Withlacoochee State Trail - Central Ridge District Park Connector

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!

Getting There:

From U. S. Highway 19 north or south, head east on Highway 488 (W. Dunnellon Road). Highway 488 ends at its intersection with U. S. Highway 41. Head south on U. S. Highway 41 (N. Florida Avenue). Turn right onto W. G. Martinelli Boulevard (heading west). Turn left onto N. Haitian Drive. Make a right onto W. Magenta Drive. Head north and you will see the Gulf Junction Trailhead on your left.

From Interstate 75, take Exit 350 (SW College Road) west (Highway 200). Make a right and head northwest on E. Withlacoochee Trail (Highway 39). Highway 39 ends at its intersection with U. S. Highway 41. Head south on U. S. Highway 41 (N. Florida Avenue). Turn right onto W. G. Martinelli Boulevard (heading west). Turn left onto N. Haitian Drive. Make a right onto W. Magenta Drive. Head north and you will see the Gulf Junction Trailhead on your left.

Trail Length:

This loop is 23 miles. Starting from the Gulf Junction Trailhead in Dunnellon south to the Hernando Trailhead and back to the Gulf Junction Trailhead. The ride includes the connector out to Central Ridge District Park and back.

The Trail:

The east and west sides of the trail bed can be a little rough. There are whorls in the pavement that, if your wheel hits them, can be quite jarring. For the most part, the ride is shaded and you shouldn’t need sun screen if riding in the early morning or late afternoon.

Keep your eyes open for gopher tortoises, blue jays and cardinals. They were out in abundance the morning I rode the trail. It is relatively quiet in this section of the trail and you will be able to hear a lot of bird song through the sections where Highway 41 isn’t too close.

Facilities:

  • There are facilities at the Gulf Junction Trailhead.
  • There are facilities at the Citrus Springs Trailhead.
  • There are facilities at the Hernando Trailhead.

The Cons:

  • The east and west sides of the trail bed need some attention

The Pros:

  • Almost the entire 23 miles is tree lined.
  • Lots of birds (singing).
  • Relatively flat course.
  • All the riders I encountered were very friendly.

Links:

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