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Just west of bustling downtown Jacksonville, the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail-Trail, one of north Florida's oldest, traverses a rural setting of hardwood uplands, wetlands and pine flatwoods. A dense tree canopy shelters much of the nearly 15-mile paved path, providing habitat for hawks, wood storks, stilts and belted kingfishers. You're also likely to encounter turkeys, alligators, rabbits, gopher tortoises and coral snakes. Beware the latter, a venomous species with wide black and red bands broken by narrow yellow rings.
The Imeson Road trailhead, closest to Jacksonville, is a good place to start an out-and-back journey. Here you'll find the first of several restroom facilities and benches along the trail. This also marks the start of a separate equestrian trail that runs in the adjacent tree line, except where creek crossings bring trail users together.
Midway along the trail is the Camp Milton Historic Preserve rest area. Once home to the largest encampment of Confederate troops during the Civil War, the site includes the remains of a mile-long defensive works, a re-creation of a late 19th-century homestead, a replica bridge, an arboretum and extensive boardwalks. Just west of Camp Milton, you may hear naval aircraft on training runs at nearby Whitehouse Field.
Plans are in the works to connect this trail to neighboring recreational and ecological corridors.
To reach the Imeson Road trailhead from downtown Jacksonville, take I-10 west to Exit 356/I-295 North and head up I-295 to Exit 9/Commonwealth Avenue. Drive west on Commonwealth about 1 mile to Imeson and turn right. The marked trailhead is on the left.
To reach the Brandy Branch Road trailhead, take I-10 west to Exit 343/US Highway 301 and head north to US Highway 90. Turn left, drive west about 2 miles then turn right on Route 121/Brandy Branch Road. The marked trailhead is on the right.
City of Jacksonville
555 West 44th Street
Jacksonville, FL 32208
Rode it today,9/30/2019. Nice canopied trail for most of it,which is important on a 90 degree day. Started on the Jax side of the trail. On the way back saw a few wild turkeys on the trail at about the 3 mile marker. Tip-bring plenty of water bottles if you intend on doing the full trail.
Just moved here from Pasco County on the west coast of Florida where I was spoiled by the Suncoast / Starkey trails. Only been on two trails, St. Aug to Palatka (which i found depressing, and annoying playing frogger across two 4 lane divided highways and a stretch next to a manure plant).
This trail was a breath of fresh air though. It's mostly wooded, and sheltered from the winds for the most part. There are two spots to get fresh, clean, cold and GOOD TASTING water. Being creative with the routes to get 30, 35, 40 and 50 mile rides.
Only complaint is that there are sections that are very bumpy, and until you find the right lines you're going to get rattled around on a road bike with narrow tires...
WoW what a fantastic trail. We started our journey in Baldwin at the trailhead which is a former rail station. WE traveled towards Jacksonville. The trail offers great sights. The trail is flat as well as paved. The trail cuts through wooded areas that offer a ton of wild life. We saw a Black Snake (actual name as well as color) not poisonous, Turkeys, Turtles, Eagles. We did not expect this trail to be as good as it is. Take water on this trip. There are rest areas about every five miles apart. We rode the trail in April on a sunny and 85 degree day. We found other cyclist on this trail to be natives and very friendly and glad to have out of towners riding the trail. This is a connector trail and even though the traffic at times was heavy it was always well spaced apart. Enjoy this one.
We parked at the Larry M Carrol Memorial Park in Baldwin, where we used the restrooms in the restored depot. We first rode to the Brandy Branch Road trailhead before turning around and riding 7 miles back towards Jacksonville and then returning to Baldwin.
The trail is in great shape, and is shaded most of the way. People were friendly and polite. As the description cautions to beware of coral snakes I kept an eye out, but still nearly ran over a little rough green snake on the path. He was as surprised as me. I understand coral snakes do not strike, but must chew their way into your flesh, so I sure wouldn’t let any fear of them detour me from this beautiful trail.
