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The Good Neighbor Trail runs 10 miles from Brooksville to the Withlacoochee State Forest in western Florida, following the route of the former Florida Southern Railroad Line.
The western end of the trail begins in downtown Brooksville, south of Russell Street, in what was once was a railroad switching yard. Here, the Brooksville Train Depot, dating back to 1885, is open a few days a week for visitors. Inside are historical exhibits and model trains; outside, you'll find an 1880s rail car and picnic pavilions.
The trail is paved from the depot east for 4 miles to Weatherly Road. The remaining 6 miles are currently unpaved and overgrown, but construction on this portion is anticipated to be completed in 2015. This eastern end of the trail will connect to the Withlacoochee State Trail, which links several cities, parks, and wildlife areas along its 46-mile length.
The Good Neighbor Trail is also a link in the Coast to Coast Connector, a growing trail network stretching 275 miles across the state.
On the west end of the trail, free parking and restrooms are available at the trailhead at 70 Russell Street in Brooksville.
Another parking area will be constructed at the entrance to the Withlacoochee State Forest on the east end of the trail and will have a $3 parking fee.
I did this nice 4 mile trail this morning. The trail ends at the corner of Weatherly Road and Richbarn Road. Richbarn Road continues on for a few miles so you could extend your trip a bit. The start of the trail at Russell Road is just off South Main Street. The further extension into Withlacoochee State Forest requires a mountain bike and a willingness to deal with a rough surface. Youker
On my 10/16 tour across Florida I too found that this trail stopped unexpectedly at Weatherly Rd. where I headed North and then East on Croom Rd.
The previous poster has it all correct regarding hills, lack of shoulder, availability of water, etc. No traffic though so it was a pretty easy ride over to the Withlacoochi Trail. My Google Maps street view showed Croom Rd. not entirely paved but in fact it is now paved all the way. I stayed overnight at Silver Lake Campground just off the Withlacoochi a mile south of where Croom Rd. meets the Withlacoochi. Will be nice when its all done. The surface on the Good Neighbor was very good and the trail varied from shaded forest to paralleling a power line. Over all not too bad.
The Good Neighbor Trail runs about 4 miles from the Russell Street trailhead to Weatherly Road. I would say it is about 20% shaded. There is no indication that the planned connection to the Withlacoochee State Trail is underway. Following the guidance of another rider, we then rode north on Weatherly Road to Croom Road. At Croom Road, we turned east and headed toward the connection point with the WST. Weatherly Road is a winding 2-lane road with no bike lane, shoulder or sidewalk so you are dependent on the care of the passing drivers. The road takes you through a picturesque stretch of 'gentleman farm' country and seems to get little traffic. Croom Road is the same - two lanes, no sidewalk, no bike path - but much hillier. Two of the hills are quite steep, and you may have to walk your bike up the hill along the side of the road. There are restroom facilities at the Tucker Hill recreation area about halfway between the Croom / Weatherly intersection and the Croom / WST junction. I would rate the sections this way: Good Neighbor Trail - easy / moderate; Weatherly Road - moderate; Croom Road - difficult (it is advanced and not appropriate for recreational riders).
Having ridden this trail recently and although it's intended connection to Withlacoochee Trail not completed, you CAN get there from here.
The trail presently "ends" at Weatherly Rd. BUT once there you can take Weatherly Rd to the left (N), where you will find a pleasant and meandering ride to the NEWLY paved CR 480/Croom Rd. Take a right(E) and follow it through gorgeous wooded CHASSAHOWITZKE/CROOM WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA, until you intersect the Withlacoochee Trail south of Nobleton. From here you can chose to go south to the Ridge Manor Trailhead (facilities) or north toward quaint Floral City and Inverness beyond. Total distance from Weatherly Rd to W.T approximately 7.5 miles. Enjoy!
This trail begins in Brooksville at the Train Depot and ends at the Withalacoochie Forest. Total paved trail including Barn Ridge road is approximately 6 miles. Supposedly on the map, it shows the trail extending to the Withlacoochie Trail, but after riding it today, I found out that it is unfinished.
This goes a little farther than the last time I rode it. It will be nice once it connects to the Withlacoochee, hope that's soon. Connectivity is what it's all about.
The trail starting in Brooksville is a very nice ride with the path in good shape and a nice peaceful ride. However, you run out of pavement at just under 4 miles in. If you are adventurous and on a mountain bike, you can ride a semi-paved dusty road the rest of the 10 miles, but if you are on a road bike, I would forego that portion of the trail.
Rode the trail to Weatherly from the trailhead and it was a gorgeous and peaceful ride. I am excited for the next segment to become paved to I can connect to Other trails!
Got to the GNT by way of Withlacoochee trail and rural roads. Our second trip to good breakfast at Cracker Country Restaurant by recumbent bike and trike.
Rode the 4 miles of paved trail this am. Delighted the uphill return was a long, slow grade & not a hard ride at all. What a beautiful trail. Can't wait for it to connect to the 46 mile Withlacoochee Trail. Brooksville, this will bring people downtown. Had lunch at Rising Sun Cafe & will try barbecue next.
My daughter and I decided to get a little exercise today so we hit the GNT. Starting out at the beautiful wooded trail head in Brooksville, we headed east to the trail's current terminus at Weatherly Road and then back to the trailhead. A gopher tortoise along the path, well maintained, paved and shaded shallow grades and beautiful weather made for a great way to spend the afternoon.
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