Nature Coast State Trail Reviews    

Return to the Nature Coast State Trail page

One of Five Faorite Florida Trails

By OldTerry in October, 2014

Rode the trail with my wife on October 20. 2014. This was our second ride. Parked at the Chamber of Commerce Building in Chiefland about 3/4 of a mile from the Quality Inn.

I like this trail because it is peaceful, scenic, mostly well shaded, in good repair as well as fast and easy. Plan to return in the Spring of 2015 and ride the portion from Trenton to Cross City and back.

Loved this ride and scenery!

By crowculbertson in January, 2014

I stayed in Days Inn Chiefland. Trail access is right across the street and per a sheriff parking is accommodated within a Tractor Supply parking lot. You are some 3 miles from the Chiefland TH (South) and Depot. After I rode down there I am not sure why the sheriff did not share the depot as a parking spot. Others had used it as I saw empty bike racks. As what another had suggested I rode north then east to Trenton FL then on return rode to Suwannee River (west) Bridge then back east and south to my originating point. I think I liked the Trenton ride and town best. The scenery was enjoyable and the town was quaint, residents were friendly. Saw two restaurants I will consider visiting on my return (Hobos/Cracker Box Cafe). I rode down to Cedar Key for supper and it is one of those perfect old Florida towns. When I left I had felt like I had been in a time machine. I will be back! The view from Steamers Restaurant is indescribable! All in all a wonderful visit.

Great Trail

By jon reiskind in May, 2013

Late May and some still cool weather tempted us to take the trail from Fannin Springs to Chiefland, about 9 miles. Some good shade, but quite open from mile 3 to 5. Flat, easy biking.

If you want to get something to eat and drink (and heading south) turn left on NW 17th Avenue, right after the 7 mile post, and go to busy US 19, 27 & 98 where there is a new MacDonald's across the highway.

Beware of boredom

By bthomamd in February, 2013

Rode this trail on 10 Feb. 2013. Enjoyed the portion of the trail from Old Town to Chiefland but Old Town to Trenton just runs besides state highway 26 and is boring; I turned around and return to Fanning then rode back to Old Town.

Last ride for 2012

By misunsets in December, 2012

Before bringing in the New Year we made this ride on the final days of 2012..with a chilly start to the day of only 37 degrees! Add a few layers and the ride began. Starting in Chiefland we headed north and rode to Trenton with total peace and the trail completely to ourselves. We then headed west towards Cross City and stopped for photo opportunities while crossing the Suwanee River...singing a few lines of the state song by Steven Foster. With the beautiful Live Oaks and moss, and a lazy river it's"pure south". No doubt why they call this the nature coast. The next stretch is the long haul to Cross City, due to the fact that it was now over thirty miles. We got revived with lunch in Cross City and then returned to Cheifland to complete the loop....not to be missed if you make the trip to experience this trail, drive to Cedar Key and try out the wonderful restaurants and fabulous fresh seafood!!!

Very Peaceful

By joycelib60 in February, 2012

We started in Chiefland and rode our bikes to Trenton on Valentines day. Temps were in the low 70's and a little overcast. The trail had nice shade cover mixed with some sunny spots. We passed a beautiful tree forest on the way to Trenton and took a break at the Old Train Depot to use the restrooms and replenish our water. On the way back there were a few sprinkles to cool us off. I found this trail VERY well maintained and peaceful. The highlight for me was the canopy tree cover just outside of Chiefland and the Tree forest. I'll post a few pictures but they are from the phone so not the best quality.

Rural and Well-Maintained

By mare in June, 2011

This trail is very rural (for the most part). But, there are quite a few intersections when you get near the towns. It is well-maintained and doesn't seem to be used much. We rode the entire trail and practically had the trail to ourselves - very peaceful. Lots of shade

We took a side trip to Cedar Key to get a good meal (not much around Chiefland or its environs for that matter) and found Steamers Clam Bar right on the Gulf of Mexico. Great view, excellent food, friendly atmosphere, good service. The owner stopped by to make sure everything was OK and when we started to talk about bicycling, he gave me a book that a local had written about his bicycling odyssey across the US.

Great breakfast & BBQ in Trenton.

By carolann2u in February, 2008

The trail from the old Trenton depot station across the river to Dixie County is very well kept & scenic. It's a great outing! Just one block south of the old depot station at 321 N. Main St. is Lavern's Country Kitchen. They are open for breakfast & lunch & feature southern cooking & hospitality. Lavern makes great BBQ pulled pork sandwiches & ribs. Breakfast is available all day on Saturdays!

