Before You Go:
Normal Florida cycling gear is always recommended – a helmet, a good pair of sunglasses, sunscreen and a pair of cushioned cycling gloves. For this leg, if you do the side trek through Wall Springs Park, insect repellant is recommended.
I began this leg at the H. S. “Pop” Stansell Memorial Park (ain’t that a mouth full) in Palm Harbor. The easiest way to get to the park is by heading either north or south (depending on your location) on U. S. Highway 19 and turning west on Tampa Road. From Tamp Road, continue west until you reach Palm Harbor Boulevard (also known as ALT US 19 & County Road 595). Head north on Palm Harbor Boulevard for approximately one mile and turn west onto Florida Avenue. Florida Avenue’s western end is the “Pop” Stansell Memorial Park entrance.
16 miles according to the GPX file that marks the route on the map. You can increase the length of this ride by including the ride through Walll Springs Park or by starting the ride further to the south (south of H. S. “Pop” Stansell Memorial Park – Palm Harbor).
- There are facilities at “Pop” Stansell Memorial Park in Palm Harbor (the starting point for this leg).
- There are facilities at Wall Springs Park adjacent to the trail.
- There are facilities within North Anclote River Nature Park as well as the entrance to the park on Dixie Highway.
- For the serious cyclist, the road crossings will probably be an annoyance. Take extra care at the Klosterman Road crossing as you enter Tarpon Springs. Although the intersection is traffice controlled, many people coming up from the south and turning east onto Klosterman do not necessarily stop for cyclists.
- If you are even slightly taxed by even small climbs, be aware that there are small inclines as you progress toward Tarpon Springs and near the turnaround point at Keystone Road. The terrain is a little more “raised” – can’t really call these hills *grin*.
- The crossing of Tarpon Avenue in Tarpon Springs. It is better now, though, since they installed a blinking signal that can be activated by users of the trail. Though, the morning I crossed, crossing traffic seemed oblivious to the blinking signals. Exercise caution! Still a dangerous crossing even with the added cross signals.
- The small rises, mentioned above, also a “pro” since it is welcome change from the relatively flat terrain to the south and west.
- Wall Springs Park, with its spring fed water and views of Boggy Bayou are a highlight. Link follows below this section.
- Also in Wall Springs Park, the observation tower offers great views of the surrounding park.
- The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary. I was fortunate enough to grab a picture of one of its residents. You can see him (or her) in the upper right corner of the picture in the gallery below (click on the picture to see a larger version). Consider a donation to this worthy organization. There is a link to their website below.
- The road underpasses are unique to this area of Florida since the water table is relatively high. Another pro is they finally cleaned out the bats that inhabited the underpasses for a couple of years!
- The section through Tarpon Springs is a great spot for stopping for a bite to eat or just to relax.
There is quite a bit to see and do along this stretch of the Pinellas Trail. From the eccletic eating experiences in Tarpon Springs, to the wonders of the nature world awaiting at Wall Springs Park, there is something for every cycling level along the Pinellas Trail.
Always a pleasure riding the Pinellas Trail!
Happy Trails ~ John