of the trail is more shade free.
Water is definitely recommended.
From Interstate 75 South or North, take Exit 399 and head west on U. S. Highway 441 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard). In the town of High Springs, take U. S. Highway 27 where it branches off from U. S. Highway 441 and becomes NW 1st Avenue (which is also Highway 20). Keep on Highway 27/20 through the town of Fort White. Continue on Highway 27/20 toward Branford. Hiwhay 27 skirts the southern boundary of Branford. Just before you get to the Suwannee River Bridge, take a left into Ivey Memorial Park. There is ample parking.
This loop is 28 miles. From Ivey Memorial Park, the trail heads north crossing U. S. Highway 27. Continue north to the northern terminus at Highway 248. Head south back toward Ivey Memorial Park and keep heading east until you reach Highway 49 and turn south to the southern terminus near the Santa Fe River Bridge. Head back north and then east at the intersection of U. S. Highway 27 and Highway 49. Head east parallel to U. S. Highway 27 until you reach the eastern terminus of the trail near the Ichetucknee River Bridge. Head back east along U. S. Highway 27 to the starting point at Ivey Memorial Park.
The eastern half of the trail was in need of repair. There seems to have been some subsidence beneath the trail bed. Also, on the southern branch that heads toward the Santa Fe River, there are portions of the trail where the bank has washed sand across the trail. If it has recently rain, these areas can be deceptively slick. I hit one the day I rode the trail and wiped out on my bike. Not fun! 🙂
- There are facilities at Ivey Memorial Park. However, the day I rode the trail the facilities were under repair but there was a port-o-let available.
- Some parts of the eastern half of the trail are in need of repair
- The previously mentioned areas along the southern spur to the Santa Fe River. Be careful of the sand overlaying the trail bed.
- Lots of spiders. That’s my phobia but, if you share it, be forewarned. I even included a picture in the gallery 🙂
- The Suwannee River
- The canopied trail along the western half of the trail
- The Gopher Tortoise management area
- Ivey Memorial Park and the swimming area