Metric Century

By in October, 2007

"My wife and I did the 3 spokes of the trail starting at Chiefland, then to Cross City, and to Trenton before returning to Chiefland. Amounts to about 64 miles (had to do a little bit more at the Chiefland end or a metric century. Great Day. Ended it by driving to Manatee Springs (about 7 miles away) and rinsing off in the cool spring water. Worth the trip."

Good Eats in Trenton

By in April, 2007

Great trail to ride in the spring. Be sure to do the Trenton leg of the trail and stop in at Petrello's at the old boarding house. We had a great roasted veggie pizza.

Nice trail!

By monapam in April, 2006

"Did the ""Dairy Queen"" ride yesterday, cycling from Trenton to the DQ in Cross City (42 miles round-trip, if you go past the DQ to end of the trail). Saw several snakes, a turtle, wildflowers, and enjoyed the beautiful view of the Suwannee River.

In addition to the trailheads at Fanning Springs and Chiefland, which are listed in the trail description, there are also trailheads in Trenton and in Cross City, both with restrooms. The trail was well maintained (thanks!)."

Scenic ride

By in July, 2004

This is a scenic ride complete with a trestle bridge crossing the historic Suwannee River. Great views both up and down stream. It is a quiet trail with few other riders.

Nice ride

By lenry1 in April, 2003

"I rode the Chiefland-Cross City legs on April 21, 2003. I agree with most of what another reviewer said. There are old depots at the three ends, the bathrooms in Chiefland were locked (on a Monday) but the ones in Cross City were open. Both of those depots are old and ugly at the moment. The one in Trenton is nicer, but I didn't try to use any facilities.

If you are coming west from Gainesville on 26, turn right at Trenton's Main Street and go to NW 4th Street to the depot where you will find parking. I liked the ride to Cross City, there was a bit of a wind from the south east, which made it easier on the way back. Seemed to be fewer intersections. The trail stops in the middle of nowhere a couple minutes past the Cross City Depot.

There is a small barber shop next to the parking area in Fanning Springs."

Trail now extended in two directions

By in March, 2002

"Recently the Nature Coast Greenway was extended in two directions: south to Chiefland, and east to Trenton. There are now 32 miles of paved trail. Flat. Scenic Crossing of Suwannee River.

As you enter Chiefland from the south on US19, there is a stop light at SW 4th Ave. Continue north and turn right at SE 2nd Ave., then an immediate right to the parking lot at the old railroad depot next to the trail. There are restrooms in a separate building but they may be locked. (There is a McDonald's 1.2 miles further north on US 19.)

This trail is like a Y with a horizontal bar running across the top and extending both left and right to make a modified T. Chiefland is at the south end of the Y/T, Trenton at the east end, and Cross City at the West end. The triangular portion in the middle is known as Wilcox Junction from the days in which this was a railroad junction. (There is no town at Wilcox Junction.) Wilcox Jct. consists of three trail junctions that I will refer to as ""South Jct., ""West Jct."", and ""East Jct.""

From Chiefland bike 9.1 miles north to where the trail crosses US 19 in Fanning Springs. (Trail parking is permitted at this intersection.) Continuing north another 1.2 miles, you reach South Jct. If you go right for 0.4 miles you are at East Jct. Continuing another 7.1 miles east puts you in Trenton where there is a lovely old railroad depot in which the restrooms usually are open.

From South Jct., you can go left for 0.6 miles to West Jct. Continue another 1.5 miles west and you cross the Suwannee River on an old railroad bridge, the most scenic point on the trail. From the river crossing, another 11.7 miles west puts you in Cross City. About 1 mile from the end of the west branch in Cross City there is a fancy Dairy Queen (like a McDonald's) next to the trail.

You can go directly from East Jct. to West Jct. (0.5 miles). If you start in Chiefland and wish to bike the entire trail, go to Trenton first, turn around and go straight across the top of the Y/T (via East Jct. and West Jct.) to Cross City, and then return (via West Jct. and South Jct.) to Chiefland. This will be a 63-mile round trip.

If you start in Chiefland and wish a shorter trip, it is recommended that you bike to Trenton, turn around and go straight west (through East Jct. and West Jct.) to the bridge over the Suwannee River, and then back to Chiefland via West Jct. and South Jct. This will be 39 miles.

You can add a couple of miles to the 39-mile route by biking another mile or so west of the bridge to a lovely yard (on the north side of the trail) containing about a dozen magnificient Live Oak trees. Thereafter, the western 10 miles of the trail (ending in Cross City) are the least scenic, and most windy, as this portion of the trail runs alongside US 19."