The Top 15 Mountain Bike Trails in Florida

There are numerous mountain bike trails in Florida that offer good off-road biking experiences to riders all year round. However, it is important to note that fall and spring are the best times for cyclists to exploit their biking skills. One of the things that makes Florida a good place for mountain biking is that it has an unpredictable weather. To a great extent, a storm can change mountain bike trails in Florida and this adds a lot of fun to biking. Also, Florida has a hot climate and this provides a hotbed for bugs to thrive. In addition, you will find that it is both scenic and fun to take an mountain biking tour in Florida.

As biking continues to grow as a sport, Florida offers some of the best bike trails in the world. If you are looking for a safe and smooth ride in a clean environment then, you will find the list below to be very helpful. We now look at the top 15 mountain bike trails in Florida.

Mountain Bike Trails in Florida for Singles and Couples

1. Blackwater River State forest trail

If you are a single person or a couple looking to enjoy biking activities, Blackwater river state forest trail is one of your best choices. However, you should know that there is no designated route in the 183000 acre forest and therefore, cyclists have to rely on the 14 miles double track that connects the area between Dixon creeks and Coldwater. 

Whether you are a beginner or a professional, you will find that the sand on this trail is equally challenging in both cold and wet weather. Once you hit the trail, you will get to experience the fun and the thrill at Blackwater river state forest. It is however advisable for riders to have a good understanding of the route to avoid getting lost in the area.

2. Jacksonville - Baldwin rail trail

This is one of the highly maintained bike trails in Florida and is looked after by the department of transportation in Jacksonville, Florida. The trail consists of a 14.5 mile track that is largely dominated by trees on the sides. The good thing with Jacksonville -Baldwin trail is that cyclists enjoy the tranquility and privacy of the natural landscape in the area.

3. Gainesville - Hawthorne State trail

It is impossible to think of the best mountain bike trails in Florida without mentioning the Gainesville - Hawthorne trail. This trail is one of the longest in Florida as it runs across a distance of 16.2 miles. It starts from Boulware springs in Gainesville and ends in the quiet town of Hawthorne. The trail features an asphalt track that follows in the direction of the old railroad line.

While riding along the trail, you will pass across an area with farmlands, woods, streams, fields and hills. And as you counter steep inclines, you will enjoy scenic views of the area. Although the trail is generally quiet, it has a small section with sharp curves and turns that offer biking challenges to cyclists. Whether you are a single person or a couple, the trail will give you a good opportunity to enjoy the Paynes Prairie. This is very important for it will add to the overall biking experience.

4. Van Fleet trail

Van fleet is a perfect riding trail for couples as it falls within a quiet, forested area. The trail is mostly straight and has no hills. It comprises of 29 miles riding tracks and runs from the seaboard railroad up to the Green swamp. This trail is different from the other mountain bike trails in Florida on the list because it has wildlife. In addition, you might see crocodiles and alligators as you cross the three bridges over the Withlacoochee River.

5. Fred Marquis Trail

This is a very popular bike trail in Florida as it receives over 100,000 bike riders every month. The 38 mile trail cuts across a vast land covering parks, coastal areas, and residential estates. Fred Marquis trail is a member of the Rail Trail hall of fame owing to its popularity and history of holding a record number of successful expeditions. With Fred Marquis trail, you are assured of having a lot of fun.

Bike Trails in Florida Cities

1. Cedar Key bike trail

If you want to do some town biking then, consider following Cedar Key bike trail. Cedar key reminds us of Key West in so many ways. In addition, this trail is a traveler’s destination that gives a clear view of the old Florida. It is for this reason that couples and singles have a lot of fun touring this town on their bikes. However, this trail is not recommended for speed biking as it is located in a town setting.

2. Withlacoochee State trail

When exploring mountain bike trails in Florida, Withlacoochee state trail cannot go unmentioned. Withlacoochee state trail is ideal for families, kids, couples and singles looking to have fun with their mountain bikes. The trail is 46 miles long and cuts across towns, forests and other natural landscapes. The trail also offers a panoramic view of scenic parks, rivers and the lake. The good thing with Withlacoochee trail is that, you will find eateries along the way. And On the south of the floral city, you will find Istachatta General Store that has for a long time been a symbol of the old Florida.

3. West Orange bike trail

Still on city mountain bike trails in Florida, we look at the West Orange biking trail. This trail runs through the urban and suburban parts of the Orange County. You will find winter garden town along the way. This has one of the best maintained rail trails in the Old Florida. The good thing is that you can find bike rentals along this trail. In addition, there are bike shops in Winter Garden where you can get spares as well as purchase new bikes. Also, if you wish to visit Disney land, it is in a close proximity.

4. 20th Avenue bike trail

20th Avenue is one of the urban bike trails in Florida and is located in Gainesville city. The trail has in the past been used for professional competitions and stretches about 2 miles of tarmac.

5. The 12 hours of Santos course

The 12 hours of Santos course is located in Ocala and stretches about 8 miles. If you are looking for a city bike trail in Florida, this could be one of your best options.

Sea and Mountain Bike Trails in Florida

1. Legacy trail

This trail runs from Sarasota to Venice and follows a seaboard railroad track. Legacy Trail runs through Oscar Scherer state park before continuing to Venice. At Venice, it extends to the Venetian Waterway Park. This is one of the most popular mountain bike trails in Florida that is popular with walkers, joggers,  cyclists, and rollerbladers. It also has a natural landscape with attractive scenery, parks, forest, waterways and the beach.

2. Sanibel Island bike trail

Sanibel bike trail is made up of several other smaller trails that total 22 miles of paved tracks. These trails include: Dixie beach road, middle Gulf Cemetery road, Bailey Road and Rabbit road. Cyclists have the privilege of riding through Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It is also important to note that the trail lead visitors to restaurants, beaches, lighthouse and shopping malls. During your biking expedition in the island, you will notice that there are more bikes than either cars or pedestrians.

3. Shark Valley – Everglades National Park

This is a bike trail that is synonymous with the American alligator sign. While biking on this trail, you get to enjoy nature in the company of birds, fish and turtles. Shark valley trail consists of 14.5 miles of paved tracks. The good thing with this trail is that, you can either rent a bike or bring your own.

4. Alafia River State Park

Alafia river state park is located in Brandon, Florida. It has a 14 mile track that passes through forests, open land and hills. Alafia River stands as one of the best mountain bike trails in Florida because of its location and accessibility. The course is very relaxing for bike riders as it features natural sceneries and landscape.

5. Anderson Springs biking trail

Anderson springs lies in White Springs and is one of the most picturesque mountain bike trails in Florida. It offers cyclists with a wide view of natural sceneries as they pass through the park. Most bikers in white springs see this as their best trail as it is suitable for both beginners and professional riders. You can easily clear the trail in less than one hour because it has a straightforward 8 mile track filled with hills, turns and sand.

Conclusion

We used different criteria to come up with the list. We considered paved surfaces, wildlife, good scenery and fresh air. Besides being ideal for mountain biking, the trails are also ideal for hybrids, cruisers, comfort bikes and tandems. Most of the trails in our list are void of interference, noise, fumes and vehicle traffic. The good thing is that hotels, bike repair and rental shops have come up along the routes to cater to biker’s needs. If you live in Florida and want to have fun biking, consider visiting any mountain bike trails in Florida mentioned above and you will be assured of having a lot of fun.

Lauren Anderson
 

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