Florida is home to some of the most scenic bike trails worldwide. They ensure you get to exercise and enjoy beautiful landscapes, forests, wildlife, historical buildings, and exquisite contemporary architecture. The various bike trails have different surfaces, like sandy, dusty and wooden surfaces, but my main focus of this article will be the paved bike trails in Florida.
Specifically, I’ll review the 22 best paved bike trails in Florida including Jacksonville, Ocala, Central Florida, Gainesville, St Augustine, and Mount Dora.
Paved Bike Trails Jacksonville, Fl.
1. Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail-Trail
Located in Duval, Florida, the Jacksonville-Baldwin trail is 14.5 miles long and features an asphalt trail surface. It is one of the oldest trails in north Florida, strategically placed in the middle of hardwood uplands. Start riding at Imeson Road, Jacksonville, or Brandy Ranch Road, Baldwin.
If you wish to enjoy a smooth, laid-back ride as you view nature, various bird species like wood storks, belted kingfishers, and hawks, and other animals like alligators, coral snakes, gopher tortoises, and rabbits, this trail is perfect. The extensive defensive works along the historic Camp Milton make the area a favorite among many cyclists.
2. The Timucuan Trail
The Timucuan trail is part of the extended East Coast Greenway that stretches 18 miles from Florida to Maine. The specific length of this trail is 4.8 miles, with endpoints at Little Talbot Island State Park and Big Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville.
It falls under the Greenway/Non-RT category and features a smooth asphalt surface.
The trail is ideal for cycling, horseback riding, walking, and skating. Get to enjoy bird and wildlife viewing and exclusive access to the beach and camping spots. Expect to encounter many fishing enthusiasts on weekends heading to George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park.
Jacksonville-Camp Lejeune Rail-To-Trails
Located in Onslow, Jacksonville-Camp LeJeune Rail-to-Trails spans over 5.2 miles, falls under the rail-trail category, and features an asphalt surface to guarantee a smooth ride. You can start your ride or hike from two endpoints – Onslow Dr. Marine Blvd (Jacksonville) or Holcomb Blvd. nr. Lejeune SR 24/Blvd, LeJeune.
The Marine base will open a longer 54-mile stretch that will connect this trail with the East Coast Greenway that runs from Maine to Key West. Consequently, travellers and hikers will get to spend more time outdoors and indulge in their favorite activities. Parking is available at various spots like Eastwood Drive and Bell Fork Road
4. Cecil Field Recreational Trail
Cecil Field is a 2.3 mile back trail near Jacksonville that features paved and unpaved pathways. The path is accessible throughout the year, providing a thrilling experience where you get to enjoy wildflowers, pine trees, and old military buildings. It is ideal for cycling, running, and horseback riding.
The trail has moderate traffic, making it a perfect place to take your dog out for a walk. There are eight strategically placed paved parking areas where you can park your vehicle and head out for an evening stroll. The overall elevation gain is less than 1% and is suitable for wheelchair and stroll users.
5. Ed-Austin Regional Park
Ed Austin Regional Park is a 144-acre site purchased by the Jacksonville City Management. The park hosts several amenities such as soccer fields, baseball fields, basketball courts, and a 2.7-mile paved hiking and biking trail. You will find little to view. However, the place is perfect for spending time with your friends and family or interacting and making new friends.
Since the park features various activities, you get the ideal platform to ride your bike and later try out other recreational activities. There are no charges to access the area, and there is ample parking space, picnic shelters for rest, and a drinking fountain to quench your thirst.
6. Line Greenway
Line Greenway is a trail in Duval that extends approximately 4.8 miles. It features activities such as biking, skating, and walking as you enjoy nature. The bike trail has a paved asphalt surface where users can begin at Norwood Ave. or Myrtle Ave., depending on your location.
It connects Durkeeville and New Town with Brentwood, starting from Myrtle Avenue to Norwood Plaza. You will only find a few walkers and riders, thus giving you the perfect platform to out different skills when cycling or skating. Enjoy a smooth ride as you view local historic buildings and cool resting spots.
Paved Bike Trails Ocala, Fl.
1. Santos Trailhead and Campground
Wish to enjoy exquisite mountain biking in Florida? Santos Trailhead is perfect. The 80-mile single-track bike trails ensure all bikers, from beginners to experts, experience a challenging encounter. Enjoy numerous wooden features and a paved Vortex free ride area.
The trail stretches from Ocala to Belleview and provides access to the extensive Cross Florida Greenway trail. Some of the amenities in this trailhead include freshwater points, picnic pavilions, a bike wash rack, and several bike shops where you can rent or repair your bike. Additionally, enjoy incredible scenic trails like the Pacific Crest and Appalachian trails.
