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Much of the Four Freedoms Trail in northern Florida lies on the former Valdosta & Southern Railroad right-of-way. The trail was jointly constructed by Madison County, the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Office of Greenways and Trails and the Florida Department of Transportation. The 12.3-mile trail travels north from the town of Madison to the Withlacoochee River at the Florida-Georgia border and is mostly rural in nature.
The southern trailhead is on State Rt. 145 (Colin Kelly Highway) at the intersection of County Rt. 591 (NE Rocky Ford Road). The trail begins as a wide, roadside bike lane but quickly ducks into the shaded canopy of the old rail bed as it follows the gently rolling terrain up to its original starting point in the town of Hanson. Just before reaching Hanson the trail crosses State Rt. 145 to continue north on the west side of the right-of-way. From Hanson the trail is shaded by trees and mostly wooded until it reaches Pinetta.
In Pinetta, you'll have to follow a bike lane along Persimmon Drive, although it does disappear in the town center for a couple of blocks. Take heart, you won't get lost in Pinetta, and the village store and BBQ place (a block east of the trail near SR 145) offer sustenance.
Continuing north along Persimmon Drive, you will cross to the west side on a new segment for about 0.5 mile, then back across to the east side to a parking area (picnic tables here), where the trail dips back into the trees and begins its gentle descent to the river. The trail ends at the Withlacoochee River, which is the border with Georgia. There are picnic tables and a shelter here, as well as an observation deck over the river.
In Hanson, trail parking is along the west side of Colin Kelly Highway (SR 145) near where it intersects with Aster Road.
In Pinetta, parking and restrooms are available near the intersection of NE Mount Horeb Road (CR 125) and Persimmon Drive, on the north end of town.
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