Withlacoochee State Trail – Croom Road Trailhead to Owensboro/Highway 301 Trailhead, Ridge Manor, Trilby – Hernando/Pasco County, Florida

Before You Go:

This is part 4 of a four part coverage of the Withlacoochee State Trail. Click here for Part 3 of the series and Click here for Part 2 of the series. Finally, Click here for the first post in the series.

In some instances, you will be traveling through some very rural areas. A cell phone is always recommended. Also, always inform family and friends of your biking plans and expected return time.
Observe wildlife but please respect their environment and their freedom to live unmolested. Leave nothing but tire tracks.

Continue reading Withlacoochee State Trail – Croom Road Trailhead to Owensboro/Highway 301 Trailhead, Ridge Manor, Trilby – Hernando/Pasco County, Florida

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