We stayed the night in a nearby motel and this trail was a blessing after a day driving. Mostly flat, well paved, with only a few roads to cross with due caution. Perfect January weather helped!
We love hiking in the mountains and sadly that is not really something we can do here in FL. So my husband, 2-year-old and I went out for a fun family day. The trail was great! Friendly people, well maintained and overall a great day. We stopped and walked around the Civil War camp and went off to have lunch in Baldwin. I just wish they had signed it a bit better, we went all the way to the end and had to turn around because we missed the town.
I rode the trail for the first time this morning. Very wide trail, and it appears like the horizon is all straight paved trail. Smooth ride into the shaded areas. I went a good four miles and headed back. great trail to test bike performance, certainly a good trail to test all 21 speeds on my 21 speed. I look forward to biking the trail again, further and faster.
We have rode this trail many times but not lately. It is an 82 mile drive from our home. It is still worth the drive, You always have the feel of the old rail line as the trail sits atop a tram bed with the ditch on both sides, it reminds you of the work that went into building all our railroads. Bugs were only bad if you stopped for a long time. It was Easter Sunday and it was well used but not crowded, We saw two rattlesnakes and many birds. The description on the page says there is plenty of restaurants and stores at both ends, this is not true. In fact there is none. The construction of the US 301 bypass by Baldwin does not really affect your ride. If you are in North Florida this trail is always a good trip,
Much to my surprise, the Baldwin trail appears to be about 18 years old now. Not only has it been well kept up, they have continued to add amenities, such as bike pumps at Halsema and the Baldwin train station.
I've been frightened twice, once by a young steer that got lose near Halsema Rd. and was threatening random riders, and then once inadvertently riding over a 6 foot rattler.
Other than that - it continues to be an awesome bike trail. My best time from trailhead and back was 1 hour, 37 minutes and 38 seconds. I was much young [ and thinner ] then.
Tried the trail for the first time in July...hot! What a nice trail! Be very careful at road crossings. Great facilities and interesting stops along the way.
We road the entire trail from east to west and back (28.4 miles). The first 3.7 miles were along power lines and open in the sun. The remainder of the trail was nice and shaded. Very flat and easy for anyone.
Great place to bike and also take the dog!
This is a lovely, well-kept trail that is heavily shaded, a nice way to get some exercise and stay out of the sun (for the most part). Rode it twice during a recent stay in the area and loved it. Woods and farmland, lovely.
Awesome 29.5 miles
I walked this trail before but started from the Jacksonville end. This time I started from the Baldwin end of the trail. In your picture (view) you do mention an address for the Baldwin end the correct address is listed on the board as 89 Brady Branch Rd. The trail was even more quite and had more wilderness than the Jacksonville side. The bench at the 8.5 mile had a broken frame and a missing trek slat on the seat, but was okay to sit on. I will most likely return to the Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail it was enjoyable to walk it from either end.
I started off from the Jacksonville parking area which has large parking spaces. I walked about 4 miles toward Baldwin about a mile and a half past the electric grid and back. About 3 and a half mile in there was a stench in a couple places that smelled like dead animals. The walk was very pleasant and peaceful, although you do cross some roads but they are not busy at all, no noise and very woodsy feeling but very straight clean and well maintained. There was also trees on both sides that provided some decent shade from the sun. Although there was mostly bikers everyone was friendly and courteous.
Great place. Specially near Camp Milton.
I just purchased my first bike in 30 years and decided to go to the Baldwin end of the trail to try it out. Unfortunately, it was only two days after Hurricane Matthew tore through the area and it definitely showed on the trail, it was a real mess. I did buy a mountain bike and I really needed it, because this felt like it was an off-road trail with the amount of sticks and leaf litter on the trail. Less than a quarter mile from the parking lot, a HUGE tree almost completely blocked the trail. I was able to get under it and continued to the old train station. Since this was my first ride in a very long time, I decided to turn around and head back. I would DEFINITELY want to return later after they finish cleaning it up and ride it again.
