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Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in Ocala, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
We rode this trail couple days ago expecting it to be only about 4 miles but were pleasantly surprised it is now 12.5 miles return from start to finish
there are slight grades witch makes it nice when we to the end there was excavation eq there so it looks like they are still working it will be great when done
This is a very long trail and we were a bit overwhelmed by the length of this trail, since we live almost two hours away. Where do I start? Where do we grab lunch? What if we break down?
I invite you to read the other reviews. I hope this helps fill in some gaps.
Here's what we did:
Broke it into three sections. Day one we started at the red caboose. Google the address for David's World Cycle and you can find it easily a stone's throw away (There's another bike shop about a block away. Very nice people there as well.) We rode south almost to Hernando County. On the way back we stopped at Robin's Country Kitchen for a bite. (See TripAdvisor for review).
Day Two: Weeks later we nearly froze as we started at the Owensboro Trailhead (no restrooms there, by the way) and went north into Citrus County. The Townsen Lake Preserve had a sandy trail to it, so it was impossible for us to get the TerraTrikes all the way there. Met the ranger at Ridge Manor and he was a friendly fellow who advised us about possible wild turkey sightings.
Day Three: Yesterday we parked just north of 486 and scooted north to finish it off. Just before 491you can turn left (unmarked) and end up .5 mile later at a nice county park. (Central Ridge )On Saturdays there's a lot of soccer action, but you could grab typical concession stand fare: burgers, dogs, cokes, fries, etc. there if you want. 491 is a very busy crossing with no lights to help. You can't pedal down to the light without jumping on the highway (no bike lane there, either.) Just be careful and bring your patience.
1) Just north of 486 there's a place called Burger Station on the east side of the trail. We stopped after other cyclists' gave a good recommendation. It was very busy and only saw burgers so we left. Had a great aroma though!
2) If you break something on your bike, there's an Ace hardware store at the corner of 486 and 41.
We really enjoyed this trail! We took two days to complete the trail, there and back. Fanning Springs is a great place to base your ride. The trail to Chiefland is more covered by trees and might be a cooler ride during hotter weather or during the hotter part of the day. The trail to Trenton is more open to the sun, especially during the afternoon. The trail to Cross City is covered by trees for about half and some open the other half. We really enjoyed all sections of the trail. We also would highly recommend the Lighthouse Restaurant in Fanning Springs and the Taste of Dixie Diner in Cross City.
This is a very nice trail. From the Gainesville side, it starts off a little hilly, but settles down after about 2 1/2 miles. The trail is very well maintained and nearly all has a nice canopy of trees. You have the impression of being in a nice forest. Even the portion that runs alongside the road, has trees between the road and the trail to give you the impression that you are surrounded by woods. Would highly recommend this trail to everyone!
Another 5 miles of trail is being constructed east of Roberts Lane. This construction should be done around summer of 2018. The trail will then have a bit over 25 miles of continuous pavement. Not including the trail up to Gold Head State Park. This new section will bring the trail past county road 309C where you can then hop on a short 2 mile trail that will take you to a park with picnic tables and bathrooms (that are not always open).
Also coming in late spring early summer. Construction of a pavilion with picnic tables & a new playground will be completed at the Florahome trail-head. Thanks to the hard work of local residents and donations from business's..
My review, submitted December 2017, contains an error. I was referring to Hurricane Irma, not Matthew, in my review.
My husband and I love to ride our bikes on this trail. We noticed that the trail is being extended from Robert's Lane toward the Palatka area. Not sure how far it will go, but we can see work being done from Carraway all the way down to the road across from CR 309 C on the outskirts of Palatka. We are looking forward to it being completed.
They have cleaned up the trail since Hurricane Matthew even though there are still some trees down in the woods alongside the trail. There is minor flooding in one part of the trail between Grandin and Putnam Hall, but you can easily drive your bike through it. It's still beautiful and now has water in fields that were previously dry and now look like lakes!
I rode the entire length trail out and back as part of a RUSA randonneur ride this fall. It was a few weeks after Hurricane Irma hit and the trail was clear of all debris. Kudos to the local trail clubs and the State Park service on maintaining the trail so well. Plenty of resources along the trail for water stops and bathrooms. Trail is well marked and road crossings are decent. Several sections are have plenty of tree canopy to keep you cooler on hotter days. Drove up from South Florida to ride this trail.
I was in Orlando FL area for the Thanksgiving Holiday week. So I decide to bring my bike and ride some of the trails in the area. I started with the Van Fleet and boy what a surprise I got. The trail was well maintain and had bike repair stations about every 2 to 3 miles. The restroom was super clean , well the one I use at the Green pond road trail head. There was Park Rangers on duty, That's a big plus. I talk to a lot of friendly people on the trail. This trail is straight and flat. Makes for some good tempo and SST rides. I rode the trail all week and did not bother trying out the other trails.
Lots of hurricane damage and closed sections between Palatka and Florahome.
We've looked forward to this ride for a month. It was a nice ride as described. Didn't see a lot of animals on the trail, but somebody's yard held goats and horses and that was nice to see.
The weather was 59 degrees yesterday.
Hills were do-able with our recumbent trikes, but first gear was a so climb for sure. Loved the downhills.
Saw no signs on the trail for restrooms. Discovered that one portable style toilet looked just like a pump house from the trail. Wonder why there are no signs?
+Budget 90 minutes (if you average 10 miles per hour) to get from Bouleware park to Diane's BBQ. We began pedaling at 10:10 and perfectly timed lunch.
+Street crossings on this trail are safe-most are driveways. No worries.
+At the Hawthorne trailhead, if you want to cross US Hwy 301 to have lunch, follow this path: Right on SE 71st Ave, left on SE 221 Street, then right on the next street (not named on the map!) so you easily get your bike over the railroad tracks. I looked at the satellite photos so would live to write a review. There's no traffic signal, so hold your breath and cross the southbound traffic and wait in the middle to cross the northbound.
+Hawthorne is tiny, and sadly, lacking much in the way of commerce. Good news for us is that an Ace Hardware is there in case you break something and need some hardware to get back.
+If you start at the Bouleware park, check out the old building that was closed in 1948. There are restrooms there and water fountains inside. You can smell the history from a building that was closed during Harry Truman's presidency.
Very nice trail, especially from Florahome to Key Stone Heights. One section has some minor flooding but it easily waded especially if you take your shoes and socks off.
The section from Palatka to about 6 miles west of the town has yet to be started.