Ochlockonee Bay Trail

Florida

8 Reviews

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Ochlockonee Bay Trail Facts

States: Florida
Counties: Wakulla
Length: 9.7 miles
Trail end points: Clermont Ave. (Sopchoppy) and Mashes Sands Trailhead
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 8730634

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.

At the other end of the trail, there is also parking on Railroad Ave. between Byrd and Rose St., near the Church of Christ in Sopchoppy. 

Ochlockonee Bay Trail Reviews

Great trail!

We rode this in August 2020. We parked at the gulf, which made the total trail 12 miles one way. It goes through a wildlife reserve, although we didn’t see any wildlife. We ended close to sunset and then walked along the beach.

Nice Trail

Rode all the way from the south end (near 372 and 98 intersection) to Sopchoppy and back. Parked just slightly east of the water tower as described by the last reviewer. Although the trail parallels 372 the entire way, traffic is minimal, especially once in the Wildlife Reserve, very peaceful. As the last reviewer stated, the trail is continuous, no break as shown on the map.

Map Error

We rode the trail on January 2, 2020 and found that the trail is continuous from Sopchoppy all the way to the end at highway 98 and 372. There is no break as the map shows. The trail is paved all the way and is about six feet wide or more. We only saw one other rider. Two GPS's showed the trail to be 9.9 miles long.

The easiest way to find the southern end is to locate the water tower. There is a covered picnic area and a huge parking lot almost underneath it at the trailhead. There's also a porta-potty concealed behind a wooden screen.

At the north end in Sopchoppy the trail starts just southeast of the Dollar General on the south side of 319 and does not extend into town. The railroad museum and its restrooms are only open on Saturday and I suspect they wouldn't appreciate someone using their very limited parking for 2-3 hours for a bike ride. On of the closed days there shouldn't be a problem. There's a park across the street with some parking and locals said to just park off the road anywhere but in a business's lot. There are restrooms at the Exxon station and the Dollar General and these places would also be a good place to buy a drink or snack for the road.

Local Favorite - Beautiful, back road

We usually park at the trail head on Hwy 98 on the lot of the former, famous Oaks Restaurant. If you’re from these parts, you know about the Oaks. (Garlic butter in a shrimp boat with a boat-load of crackers!! Yum.) The ride over to Sopchoppy is beautiful. Sometimes there are broken beer bottles on the path, and sometimes some yahoo is parked on the path, but otherwise - and usually - the trail is really nice. If there is a headwind, the ride is much tougher (for me). Also - sunscreen and hydration are a must. Enjoy this trail; we certainly do!

Accordion

some observations

The northwestern start of the trail is at the Dollar Store in Sopchoppy. I suggest you park at the old train station/museum two blocks west, which also has modern rest rooms and water. There are NO facilities (not even a bench) along the trail. There is one trail head at the intersection of the trail and US 98.

Easy and Enjoyable Ride

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.

Smooth and Quiet

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!



A new Florida Treasure

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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