This is a great Trail!! Very well maintained, scenic and a great place to ride!!
This trail is perfect for beginner to advanced riders; great for a family excursion without much traffic to look out for. I like to keep it in the rotation for days when I need fast, flat, and uninterrupted mileage.
We rode our bikes on this trail for the first time on a Saturday afternoon around 75 degrees. Couldn't have asked for a better day. There were leisurely bike riders (us), fast cyclists, dog walkers, rollerbladers, walking families with strollers, and everyone we encountered was nice & respectful, keeping to the right for faster passerbys. The parking lot has security cameras, trash bins, & restrooms. The trail has mile markers and 5 miles down there is a stopping point with restrooms. There are benches every couple of miles & most of the trail is shaded. The scenery is nice, though u will pass a few derelict trailers & monster trucks. Today we saw cats, dogs, cows, bulls with horns, little pigs, donkeys, turkeys, squirrels, & 1 unsuspecting rabbit :) We did 5 miles & came back but at the 5 mile stopping point there is a map that shows a town if you continue on for 5-6 miles that has ice cream shops & restaurants. Hoping to return to this trail soon.
Great ride in Feb. Started at Camp Milton. Plenty of parking, adequate restrooms are a ways from parking so don't plan on changing there. Lots of shade from evergreens make this shady even in the winter. Lots of deciduous trees too so probably deep shade after the trees leaf out. Didn't spot any wildlife beyond squirrels and birds. Easy ride west for 10 miles. Not much traffic. Lots of geocaches too! Hope to get out on a later trip to do Camp Milton into Jacksonville.
My wife and I rode this trail on February 28, 2016. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and the temperature was 60-65. We parked at Camp Milton. We try to find a middle point to park at when riding longer trails. This way if there is a problem with one of our bikes, the distance back to the car is limited. Although with two people someone could always go get the car and drive it back to where the bike broke.
We only rode west, from Camp Milton to Baldwin and back. We did not go east of Camp Milton. The trail is asphalt and very smooth. We wore long sleeve t-shirts because we were in the shade most of the trip. (BTW. I rode a mountain bike and my wife a hybrid. Casual riding.)The were more people on road bikes than any other mode of transportation. All the riders announced themselves before passing us. We will definitely go back and ride the other part of the trail.
I don't remember if there were restrooms at Camp Milton. There were restrooms at the Baldwin parking lot, and an portable restroom in the parking lot at the end of the trail in Baldwin.
We saw a turtle, horses, birds, people riding motorcross, and chickens.
Because of the length of the trail I would say its worth the trip.
I live in Central Florida and it was a 2 hour drive to this trail via I-4/I-95. The Imeson Road trailhead was easy to find...just of the I-295/Commonwealth Ave. Exit. Restrooms and plenty of parking at the trailhead. The first two miles were a bit uphill and bordered by power poles and 1/2 acre residential lots. Eventually, the trail leveled out, the power poles disappeared and the landscaped transitioned to woods or open agricultural areas. Water and restrooms are located at the 5.7 mile marker at the Camp Milton Rest Area and at the 12.4 mile marker at the Baldwin Station Rest Area. This is the place to get off the trail to find stores or restaurants about 3/4 miles to the south on SR 90 (Beaver St). Next time I come to this trail, I will use the Baldwin Station as my turn around point instead of biking the extra 2.1 miles to the Brandy Branch Road Trailhead.
My husband and I rode the trail today. The weather was perfect! 60 degrees!
Very little traffic on the few cross streets, mostly curtious people on the trail, and well kept. Highly recommended!
5 of 5 stars review
Some reviews here are a little outdated regarding facilities. There are now cameras installed at the Imeson parking lot and a very helpful fellow explained that there haven't been any more vehicle breakins that he knew of. We had absolutely no problems. My camera battery died, or we would have had more pictures of the facilities. There are facilities and water at each end and at the 5.5 mile Camp Milton side trail. Possibly the nicest thing about this excellent trail how nice the people are. Almost entirely tree-lined, we rode in perfect comfort on what was a hot sunny day. We will make this a weekly ride.
