Suncoast Trail Reviews    

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Great trail

By lindolyn in November, 2014

Wonderful trail, easy to find and easy to ride. The Rangers are very pleasant, nice and knowledgeable. Will ride again when I go back to visit the Tampa area.

By george jenkins in December, 2013

Excellent long distance workout ride

By dfhopp in September, 2013

Well maintained trail with long distances between road crossings. Makes it very it very easy to crank away the miles with no worry about cars.

Beautiful Trail, Lots of Wind

By carolyng in September, 2013

I rode this trail several times and enjoyed it very much. I get on near Land O Lakes. There's a small bike shop near the Target that is great for last minute needs. You can even leave it over night for any maintenance, pick it up the next day and jump right on the trail.

Being in Florida you really have to time it right especially if your going to be on it for the long haul. There are several stretches with little to no shading, making it a very long and hot ride. Sunscreen, shades and a helmet with a visor is highly recommended. Early morning or evening is the best time to ride. High noon can be brutal. Also, the trail is in a wind tunnel and it seems you're riding into it both ways adding resistance to your ride.

It's very scenic, passing through that natural Florida flora as well as farms and some suburban points. I always seem some sort of wild life, usually various birds, gopher tortoises and sunning alligators on occasion. However, much of the trail parallels the Suncoast Highway.

There are plenty of water points but I recommend bringing in as much of your own water as possible since the coolers are sometimes empty.

Around the 15 mile mark is Snowden Park which has bathrooms and water fountains.

At the 21 mile mark there is an elementary school just off the trail. If you are thirsty enough, there is a water fountain outside of the school.

Around the 23 mile mark there is a small shopping center containing a tap house. :-) It's nice to stop in for a quick glass or two along the way. I've met other cyclist in that place. There are also a few full service restaurants as well.

Don't Forget the Starkey Bike Trail

By bill10 in August, 2013

I've ridden the Suncoast several times now including a full ride from the Lutz Lake Fern trail head to two miles short of the north end; due to the trail being blocked by a construction barrier. Running adjacent to the Veterans Parkway is not as bad as it would seem. The highway is there, but you are not always running right alongside. Someone put some thought into it and did as best as they could. Personally, I’m grateful that someone even thought to build the trail. There’s also seems to be a slight level of creativity in some of the design including some uncharacteristic sweepers and elevation, not to mention that north of Spring Hill the trail has some really steep grades. There seems to be decent water locations along the trail, but a good hydration pack is always a good idea because I found many coolers empty by mid-day. The best point for amenities is in Spring Hill, about 25 miles north of the Lutz Lake Fern Trail Head. Lastly, I don’t think its well publicized that the Starkey Park Bicycle Trial connects directly to the Suncoast Trail and adds another 6.5 miles of trail to the Suncoast (13 miles in and out) and this trail runs completely clear of the highway. The Starkey doesn't seem to be mentioned in the description; nor is it on the map. However, you can find the well-marked Starkey trail entrance at 6.7 miles north of the Lutz Lake Fern trail head (4.2 miles north of the SR52 Trail Head). The Starkey is all Florida ambiance. The Suncoast itself is a well maintained trail with lots of variants that are uncharacteristic of many other trails in the area. I recommend it highly.

Can be sundrenched at times

By ggwbikemt in February, 2013

With a toll road paralleling this trail on the east side, the mornings and early afternoons will be in the sun for the most part. I found this trail well maintained and a pleasant ride. There are some long stretches between road crossing. The northern 12 miles from US 98 to SR 50 are the hilliest. As of Feb 2013, Hernando County charges $3.00 a day for parking and Pasco County charges $2.00 a day.

GREAT TRAIL

By sarahf7 in January, 2012

This trail was well maintained, and had plenty of benches and water. Would ride again.

Good Florida experience

By beyerjf in May, 2011

I started at the southern terminus in Lutz and went north about 10 miles. Mostly flat as is a lot of this section of Florida, paved everywhere I went. You have several opportunities to go "inland" away from the actual Parkway and get away from the traffic. As others have mentioned, limited amenities and water/restrooms. I am used to rail/trails in my home area of Pennsylvania so if you are on vacation in FL this would be a real treat.

WOW, hills in Florida

By sramp6 in May, 2011

Rode this trail on April 26, 2011. On a visit from CT, I found this trail challenging for a mid - Florida trail. Not flat like the van Fleet. There is a series of hills at the last 15 miles before the northern trailhead. Not long & steep hills like you'd find in CT, but downshifting was required. Water was limited, but available periodically. The bathroom facilities at Cortez were terrific, especially for a riding trail. The pedestrian/bike bridge over Route 50 near Cortez was a nice touch. Some of the other road crossings are pretty risky affairs. Riding at mid day, I only saw a couple of other riders. As evening approached, more riders, walkers, and rollerbladers appeared. The northern trailhead was very barren; 1 picnic table and a handful of signs. Lot's of parking there. I wasn't pleased with the parking fee imposed by the Hillsborough County for their 2 parking areas @ W Lutz Lake Fern Rd & the other one @ Route 54. It's $2 per car; their bathroom facilities consist of Port-a-Potties and they warn of break-ins of cars parked there. Seems odd since none of the other trailheads imposed parking fees and some had better bathrooms (like Cortez). I would suggest parking at one of the other trailheads.

Trail has nice variety; limited amenities.

By TimBee in March, 2011

I rode the northern half of this trail in mid February on a mostly sunny, warm day. It was way better than I expected considering it parallels the Sun Coast Parkway. I've ridden trails before that are close to freeways and the road noise makes it unpleasant but this trail had buffers between it & the road and in many cases wasn't that close or maybe there wasn't enough traffic for me to notice (went mid day).

