Ochlockonee Bay Trail

Florida

Ochlockonee Bay Trail Facts

States: Florida
Counties: Wakulla
Length: 9.7 miles
Trail end points: Sopchoppy, Fl and Mashes Sands Trailhead
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 8730634
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Walking

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Ochlockonee Bay Trail Description

The Ochlockonee Bay Trail is composed of five phases with another (5B) on the way. The Ochlockonee Bay Trail is a Florida oasis surrounded by lakes, plant life and Mashes Sands County Park, with a beautiful beach backdrop. Aside from traditional trail scenery, one of the special things you will encounter on the Ochlockonee Bay Trail is the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The wildlife refuge was constructed in the 1930s to provide a seasonal safe haven for migratory birds. Currently 13 miles in length, 5B will bring Ochlockonee Bay Trail's total length to about 14 miles. Once the extension is complete Ochlockonee Bay Trail will take you all the way to a historical train museum, converted from a Sopchoppy train depot that ran during the late 1800s. With the wild life refuge and the future expansion to the historical train museum the Ochlockonee Bay Trail is sure to a top destination for railroad buffs, animal lovers, and trail enthusiasts alike.

Parking and Trail Access

Follow US 98 south from Medart, Fl. About 4 miles south of Panacea is Ochlockonee Bay Bridge. At the blinker light before the bridge, Surf Road/CR 372 runs north(right turn) to Sopchoppy and south(left turn) to Mashes Sands. Construction is underway for parking (as of March 2016) in Sopchoppy, but there are some pull offs where you can park. There is parking for the Mashes Sands Trailhead.

Ochlockonee Bay Trail Reviews

We biked the entire trail and back, from Sopchoppy to Mashes Sands Beach. Total distance was 24 miles round-trip and took us a leisurely 3 hours. Beautiful scenery along Surf Road and especially close to the marsh and beaches at the end of the trail. Stopped at Mashes Sands beach for a light lunch. Due to off-peak tourist season, the vehicle traffic wasn't a factor, especially when trying to cross Hwy 98. A must-ride for anyone staying in this beautiful area of the "Forgotten Coast" of north Florida.

I rode this trail on Tuesday Oct 25, 2016. If there is parking in Sopchoppy, I couldn't find it. Just park at the boat ramp at the Mashes Sands end. There is a bathroom there, but that's it until you reach Sopchoppy. Leaving Mashes Sands, there are a few STOP signs on the trail, but not much traffic. You have to cross 98 after about a mile, but visibility was good at a well marked crossing. Then you will pedal your way out into the St. Marks Refuge which is very nice. Prescribed burning has kept the forest open and airy with mostly palmetto and pine. This is a woodsy trail, not a beachy trail! Traffic is very light on Surf road, and you will be there before you know it. I encountered no other pedestrians, and very few cars. There is one spot where you have to cross a short bridge while joining traffic, and you have to cross Surf Rd. twice (I think). I highly recommend this trail and will ride it again. Watch for bears!



This trail has jumped to the top of my list of favorite bike trails!

Perhaps it was the peaceful rolling thru the wildlife refuge or crossing the many boardwalk bridges. Once I was lulled into the gentle woodland sounds I was then awakened by the delightful squeals of gulls and water fowl over the bay that has suddenly come into view.

Kept on rolling and came upon quiet sugar sand beaches.

There are wonderful Sea Food restaurants within a stones throw from this path.

I have already made plans to go back next year!

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