We started out late on Sunday afternoon around 4 30pm. Not expecting to finish before dark we were feeling determined. We stopped along the way to take some pics and water breaks. In the end we finished at 9pm. The last few miles were grueling as it has now become dark. I will plan better for our next time. It was so beautiful and serene. Felt like we had the whole trail to ourselves.
Rode this trail for the third time yesterday, with plans to come back several more times while we are in the area. The scenery is relaxing and the wildlife abundant, including gopher tortoises. The thick canopy makes for a refreshing ride, even in the afternoon heat, and the long stretches without stop signs make for a good workout.
Good trail of plain. Met the security rooster at the Imeson trailhead!
I only rode to the 10 mile marker this last time. It was a great way to start a Sunday.
I really do like this trail - people are otherwise friendly. Most say good morning.
My only major concern, the gun shots you could hear in the distance. Whether or not someone was target practicing or not..it was a little disconcerting. Especially when a shot rung out and the top of the trees about 50 feet from me rattled.
I think I am going to try out the Palatka - Lake Butler trail next Sunday.
This morning was my first ride on any of the trails in the area. I picked this trail because it was close to my house and because of all the positive reviews. It was a very nice ride. Because I am just getting into riding, I wasn't sure how far I was going to ride and was very happy to see mile marker posts along the trail an 1/2 mile markers painted on asphalt. I started at the beginning and went to mile marker 5. May not sound like much but 10 miles on my first day out made me feel good. The trail was nice and peaceful. just enough people to not feel to isolated but plenty of time alone. Can't wait to go back again.
Started at Imeson Road trailhead; at mile 5.7, a historic Civil War Camp just a short walk behind the bathrooms with very good informational signs. Earthworks are still in place. A great 28 mile round trip.
What a Gem!! Started on Imerson and rode to the end on Blanding Trail and back, 3 hours of pure joy. Nice trail heads on each end of trail with restrooms, 2 more restroom facilities one at 5 a half miles from Imerson and then around the 12 mile, there are mile markers at each mile, lots of benches along the route, this is a great path!
My first time on this trail and I had a very good time. Went from Jax till the Baldwin Railroad station (12.7 out of 14.5 miles).Very well maintained and clean. I did not see one piece of trash from start to finish. Will come again...
Play "Animal Scavenger Hunt" as you breeze under the shaded Florida canopies!
We had an awesome Bike Ride yesterday at the Baldwin/Jacksonville Trail. The entire trail is 14.5 miles journeying through the swamp, forests, wetlands, grassy plains, rural homes, small farms etc. The constant shift in scenery is stimulating and it's even more fun to count how much wildlife you saw! I joked that it was like playing Animal Bingo! The coolest thing I saw was an adorable baby armadillo sniffing around the grass about a foot from the trail. I was also amused seeing two cows bathing in a deep pond in the shady forest. It looked a little ominous with the dramatic lighting and reminded me of The Walking Dead. (Thankfully, no zombies were present.)
I was surprised with how BUSY it was Sunday morning! There was spandex, helmets, and bikes with skinny tires galore in the parking lot. However, once you were on a trail you had a leisurely private ride all to yourself with numerous "Good Mornings" to other cyclists as they passed.
When reading the reviews on this site it warned against car breakins, but it seemed like there was a constant watchful crowd by the parking lot so I wasn't worried.
Because of the Florida summer heat, and because we were wussy, we did not finish the entire trail. We stopped midway by Camp Milton. Camp Milton Historical Preserve is the site of an important battle of the Civil War, but to be honest with you there wasn't much to see. At that halfway point there is also clean bathrooms, water fountains, and two picnic tables. We rode on the little trail off by the bathrooms to explore Camp Milton. Just meandering around Camp Milton wasn't terribly interesting but it was something new to explore and it was free.