2. UF Campus Greenway
The UF Campus Greenway is a 2.6-mile road bike trail in Alachua, Ocala, featuring an asphalt surface that guarantees a smooth riding experience. Start your journey from either Archer Road/ State Road or Southwest 34th street from your current location. The trail is a nature haven because you get to enjoy over creeks, wetlands under trees and the magnificent Bartram-Carr woods, and Lake Alice Conservation Area.
Apart from bike riding, try out nature walks and skating. It is also wheelchair accessible. Professors, students, and other trail users utilize it to connect to the Depot Avenue Rail-Trail and further to Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail.
3. 6th Street Rail Trail
Also located in Alachua, Florida, the 6th Street Rail Trail is a 1.7-mile trail featuring an asphalt surface that guarantees a hassle-free riding experience. Trail end points are at Depot Ave & SW 6th street and NW 166th Avenue. Apart from cycling, other activities along this trail include hiking, running, and walking.
The overall elevation gain is about 73 meters, making it a perfect location for exercise as enjoy the thrill of bird-watching. There are no parking spaces along the way, and be aware of people walking with their dogs. Additionally, the path becomes more of a sidewalk as you approach the city. Take necessary precautions.
4. Waldo Greenway to Depot Avenue Rail-Trail to Kermit Sigmon Bike Trail
The Waldo Greenway Trail in Alachua stretches approximately 6.4 miles and features asphalt and concrete surfaces. The trail endpoints are at SW Archer Road and NE Waldo Road to NE 47th Avenue (airport.) like the name suggests, you get to enjoy three bike trails at once. The trails link transit stops, businesses, a private aviation terminal, the University of Florida, and neighborhoods.
The overall trail has a well-laid landscape, perfect for exercise and a laid-back experience because you get to view a diversified community that features hospitals, industries, and buildings. Note that the trail narrows as you approach various intersections, and you should be extra careful.
Paved Bike Trails Central Florida
1. Auburndale TECO Trail
Auburndale is a 6.5-mile trail in Polk County, with an Asphalt surface, perfect for recreational cycling. The endpoints are at Polk City and Auburndale. Since the section is far away from the road and is flat and straight, most cyclists have fast road bikes and engage in high-intensity cycling. You should therefore stay alert if you are running or walking.
There are fitness stations along the trail. You can also drop by Lake Myrtle Sports Park and try out your favorite sport. There are little or no shades because of the TECO power lines at the side of the trail. You should therefore carry water and sunscreen for adequate protection.
2. Candy wall trail
Candy Wall Trail is in Orange County with a 7.5 miles mileage and a further I mile extension that takes you to Lake Druid Park. It features a 12-inch asphalt surface and parking points at McCullough Road, Goldenrod Park, Lake Druid Park, and Cady Way Park. Access points are at Lake Druid Park and Howell Branch Road, Goldenrod.
Some of the accessible amenities at Goldenrod Park include parking, a recreation center, playground, water, and restrooms. If you have ample time, visit the following places of interest; Orlando Museum of Art, Morse Museum (Tiffany Art), Albin Polasek Sculpture Museum, and Rollins College.
3. Celebration, Florida
Celebration is in Osceola County with several endpoints because you get to ride around the community. The mileage also varies, but you can ride about 5.5 miles depending on the various routes you take. The asphalt, wooden boardwalk, and concrete surfaces ensure you enjoy different riding experiences all in one package.
The notable activities around this neighborhood are walking, running, and laid-back recreational biking. Nearby points of interest include Disney Rings, Typhoon Lagoon, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, and EPCOT. If you don’t own a bike, visit Bike Rentals, Town Center, and rent one at reasonable rates. Additionally, get a trail map to understand the town better.
Paved Bike Trails Gainesville, Fl.
1. Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail
Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail is a recreational trail stretching 16 miles from Gainesville Spring Park through Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, state lands, and local conservation areas. It is paved and features a grassy equestrian trail at the sides. Major activities along this trail include bicycling, birding, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, walking, and running.
Access the trail at Boulware Springs City Park, 234, 2082 road intersection, and 2182 71st Avenue, Hawthorne. Some of the amenities available include nature, mountain bike, equestrian trails, wheelchair access, and parking. There are no entry fees, and it opens from 8 AM till sundown.
2. Paynes Prairie State Preserve
Located in Micanopy, Florida, this state park boasts eight trails that present users the opportunity to try out different activities such as bicycling, hiking, and horseback riding. The trails include;
- Bolen Bluff Trail (4.8km)
- La Chua Trail (4.7km)
- Cone’s Dike (8.2km)
- Lake Trail Loop (9.5km)
- Paynes Prairie Loop Trail (10.0km)
- La Chua Boardwalk (16km)
- Chakala Trail (3.2km)
- Wacahoota Trail (1.3km)
Enjoy the unique experience of viewing wild-roaming horses and bison, 300 bird species, alligators, deer, and other animals. Some of the amenities on offer include a shower station, visitor center, restroom, playground, parking, picnic pavilion, campgrounds, and campfire circles. The entry fee is $6 per vehicle.