The northern third or so has quite a few hills and some curves and lots of pretty pine trees and sparse traffic. The northern Trail Head was nothing more than a parking lot--no shade, shelter, bathroom facilities, water, etc. So bring your own water, food and find your own place to relieve yourself.

The Trail Head off of Cortez (Brooksville/Spring Hill) was very pleasant with a nice building, indoor bathrooms, cold water, shelter, picnic tables, etc. Also, there's a huge overpass crossing Cortez which was kinda fun in & of itself. My car was just fine when I returned. The southern portion had more traffic on the parkway and was closer to it but still wasn't that bad. There was also an athletic field/park with facilities, shade, etc. The condition of the trail was very good all the way. I will definitely finish the southern half on my next FL visit.

UTB Trail!!!

By bbkradwell in December, 2007

What is the hold up on the connections between the Suncoast and the UTB Trail? I mean, heck, we've only been waiting for this silly thing for the last 9 years, since it was proposed! OK, I realize that the "wheels of Bureacracy turn slowly," but this is ridiculous! Come ON, people... 9 years? My grandmother could have done it by herself, by now! And she's been confined to a wheelchair for 15 years!!!
I cannot wait to ride my bike from Hillsborough Rd, in Tampa, aaaallll the way to Citrus County and beyond!!

Construction

By recordo in January, 2007

Wanted to access the trail at SR-52 but construction seems to have obliterated the access point.Entered at SR-54 and went north. Nice level trail.Scenery leaves something to be desired in this area.Nice ride none the less.

Motel Recommendation?

By Pthompso in April, 2006

"I'd like to begin as far north as possible. What motel might anyone recommend at the north end, and (perhaps) at the south end?"

Wonderful Resource!

By in May, 2004

"This trail is a boon! I especially like the section between County Line Road and US-98. This section has some nice hills and plenty of foliage. The Suncoast Trail does need more restroom facilities, IMHO.

I can hardly wait until the Suncoast Trail becomes connected to the other local trails. We need to escape the cars!"

Phase II Now Open

By J R in April, 2003

"Phase II of the Suncoast Trail is now open, from SR Hwy 50 north to US 98. The trail dedication ceremony will be at 10:00 a.m. on April 26, 2003, at the SR Hwy 50 trailhead.

A bike ride starts at 8:00 a.m. at Crews Lake Park on the same day. More info from Hernando MPO online newsletter:
www.co.hernando.fl.us/plan/mpo/PDF/MPOnewsMar03.pdf"

Great Ride!

By in January, 2003

"My 19-year-old son and I did this trail on a chilly weekday, and we found it exhilarating. The natural feel of the woods on one side is unfortunately offset by the rush of cars on the other side, but the ride was easy and comfortable. We say no one else on the trail, but there may be more trail traffic on the weekends."

3 POSSIBLE TRAILS INTERSECTING SUNCOAST

By in January, 2003

"THIS NEARLY 30 MILE RIDE IS PAVED FROM LUTZ LAKE FERN ROAD NEAR THE SUNCOAST PARKWAY IN BETWEEN CR. 587 GUNN HWY AND SR. 597 DALE MABRY HWY TO SR.50 CORTEZ BLVD/SUNCOAST PKWY IN BETWEEN US 19 AND ABOUT 15 TO 20 MILES WEST OF INTERSTATE-75. IN THE NEAR FUTURE, THIS TRAIL IS PROJECTING THE UPPER TAMPA BAY TRAIL TO INTERSECT THE SOUTHERN TERMINAL OF SUNCOAST TRAIL WHICH TAKES YOU TO SR.580 HILLSBOROUGH AVE TO TOWN N COUNTRY/OLSMAR AREA.WE ALSO HAVE A PROJECTED ROUTE BETWEEN SR.54 AND SR.52 THE STARKY WILDERNESS TRAIL.THIS TRAIL TAKES YOU THROUGH SOME BEAUTIFUL SCENERY TO PINELLAS/PASCO COUNTY REGION.IN ADDITION WE ALSO ARE PLANNING FOR THE GOOD NEIGHBOR TRAIL GOING TO THE NORTHEAST TO THE WITHLACOOCHIE STATE TRAIL WHICH LEADS TO FLORAL CITY,INVERNESS,CITRUS SPRINGS,TRILBY,AND THE OCALA OUTSKIRTS.PLUS WE BELIEVE THE PINELLAS TRAIL COMING FROM ST. PETERSBURG WILL EITHER TAG ALONG WITH THE STARKY TRAIL OR POSSIBLY WITH ITS OWN PATH. I BELIEVE IF IT DID IT WILL INTERSECT IN BETWEEN SR. 54 AND SR.52. WE ALSO HAVE ANOTHER PROJECTION WHICH IS ACKNOWLEDGED ALREADY TO US 98 WHICH IS A EXTRA 10 PLUS MILES.THEY ARE ALSO PROJECTING FARTHER PROJECTIONS NORTHWARD TO CITRUS COUNTY.IT GETS BETTER. JUST A LITTLE WAYS THE NATURE COAST TRAIL WHICH RUNS 30 PLUS MILES NEAR THE FANNING SPRINGS TRENTON AREA NOT TOO FAR FROM GAINESVILLE. WE ALSO HAVE A PROJECTION RUNNING A PARALLEL APEX TO THE WITLACOOCHIE STATE TRAIL IN CITRUS COUNTY.I HOPE THIS INFORMATION IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU ALL WHO LOVE BIKE TRAILS JUST LIKE MYSELF. HOPE TO GIVE MORE INFORMATION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THANKS CHRIS"