I can't wait to go back and ride along the other half of the trail towards Baldwin and see what other animals we find and reward ourselves with some Dreamette icecream upon completion!
A great ride with very few intersections.
This trail truly takes you away from this hustle and bustle of Jacksonville. The length of the trail is perfect. Round trip is close to 30 miles..The road will well maintained, beautiful homes along the way, canopy trees...cows, horses...Great get away and exercise....
Courteous fellow bikers, nice shaded paved trail with lots of benches,and a bathroom facility along the trail. The only downfalls are the parking if you don't get there early enough the parking lot is FULL and you might want to bring a roll of toilet paper, the bathrooms aren't stocked very well, there was none in either facility at the head of the trail today.
Get there early or you'll struggle for a place to park! The trail is paved and mostly shaded. There are benches along the way for you to take a break if need be, courteous riders/walkers/joggers and beautiful scenery along the route. We happened along a grazing set of bulls on the trail unfenced but they didn't care that we were there and kept on about their business, I will post a photo!!! All in all well worth the drive from anywhere to ride this trail, we will definitely be returning!
The Jacksonville trail head is easy to find. Even though my GPS kept trying to dump me on the Baldwin end, I just found Imeson Road and looked for the sign. The parking lot was full at 8:45am. I found a grass spot and unpacked my bike. The trail head is very basic -paved parking spots, trail guide sign and mens/womans restrooms. The trail is wide, smooth, even has mile markers - a nice touch. Passing mile marker 1 I felt fatigued and anxious. Am I THAT out of shape?? Then I realized I was on an incline. Being an old railway, the inclines are so gradual you don't notice them but your legs will. As soon as I got past that first peak suddenly life got better. I love those long, smooth sweeping curves - no blind spots! Within 20 minutes I found myself riding in the total shade. Even on this hot sweaty August day the air was surprisingly comfortable under the dense canopy. It's been a wet summer so the drainage ditches on each side of the trail were full of water - and mozzies! If you ride this trail after a heavy rain, bring plenty of repellent or ride like the wind!! The rest area at the Camp Milton Historic Preserve fork is delightful! There's a cement pad with picnic table, groomed grass area, clean restrooms and ICE COLD water in the drinking fountains! There are only a few street crossings on this trail and the rural roads were never busy. The morning crowd was mainly comprised of spandex suited marathoners shooting swiftly past me. They glided along singly and in long strings. I was a little disappointed at the number of empty drink bottles this crowd drops in a single day. As the sun got high in the sky the mix of people changed. I passed a senior couple holding hands taking leisurely stroll, a delightful chap in flip flops riding a beach cruiser with an umbrella strapped to the bars. I was amazed at the variety of people I met. The Baldwin trial head and adjoining park has something for everyone. Both covered and open picnic areas, playground, skateboard park, and a tourist shop that was closed at the time. Conspicuously absent was the big city crowds you find at parks in larger cities. If you like a quiet, relaxed atmosphere the Baldwin trail head is a good stopping off spot. I rode a few blocks north to "Everybody's Restaurant". This quaint little breakfast diner is chocked full of nostalgia, good food and southern hospitality. You'd be hard pressed to spend over $10 per meal. Their cheeseburger plate really hit the spot for me. Overall I was very satisfied I took this ride and I will do it again soon. This being my first 30 mile round trip ride ever, it was surprisingly stress free due to the smooth flat paved trail. I would recommend this ride to anyone who loves to enjoy nature in peaceful quiet surroundings. With the exception of the shooting range I passed by, I mostly heard birds singing, leaves rustling and water trickling - very relaxing.
Trail is great but car car was also broken into at the Imeson Rd parking area in the middle of the afternoon with a crowded parking lot. Will not go back again.
The trail itself was just a paved path unlong the trees which sheltered from the sun. Good for those riding with children and/or disabled persons.
