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The Courtney Campbell Trail provides pedestrian and bicycle access along the southern side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway, linking two communities, Tampa and Clearwater, and two counties, Hillsborough and Pinellas, in western Florida. Along the way, the trail offers spectacular views of Tampa Bay and connects Cypress Point Park, Skyway Park, and Ben T. Davis Beach.
Parking is available on the trail's east end at Ben T. Davis Beach (7740 W. Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa).
Free parking is also available at Cypress Point Park and Skyway Park (3901 George Road, Tampa).
When parking in Courtney Park, in order to find the bike trail. leave the entrance and turn left. Unless I missed the signs, we rode in a few circles looking for the route. Very easy trail, a few tiny hills. Great for just a easy going bike ride.
I started out my ride in Cypress Park. Park was equipped with restrooms that were clean. Location of the park was easy to reach from major roads. The first "down" was the condition of the pavement between Cypress Point and the trail. Pavement was very rough and jarred anyone without suspension on your bike. Once I got on the trail, pavement was much smoother. I was able to maintain speeds of 18-23 mph as I headed West. On this day,wind was out of the northeast. The bridge was not too difficult to climb and I coasted down at 23 mph. I reached the end of the trail at Bayshore Blvd. (11 miles) in 30 minutes. (This was an "Up") The ride back was into the wind and I was able to maintain about 15-16 mph. The main "down" of this trail is that it is straight and doesn't change directions so 11 miles with a tail wind, and 11 miles with a head wind makes for a tiring ride. The scenery doesn't change much. (Down) I enjoy other scenic and winding trails much more. Total time for 22 miles, 1 hour and 18 minutes. Probably will not ride much on this trail in the future. It was ok for the first time, but would be monotonous for multiple rides.
Thoroughly enjoyed my first time on the Courtney Campbell Trail. I started my ride in Safety Harbor and rode along Bayshore, which in itself is a very pleasant ride leading up to the Courtney Campbell. The weather was absolutely perfect, a great time of year to be out riding. Everyone along the trail was courteous and I even ran into a friend! The trail was very clean which made for a nice smooth ride. All in all it was a very pleasant experience. Looking forward to doing it again!
I really enjoyed riding this trail. Its the type of trail that allows you to work on your speed while enjoying a nice breeze from the water. The trail itself is wide and mostly flat with one incline. Enjoy your ride!!
Nice paved, wide trail, even there there can be pedestrians, its wide enough where its not an issue. Can easily go 16 miles without much traffic. This is short video we posted of the ride https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD09AAvBiuw&feature=youtu.be
Last Sunday my husband and I parked by the Grand Hyatt and walked the Courtney Campbell for the first time. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. There were lots of people barbecuing and enjoying family time. However, there was garbage everywhere and burning coal on the grass. The garbage was flying around and the people ignored it. There are bins for the hot coal and they ignored it. I was very disappointed. I mentioned to my husband that there should be some form of supervision to make these people accountable. Trash Patrol on bikes or segway. Needless to say that was my first and last time. #theearthisnotyourtrashcan
Our second ride on this wonderful trail. Well worth the one hour drive from Polk City. Parked at Cypress Point Park with a short safe ride on the Skyway Park Trail up to the causeway. Cross streets and drive ways to the causeway, not a bad ride.
Wonderful view of Tampa and Clearwater from Old Tampa Bay. Ride slow and spot all kinds of marine life. Manatee, Mullet, bait fish and a ray spotted on the ride.
One of the best "Sightseeing Rides" we have done in 10 years of rail trail riding.
It's nice to have a west/east trail option for those days you just don't feel like battling north/south headwinds.
1. Amazing scenery
2. Ability to link to nearby trails for longer rides
3. Gradual bridge
1. Actual trailway can get congested during evenings with oblivious pedestrians, and people taking part in car gatherings. A few weeks ago there were easily 20-30 people gathered in a concentrated section just east of the bridge, and completely oblivious to the fact cyclists and other people were trying to use the actual trail for exercise.
2. WATCH OUT FOR GLASS. Myself and a few other cyclists had major blowouts in early April 2016 due to whole beer bottles being thrown (and broken) directly onto the trail. Pretty obvious it was intentional...
3. If the wind from the west is higher than 13mph, get yourself ready for a hellride on the way back to the Clearwater side.
4. People pulling in and out of Ben T. Davis Beach and the nearby bar area are completely oblivious to cyclists. You'll find most of the time, they'll park directly in the crosswalk areas.
Definitely, the most scenic Trail in Florida, the Courtney Campbell trail provides pedestrian, skaters, cyclists and wildlife, a beautiful trail along the ocean, linking Tampa and Clearwater, and two counties, Hillsborough and Pinellas, in western Florida. Along the way, the trail offers spectacular views of Tampa Bay and connects Cypress Point Park, Skyway Park, and Ben T. Davis Beach.
Check out this video
Excellent experience overall. We parked on Pinellas/Clearwater side in a secured/attended lot that charges $3/hour - but bolsters safety incredibly, which is invaluable considering the potential for car theft. It's more convenient to park on the Pinellas side as this allows for restroom breaks [and restaurant breaks if so desired] once on the Hillsborough/Tampa side. Hopefully soon Clearwater will become more comparable regarding accommodations on the causeway - but right now the only restrooms you'll hit are on the Hillsborough/Tampa side at Ben T. Davis Beach.. or you can always hit up Whiskey Joe's (just beyond the public beach accommodations) for refreshments before heading back over to the Pinellas side again.
