Where to Bike in Florida in the Summer?
Today we welcome guest blogger Patty Huff, our very own President of the Florida Bicycle Association Board of Directors.
People come to Florida to have fun in the sun! If you’re biking, you want fun in the shade, especially in the summer months. The Withlacoochee State Trail offers this amenity along with plenty of trailhead stations with water and restrooms. This 46-mile trail was one of the first purchased under the Florida Rails-to-Trails program and is one of the longest in the state.
My husband and I started at the southern end just north of Dade City where we spent the night and had a wonderful dinner downtown at Kafe Kokopelli. Located in the center of town is Flint Outfitters, a bike / fly fishing shop if you’re looking for supplies.
Several other rural towns are scattered along this route. The oldest surviving residential structure in Citrus County, the Duval House, is located in Floral City, along with several other historic sites including the Knight House (art gallery). Trailside Bikes rents and sells recombinants in addition to providing information about the Trail and upcoming events.
Since Floral City is half way up the Trail, we decided to stop for lunch and visit. If you get a chance, head east on Highway 48 to experience biking under the Live Oak trees on the historic “Avenue of Oaks.”
Absolutely beautiful part of old Florida! There is one restaurant in town, the Shamrock Inn, where we had stopped 18 years ago when we passed through Floral City on our first cross-country bike ride. This time we chose Robin’s Country Kitchen just a mile north of town at the crossroads where we had a great sandwich; we heard the pies were the best. However, we skipped dessert and headed back on the Trail which took us through Inverness (David’s World Cycle is directly off the Trail), Hernando, and Holder before reaching the end of the line in Citrus Springs, just a few miles south of our destination where we stayed the night in Dunnellon. Our total distance was 57 miles which made for a great day of riding in Florida in the summertime. Try it; you’ll like it.
On Sunday, October 7, the 24th Annual Rail-to-Trails Bike Ride will be held on the Withlacoochee State Trail, starting at the Apopka Trailhead in Inverness. Register at www.registerrailstotrails.com or email events@CAAMevents.com.
Do you have a bicycle story to tell? Photos to share? Be our guest and be our next guest blogger! Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org.
Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure. Visit the FBA website Home page or click here. Want a hard copy of our Messenger? Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members to pick up our FBA brochure.