I parked at the camp milton parking lot to access the trail. my vehicle was broken into while riding. Glass smashed in. Reported it to authorities. I was told that several robberies has happened there and surrounding area(not sure at the parking lot at baldwin park enterance). Just ran "burlary camp milton jacksonville" through the search engine and found a posting on a forum dating back to 2008 stating the same thing happened, car robbery. I really think that this place is not a safe place to take a bike ride....
I don't know that I would drive for hours to get to this trail, but it is definitely worth a drive if you're local. I live in Jacksonville and have used the trail many times. It is decently kept, there is a bathroom and water fountain built at an old train station a little farther than midway from the Jax end of the trail. There are porta potties and parking at the jax and baldwin trail ends. The main selling point for me is there are only 2 or 3 street crossings so it there is no traffic to contend with and the scenery is decent in general, but actually very nice as far as Jacksonville goes. Scenery wise, there are horse and cattle farms along the way, and lots of tree cover. The trail is flat for the most part, there are a few slight hills that work your legs if you're used to the usual flat jacksonville stuff, but it's an easy ride. I've taken road bikes, mountain bikes, and even an 3 speed in-hub french number from the 60's on this trail and they all got me through with ease. There aren't many places nearby to eat so I'd pack some snacks.
My husband and I rode this trail last weekend. We started at the Balwin Trailhead, went west and then turned and rode to the east to the end. Great trail. Not much traffic to contend with. In riding many other trails around the state I would say that this one needs more covered places to stop along the way. There were benches but few picnic table/covered areas. Unfortunately we got caught in a thunderstorm and rode the last 7 miles in heavy rain.
The only wildlife sighting we had were 2 black snakes sunning themselves on the trail. Overall, a nice trail.
We rode this trail last week (April 2009). It was wonderful. No congestion, cool and absolutely beautiful! The best yet!
My wife and I have ridden thousands of miles on this trail. It is beautiful, with a tree canopy covering probably 75% of it. We have seen squirrels, rabbits, snakes, deer, longhorn steer,turkeys, pheasants, cattle, birds of every kind, vultures, eagles, goats, turtles....it's like a visit to the zoo! The trail is blacktopped and very smooth. It is maintained by the City of Jacksonville, and they blow off debris every day.
"I thoroughly enjoyed this trail, along with my granchildren whose father is in the Navy and stationed here. I have a question for the person who reviewed the trail on 4-25-2006 titled wow wow wow. You encouraged someone to maintain this nice trail. To whom were you addressing this comment? My question to you is - what are you doing to help maintain trails in whatever area you live? Most trail maintenance is done by volunteers. "
"I'm new to the whole hiking and biking trail experience and the jax-baldwin trail has put a good impression on me. It was easy to find, all the other cyclist smiled back at me, and there was plenty of parking. Very, very beautiful. We're privelaged to have something like this in young jax. only one suggestion: please maintain this trail."
"The directions to the Baldwin trailhead In this directory are ""[Baldwin Trailhead and Park: From Jacksonville, take Interstate 10 west to Exit 50 (new Exit 343) for US 301. Head north on US 301 (toward Baldwin), continuing through Baldwin to the trailhead]"" would be continuing through Baldwin turn just West of where 301 turns north again. If you turn north on 301 you will not see it. We had asked and noone knew where it was. We saw where it crossed 301 and so first went East and then West and found it.
It was 25 miles round trip and a beautiful ride, mostly canopied with trees. There is a new park going in about 5 miles east of Baldwin. New FLUSH bathroom in with country cabin look and knotty pine interior! BEAUTIFUL. Big park going in behind that. All adjoining the bike path. Thanks for the help in finding Rail Trails. We love them."
"The trail is lovely. The Baldwin trailhead is very nice - but finding it is difficult. The trail website states ""Head north on US 301 (toward Baldwin), continuing through Baldwin to the trailhead""
The trailhead is located Center St N. As you are traveling north on 301/90 turn left on Center St N; follow until it ends. You'll see the park and just follow the raod around until you get to the parking lot.
Once there, you'll really enjoy the trail.