3. Archer Braid Trail
Archer Braid Trail is in Alachua and stretches 6.2 miles from Archer Road, Archer water tower, and SW 91st Street. The asphalt surface ensures you ride with utmost comfort, allowing you to enjoy the surroundings.
The trail is wide enough and has trees that provide shade, although not throughout. Apart from the wooded areas, there is not much to view. Consequently, the standout advantage is that you get to concentrate on your cycling. Parking is available at the water tower, right at the end.
Paved bike trails St Augustine, Fl
1. Lehigh Greenway Rail Trail
The Lehigh Greenway is a 6.9-mile rail-trail in Flagler, Florida. It features an asphalt surface for a flawless riding experience. Access the trail at Graham Swamp Conservation Area or Royal Palms Pkwy. The route is surrounded by trees, providing a safe way of traveling to Palm Coast, Bunnell, and Flagler Beach without encountering motorists.
The main activities here are biking, walking, and walking. It is also ideal for people who move around in wheelchairs. Get the privilege of enjoying picturesque views of the nearby wetlands and various wildlife species like alligators, wading birds, foxes, waterfowl, otters, and deer.
2. Sweetheart Trail
Located in St Augustine, the Sweetheart trail extends approximately 1.5 miles from Main Street to Orange Avenue. It has a concrete surface and falls under the Greenway/Non-RT category. The main activities around here include walking, skating, biking and fishing.
Enjoy the distinct sail-like canopy structures as you ride through the trail. It also provides access to Manatee Island Park, where you will find amenities such as an amphitheater, restrooms, playground, picnic pavilions, and a fishing pier.
Head south and find a wooden footbridge that leads to the City Island Park and explore tennis and volleyball courts, Daytona Beach Regional Library, baseball fields, and picnic areas with grills.
3. Palatka to Lake Butler Trail
The Palatka to Lake Butler State Trail is a 30.3-mile trail that runs through four counties – Union, Bradford, Putnam, and Clay. It features an asphalt surface that ensures you experience a smooth ride. The trail endpoints are at FL 100, Palatka, and FL 100, Keystone Heights.
Bicycling, skating, walking, horseback riding are the most popular activities. The trail is also wheelchair accessible. Enjoy well-canopied forests, picturesque countryside, pine Flatwoods and wet prairies, and wildlife such as black bears, bobcats, snakes, alligators, turkeys, and white-tailed deer.
Access parking spots at Florahome Trailhead, Lake Butler Trailhead, and Twins Lakes Park Trailhead.
Paved Bike Trails Mount Dora Florida
1. Cross Volusia Trail
The Cross Volusia Trail in Volusia, Florida, stretches 5.3 miles and features a concrete surface that guarantees effortless cycling. The trail endpoints are at S, Prevatt Avenue, and N. Adelle Avenue. Ride south and find Earl Brown Park, which boasts of a small duck pond. Here you get the privilege of accessing restrooms, a playground, a skate park, and picnic areas.
The two main activities on this trail are riding and walking, with low to moderate traffic. You get to enjoy a relaxing ride where you explore the beautiful Florida county and the old rail roadbed. Access parking spots at Stetson University campus.
2. General James A. Van Fleet Trail
General James A. Van Fleet Trail stretches across three counties – Lake, Sumter, and Polk, stretching 29 miles. It features an asphalt surface that guarantees a smooth, effortless ride. Access the trail at Commonweal Avenue, Berkley Road, SE 121st, and CR 772.
Apart from riding, the trail is wheelchair accessible and features other activities like inline skating, walking, and horseback riding. Get the opportunity of enjoying a scenic rural landscape, wetlands, and wildlife such as armadillos, alligators, feral pigs, and tortoises.
Amenities include ample parking, restrooms, and picnic facilities. The trail is also perfect if you love high-intensity cycling.
3. Hancock Trail
Located in Lake County, Florida, Hancock Trail stretches 6.5 miles and features an asphalt trail surface. You get to access it at County Road 561A and Oakley Seaver Drive. The trail is also wide (14ft), with a hilly topography that gives you the ideal platform for exercise.
There is limited scenery, but you can find several points of interest like Minneola Athletic Complex, Lake Minneola High School, South Lake Trail, and Cooper Memorial Library. Most of the path does not have shades, and there are only a few water points. As a precaution, carry your water.
Parking spots are at Cooper Memorial Library and Minneola Athletic Complex.
The above are the 22 best-paved bike trails in Florida in the following areas; Jacksonville, Ocala, Central Florida, Gainesville, St Augustine, and Mount Dora. Apart from cycling, the trails also give you the added advantage of trying other activities such as fishing and kayaking.
Try out various sports like basketball, football, golf, and so much more. Additionally, get the privilege of enjoying nature, viewing historical buildings, and interacting with other cyclists along the way.
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