Withlacoochee Bay Trail & Felburn Park Trailhead- Inglis, Crystal River, Citrus County, Florida

At a Glance:

This is my first post since my stroke back in October 2015.  I hope to make my posts more frequent as I continue to improve and recover from the setback that the stroke represented.

The Withlacoochee Bay Tree is a nice trail that runs, generally, south and west along the banks of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway.  That is quite the mouth full so most people shorten it to the Florida Barge Canal. Whatever you choose to call it, it is a relatively flat trail nestled just south of Ingliss, Florida and to the north of Crystal River, Florida. Felburn Park serves as the only trailhead for this little gem.  The morning I rode this trail with my trusty partner Brian, a front had just passed through so the humidity was low (for Florida).  Be advised, however, that at almost all times of the year, the no-see-ums are relentless.  If you choose to stop, make sure to avoid the grass and frequent the many covered stops along the route. Insect repellent is always suggested for any ride in Florida.  As stated, with the passage of the front, the day was mostly overcast so no sunscreen was needed.  Sunscreen is strongly recommended for the fair of skin when braving the outdoors in Florida.  Your skin can burn well into the winter months since we are blessed with more direct rays of the sun due to our southern latitude.

Continue reading Withlacoochee Bay Trail & Felburn Park Trailhead- Inglis, Crystal River, Citrus County, Florida

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

Withlacoochee State Trail – Floral City to Mile Marker 10/36 – Floral City, Nobleton, Istachatta – Citrus, Hernando County, Florida

Before You Go:

This is part 3 of a four part coverage of the Withlacoochee State Trail. Click here for Part 2 of the series and Click here for Part 1 of the series

Always remember to be aware of your surroundings. In some instances, you will be traveling through rural areas. A cell phone is always recommended.
Observe wildlife but please respect their environment and their freedom to live unmolested. I will now step down from my soap box. ūüôā

Continue reading Withlacoochee State Trail – Floral City to Mile Marker 10/36 – Floral City, Nobleton, Istachatta – Citrus, Hernando County, Florida

Withlacoochee State Trail – Hernando, Inverness, Floral City – Citrus County, Florida

Before You Go:

This is part 2 of a four part coverage of the Withlacoochee State Trail. Click here for Part 1 of the series.

Always remember to be aware of your surroundings. In some instances, you will be traveling through rural areas. A cell phone is always recommended.
Observe wildlife but please respect their environment and their freedom to live unmolested.

Continue reading Withlacoochee State Trail – Hernando, Inverness, Floral City – Citrus County, Florida

Withlacoochee State Trail – Gulf Junction Trailhead to Hernando Trailhead – Dunnellon, Citrus Springs, Holder, Hernando – Citrus County, Florida

Before You Go:

If you ride this trail in either the early morning or late afternoon/early evening, you can probably ride without worrying about sunscreen. Around mid-day, as the sun clears the tree line, sunscreen is definitely recommended.

Don’t forget a nice pair of padded gloves and your helmet!

Continue reading Withlacoochee State Trail – Gulf Junction Trailhead to Hernando Trailhead – Dunnellon, Citrus Springs, Holder, Hernando – Citrus County, Florida

North Bay Trail including Weedon Island, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

Before You Go:

This trail is a mix of paved trail and on-road. Be aware, you will be sharing your ride space with other vehicular traffic during this route. I believe the trail will eventually be extended past its current end at Macoma Drive NE & 83rd Avenue NE. From that point, exercise caution; there is very little shoulder and it is a narrow two lane road once you approach the bridge near Riviera Bay.

As seems to be the case with many of the trails in St. Petersburg, there isn’t much shade along this trail.

A pair of shades, some cycling gloves are needed. If you are biking during the heat of the day, sunscreen is recommended as well as water.
Continue reading North Bay Trail including Weedon Island, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

Island Loop Bike Route, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

Before You Go:

This is not a paved trail but, rather, on road with a dedicated bike lane.  You will be sharing the roadway with vehicular traffic.

The trail does not have much in the way of shade so, if doing this trail during the heat of the day, sunscreen, sunglasses and a water bottle or two are strongly recommended.

Getting There:

The starting point for this trail is the North Shore Swimming Pool parking lot in downtown St. Petersburg.  Your best bet is to zoom in on the map below to be your bearings.  Zooming out will give you a bigger picture on how to arrive in downtown St. Petersburg.
Continue reading Island Loop Bike Route, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

Venetian Waterway Park Trail, Venice – Sarasota County, Florida

 

Before You Go:

There isn’t a lot of shade along this trail so, if biking during the heat of the day, sunglasses and sunscreen should be used.

If you choose to spend any length of time at Caspersen Beach, remember to bring along a bicycle chain and a beach towel! ūüôā

Getting There:

From either north or south on Interstate 75, take Exit 193, Jacaranda Boulevard south to Venice Avenue.  Head west on Venice Avenue and exit before the Venice Avenue Bridge.  You will see the Venice Train Depot on your right.  Park in any designated spot.  Alternatively, you can take U.S. Highway 41 either north of south to Venice and head west on Venice Avenue for a short distance. Exiting before the Venice Avenue Bridge.