"I've ridden this track many times, but have not seen any deer. Today I got out early, riding by 8:00AM and saw a bunch. Have Fun and Keep Riding!!"
"We live in Hattiesburg Mississippi and are fortunate to have one of the best Rails to Trails in the country, Long Leaf Trace, so yes, we are spoiled and are sometimes disappointed in trails we've visited but not this one. It's a beautiful trail that has plenty of nature and a nice wide track. We're use to seeing a lot of deer, turkeys, squirrels and rabbits on our trail here in south MS. We saw several snakes and some awesome-huge grasshoppers on the Baldwin trail! This trail wasn't real busy either, we only saw one fellow cyclist, it was threatning rain though. The only suggestion we would like to make to the managers of the trail is to please post some signs marking the trail entrances from the highway and the small city streets. We had to stop twice and ask if we were heading in the right direction. If we hadn't, we would have never found the trail. We enjoyed our Baldwin ride when we got there!"
"On our many outings on the trail we have seen deer, turkeys, foxes, hawks, rabbits and one rabbit in the process of becoming a hawk, at least part of a hawk. We have seen several coral snakes. You don't see these guys often. I have never seen one anywhere else but the zoo. We have seen wood storks, stilts and herons in the ditches on the road to the power plant, a worthy side trip. We have seen diamond back rattle snakes, timber rattlers, and pygmies. We have seen ribbon snakes, racers, rat snakes and moccasins. We have seen a huge variety of wildflowers and plants. It is a heck of a nature walk that many people miss because they are so focused on going fast."
The Baldwin Trail is the premier trail in the Jacksonville Area. The trail offers postcard views and great areas for picnics along the trail.
"This trail is really nice. It is close enough to my house so that I don't have to load my bike into my car and drive to the trail.
I get on near the Imeson trailhead, so that makes it really convenient. We can ride the whole trail to Baldwin and then go to Everybody's Restaurant to eat dinner. This makes it a nice family outing, or we just take a picnic. Then, we just ride back home.
e rode two weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon and saw three gopher tortoises, two deer, an alligator, several birds including a belted kingfisher, numerous squirrels and lots and lots of beautiful butterflies. Today we rode it and only saw two baby gopher tortoises, birds including our belted kingfisher that we saw the last time, squirrels and butterflies. Each trip you can expect to see different things.
The canopy of trees really makes this trail something special. It is just gorgeous; you'll see quite a bit of wild flowers. I haven't tried the other rail-trails but, with this one so close to my home I am satisfied with it. I have ridden it several times and don't get bored with it. I could ride it everyday and count each time as a new adventure.
I see a lot of people on the trail, on bikes, hiking, inline skates, horses, jogging, you name it. I am glad that they put something so nice out on this side of town. Besides the Jacksonville Zoo, this is about the only outdoor entertainment that we have in Jacksonville. Anyway, I could go on and on.
So, just get out your bicycles or go buy one and hit the trail. You won't be sorry."
