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The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross-Florida Greenway is on a mission to create a non-motorized conduit stretching 110 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to St. John’s River in Palatka. The corridor showcases the flora and fauna of the state, with plenty of options for every kind of traveler including hikers, cyclists, mountain bikers and equestrians. The trail surfaces vary from segment to segment, with some being paved, others gravel and others packed dirt.
The segment from the Santos Trailhead to County Road 200 is an example of a paved, multiuse pathway. The route is 15 miles long, an easy walk, run or ride with posted speed limits for cyclists. As the trail rolls and curves on, it intersects or overlaps with mountain-biking single-track, equestrian trails and even the Florida National Scenic Trail.
The Santos Trailhead is a popular starting point. It has parking, restrooms and showers, camping facilities, picnic areas and an equestrian staging area. It’s also the base for the Ocala Mountain Bike Association, which has constructed a pump track at the Santos Trailhead as well as dozens of miles of single-track. The asphalt trail heads west to the next trailhead.
After riding the shaded trail for about 6.5 miles, you will come to the Landbridge Trailhead. The actual Land Bridge is about a mile past this point. Far from an ordinary overpass, this bridge is rich with native vegetation, feeling like seamless continuation of the trail. Both human beings as well as wildlife such as raccoons and opossum use the bridge to cross the highway. There is a viewing area in the middle overlooking the busy roadway. The surface is not paved, and hikers, bikers and equestrians share the path for the length of the bridge.
Having left the Land Bridge, the 49th Avenue Trailhead comes into view after about 2.5 miles. Here, there is parking, a picnicking area and a portable restroom. A ¼-mile connector trail leads from the parking lot to the trail. There is less shade on these final 5.5 miles. They’re also moderately hillier. The paved portion of the trail ends at the CR 200 Trailhead, although mountain-bike trails and other unpaved tracks continue from there.
Parking and restrooms are available in Ocala at the Santos Trailhead Campground (3080 SE 80th St.) and at the Landbridge Trailhead (11100 SW 16th St.); horse trailer parking is also available at the latter trailhead. An additional trailhead with a dirt parking lot and a potable toilet (no potable water) is available at 12555 SW 49th Ave.
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