Trail Length:

The trail length is approximately 22 miles more or less.  There are some side trips you can take that will extend the distance traveled.

The Trail:

The trailbed itself is in fairly good shape. The trail is fairly level and flat.   For those who do not like bridge crossings, simply riding along the east side of the trail can be sufficient if you add in the Legacy Trail (which is the northern end of the trail just north of the Venice Train Depot).

Facilities:

  • There are facilities at the Venice Train Depot trailhead.
  • Facilities can be found at the Shamrock Nature Center.
  • There are facilities at Caspersen Beach Park.

The Cons:

  • Other than the lack of shade, there are really no cons along this trail.

The Pros:

  • The intercoastal waterway.
  • Caspersen Beach Park along the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The various art projects along the length of the trail.

Links:

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

Progress Energy Trail – Clearwater – Pinellas County, Florida

Before You Go:

This is, other than the bridge to nowhere further north, the only section of the Progress Energy Trail.  I have read that there is finally some news on extending the trail, there is budgeting for extending the trail to the north in the 2014 budget.

There is no shade along the trail proper.  There is shade at the beginning of the trail that is part of the Ream Wilson Trail. Sunscreen and sunglasses are highly recommended during the afternoon hours.

Getting There:

The starting point of this trail is the same point I started on the Ream Wilson Trail.  The link to the post is Ream Wilson Trail Recap.

Trail Length:

This loop is only 7.18 miles.  Five miles of the trail is comprised of the Progress Energy Trail.  It is about 1.1 miles from the Long Center to the intersection with the Progress Energy trail.

The Trail:

The trailbed is in decent shape. ¬†It is nice that they didn’t make the trail arrow straight but, rather, built some curves into the design.

The trail, being so short, can be turned into a longer ride by adding the Ream Wilson Trail (link is above).

Facilities:

  • There are facilities at Long Center at the start of the trail.

The Cons:

  • The length of the trail; too short.
  • There are some very busy streets to cross. ¬†Mainly the crossing at Highway 60. ¬†Be careful!

The Pros:

  • The curves built into the design.
  • Easy access to the Ream Wilson Trail.
  • The electrical easement is wide enough that there are opportunities to view minor wildlife along the trail.

Links:

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

LOST – Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail – Port Mayaca to Mile 50E, Martin & Okeechobee County, Florida

Before You Go:

This trail can be tricky. Lake Okeechobee is the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the continental United States.  The trail bed is built upon an earthen dike that surrounds the lake.  The terrain is relatively flat and the section I rode through was absolutely treeless. Sunscreen is definitely required as well as a good pair of sunglasses.  I would also recommend insect repellant. I rode this in November and there were numerous insects.

Getting There:

The trail head I chose for this ride was Port Mayaca Locks and Dam.  The trailhead is located on the northern side of the lock off U. S. Highway 441/98.  Watch for the signs as you approach from either the north or the south.

Trail Length

The trail is 29 miles Рfrom the northern side of the Port Mayaca Locks and Dam to mile 50E and back to the Port Mayaca trail head.

The Trail

A word of warning to those not familiar with Florida during the summer. There is absolutely no shelter on this trail.  It is relatively treeless and you are riding atop a dike surrounding the 2nd largest freshwater lake in the continental United States. Pay attention to the weather forecast and the sky. Lightning strikes, during the summer months, are a reality and you ARE the tallest thing around for miles.  You could probably find shelter at one of the locks that you cross every so often.

Second words or warning. Bring insect repellent – even in the dry months. I rode the trail in late November around Thanksgiving and was stung and had to turn back.

Third words of warning, again weather related. Pay attention to the winds and plan accordingly. What might seem an easy ride may be much harder on the return. The winds off Lake Okeechobee are notorious for being persistent and strong. There are no natural wind breaks along the lake.

The trail bed itself is in relatively good shape. By the way you cannot circumnavigate the entire lake without venturing on surrounding roads.  And, if your goal is to circumnavigate the lake, be aware that the entire trail in not paved.  Being spoiled, I only plan to cover the paved portion of the trail.

All in all a fine ride. Do exercise caution crossing Old Highway 50 – it tends to be a fairly busy road and the crossing occurs near a curve in the road.

Facilities:

  • There are no facilities along this section of the trail. You could, though, venture off the trail at one of the lock crossings and probably find water and restrooms.

The Cons:

  • The scenery can get monotonous.
  • No facilities.
  • You are pretty much alone. ¬†The day I rode, I didn’t see anyone else on this portion of the trail. ¬†Make sure to bring your cell!

The Pros:

  • Lots of opportunity to watch wading birds along the shoreline.
  • The Port Mayaka locks. It is interesting to watch boats navigating through the lock.

Links:

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