"We tried the Jacksonville - Baldwin trail in mid September 2004 between hurricanes and tropical storms. It is a flat east-west 14.5 miles each way and we embarked from the Brandy Branch trailhead at the western most point. We were the only car in the lot and when we passed Baldwin we noticed an empty lot also. Did a round trip to the Imeson Road trailhead (3 cars) and only passed four other bikers. Surface of black top made for an extreemly smooth riding through fields and swamps with good foliage shade. The surface was clean and tree debris from the storms were sawed away from the trail and removed. Grassy sides of the pathway were mowed and clean. This is a great path for viewing assorted wildlife including a huge cottonmouth moccasin sun bathing on the asphault (we didn't stop to visit). Deer, cows, chickens, hawks and occasional eagles abound as well as goats and the usual Florida native wildlife. If you plan to stop at one of the many benches thoughtfully set along the trail you should bring a good mosquito repellant during warm weather due to the swamp nature of much of the locale. Porta-potties are located at each of the three trailheads and midway is a first class his and hers pine panalled rest facility complete with stainless steel fixtures and diaper changing station. Quite impressive! All in all, this is the best longer ride in northeast Florida and similar in many ways to the Siver Comet trail in Atlanta. Go do it! You'll be glad you did. "
"This is the fourth trail we have reviewed and it is the best so far. We started at the Baldwin Brandy Branch Road trailhead where the trail is mostly flat and well shaded. It is extremely well maintained with grassy banks on both sides that had been recently mowed. Most of the trail is shaded by a canopy of trees. As you get nearer to the Jacksonville end, the trail is less shaded and there are several cross roads. The trail is well travled by other bikers, joggers and in-line skaters and is apparently used by horses also. The Jacksonville and Baldwin trailheads feature ample parking lots. The Jax parking lot was full by the time we arrived there attesting to the number of users of this trail. "
"This trail is perfect for everyone regardless of thier experience level. Ride, jog, walk or skate -- whatever your pleasure this trail will far exceed your expectations.
The 10-foot wide trail allows for plenty of room for couple and group rides. It's mostly shaded and provides plenty of livestock viewing. Just make sure you don't run over any chickens and you will have a blast. "
"This 14.5-mile long asphalt surfaced trail is a magnet for bikers and in-line skaters living in or near Jacksonville and Baldwin, FL. The trail boasts three dedicated trail user parking lots, a former railroad caboose, a restroom facility fashioned as a railroad station, a gated trail crossing over an active railroad line, safety signage at all street crossings, and much more.
On the day of my visit the Imeson Road Trailhead parking lot in Jacksonville was full. However, the Baldwin and Brandy Branch Trailhead parking lots had one car each parked in them. The three parking lots are identically constructed and sized. Portable restrooms are located at the Imeson Road and Brandy Branch lots. The permanent restroom facility fashioned as a train station is located in Baldwin adjacent to a municipal park; that‘s where you‘ll find the old caboose as well. There’s also a working water fountain at the Baldwin Trailhead and Park.
If you enjoy biking flat paved surfaces, or are an avid in-line skater, and don’t mind dealing with loads of street crossings, give this trail a try. Bring plenty of water in the summer though!"
"This is one of my favorite trails. It is so relaxing. I have seen deer, foxes, rabbits and snakes. If you want to get a decent bike ride in without having to worry about traffic, this is the place to be! The trail is very well maintained. "
"Pleasant and relaxing. A great trail for bikers, runners and skaters."
"Jax->Baldwin is one of the best trails. The trailway is smooth and wide. There are no breaks in the asphalt. Sight distance is excellent. Leaving Jax, the trail cuts through sparsely settled gently rolling terrain. At 6 miles it crosses a stream (not potable). Beyond 7 miles, the trail enters a wooded section with considerable canopy overhead. This section is exquisite. There is a parking lot with water and potties at Baldwin (12.5 mi). The trail ends at FL 121 (14.5 mi). Use is variable, but the width of the trail makes even two-abreast safe."
"Nice trail, use is developing nicely. Need more parking spaces at the Imeson Rd trail head at times (a good sign!)"
"This is a wonderful trail. Very scenic, shady and friendly. Watch out for the cows that occassionally get out!
Happy Trails! "
"I'ved lived in Jax all my life, this is the best thing the city has done.
If you ain't been on the trail you should
try it, you'll love it! I hope the city will continue to maintain it. Lots of improvements could be made but I'm happy to have it as it is! Dennis "
Thanks to the great folks who made this possible.
"The Jacksonville-Baldwin rail trail is a wonderful asset in a city that is already a pleasure to live in. I'm a resident of Jacksonville and have been riding the trail nearly every weekend for about a year and a half. It's a great way to relax and get some fresh air. The Jacksonville trail head is easily accessible via I-295. There's a great little diner about a quarter of a mile off the trail in Baldwin, so there's a nice mix of nature and civilized comfort. Try it. You'll like it."
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