Scenery is visually beautiful and the trail facilitates incredibly nice riding.. very comfortable... no need to worry about cars.. or twists/turns.. it's a straight site with amazingly open panoramas.. paths are wide enough that you don't need to worry about passing pedestrians, it's very comfortable space-wise. Would have been nice for an occasional bench.. we stopped and sat on the concrete seawall - which was very uncomfortable. The excess traffic is a bummer.. so aromas and sounds are unfavorable, but the other senses are delighted on this trip for sure.
If you have never done this I would highly recommend. Just stunning. The wind is a problem but the view is just amazing. Once in a lifetime views.
I'm very mixed on this trail because while the trail itself is wonderful, it's hard to enjoy it knowing the chances you'll get back to your vehicle only to find your window smashed are very high. As another reviewer experienced, our vehicle was broken into as well. The disappointing thing is the police said it happens all the time. There is no security here and even though you're parking along the road at the base of the ramp, your vehicle isn't safe. For this reason, while I love the trail, I can't justify the risk in visiting it anymore.
Skating on pure butter as I write this 24hr well lit - check SMOOTH - check Wide - check Beautiful - check On the water - check A Jarrett Paul Favorite - check Approx 20mi down and back - check Maintained - Check
I wanted to ride the trail from west to east (Clearwater to Tampa). I didn't want to drive to the trail. Instead I wanted to ride my bike to the trail from my home in Dunedin. I didn't want to ride on any part of Gulf-to-Bay's shoulder on the causeway, which I did a few years ago and I tremble to this day recalling that experience. I found that you can easily access the trail's western end by bike, or foot. If you ride east on the sidewalk of the eastbound lane of Gulf-to-Bay, you'll find that the sidewalk becomes the Courtney Campbell Trail across from Bayshore Blvd. You would have to make a deliberate effort to stay off the trail.
As others have said, the trail is great. It's fun to ride along the water for about 8 miles each way. The trail is wide enough and well paved. The bridge ramp ascends gradually so that even an old guy (69) like me can do it with no problem. No rest rooms though, or at least I didn't see any.
Kudos to Hillsborough and Pinellas County Governments for bringing all Bay residents a scenic experience across Old Tampa Bay!
Whether your cycling, blading, running, or just strolling, the view and sea breeze off of the CCT is why we live in Florida.
The trail's surface is fast and smooth. With the exception of some driveway/sidewalk transitions, it's virtually interruption free. You can string together a 23 mile out and back if you include the trail to Cypress Point Park.
I am a native Floridian and 50 years in the Tampa Bay Area. We used to take our dog to the Courtney Campbell Causeway to swim back in the 1970's - what great memories.
Now that I love to bike and walk it's wonderful that this trail has been added to our community. It is lovely - the water on one side on most of it and water on both sides when you are on the elevated bridge.
It does get HOT though because shade is non-existent on the actual trail. You can step off the trail and catch shade under a palm tree.
I feel a bit more landscaping will make this trail even more inviting. Add some shaded areas, some benches, some water stations.
A word of caution - do NOT leave any valuables in your car as the area across the street (the boat ramp) has been a target of car theft for a while due to boaters being gone for a long time. Our car was broken into on May 31st, 2015 (smashed window, wallet grabbed) so bring limited items with you and keep them on you.
We ran this trail several times over the last week while on vacation in the Tampa / Clearwater area.
The trail is a mix of asphalt trail and a concrete bridge and we were very impressed.
We found watching for dolphins in the Bay while running to be much nicer than watching for ice on the road while running at this time of year at home in Canada.
The bridge portion had particularly amazing views and was a really good 'hill workout'.
We were surprised how underused it seemed to be.
The completion of the link to/from Clearwater will be impressive and worthy of a return visit.
Great job to those who planned, built and paid for such a wonderful place for runners, walkers, bikers etc...
The Courtney Campbell Trail is spectacular to ride on! It has become an easy favorite route for me and many of my cycling friends.
Free parking is also available at Cypress Point Park and Skyway Park [3901 George Rd, Tampa, FL 33634]. We often cycle to Skyway Park along the Upper Tampa Bay Trail, usually from the Citrus Park area of Tampa (35-miles round-trip), but many other trailheads with free parking are available along the UTB Trail. We use old Memorial Rd, which is directly east off the south end of UTB Trail, then cut through West Bay subdivision and cross Sheldon Road only a block away from the from west end of the Town n Country Greenway Trail; or start at Shimberg Baseball Fields [7309 Baseball Road, Tampa, Florida, 33604] right on the Town n Country Greenway Trail (20-miles round-trip). From the east end of the Greenway Trail, take the neighborhood roads south to George Rd at Hillsborough Ave, then you have a couple of miles on the roads or sidewalks to Skyway Park. From Skyway Park, go out the southeast corner on the asphalt path, turn left under the Causeway overpass, hang a right onto the sidewalk, and then follow that to the Causeway Trail.
The top of the CCC Trail bridge is the first place I have ever felt compelled to take a "selfie"!
I have to say that ever since I've being walking on the trail, my depression is gone...What a beautiful sightseeing, enjoying the dolphins playing with in the blue water of the Golf of Mexico, especially, the sunset.
This has being the best present from local officials.
My husband and I rode this trail on our recumbents yesterday. He is 66 and I am 57. We had a great ride and the scenery is beautiful. We wished it was longer, but that is coming in the next couple of years. There is only one hill and it is graduated by design. One note, there is parking available on the east bound side that is free. Take one of the exits once you are about 3-4 miles into the the bay.
We tried the new Courtney Campbell Trail recently,what a great ride. We highly recommend the trail, it is a trip that is definitely worth while. The view of Tampa Bay is spectacular and distracts you from the traffic on the causeway. The bridge is a gradual incline, provides a great view and is easier than it looks to ride over. There is no need to pay for parking if you park on the causeway. Can't wait to go back.
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