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The Palatka-to-St. Augustine State Trail currently runs through the communities of Armstrong, Elkton, and Vermont Heights in northeastern Florida. Much of the route follows State Route 207, hence its former name as the State Road 207 Rail-Trail. Another 10-mile section runs east of the St. Johns River to the Putnam County/St. Johns County line. Eventually, it will connect to the 8 mile section in St. Johns County that is called the Palatka to St. Augustine State Trail (from Merryfield Lane to Putnam County Boulevard in East Palatka). Views are a mix of woodlands and rural landscapes. As of late 2018, the gap between Spud and Hastings is complete.
Long-range plans include a connection to the Palatka-to-Lake Butler State Trail as part of a developing 260-mile, five-county regional network known as the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop. The network is part of the East Coast Greenway.
A trailhead and parking are available off State Road 207 near Interstate 95 in Vermont Heights at the north end of the trail.
There is a small parking area that was just completed by the county at the end of Louis Broer Road in East Palatka. This is about 1 mile east of the beginning of this section of trail, and about 2 miles east of the St. Johns River. The western end of this section of trail starts at SR17 on the west side of Palatka across from the Italian Latin Grill. There is some parking there as well. This total section of paved trail is about 9.5 miles.
Drove from Ocala to Palatka so we could start there and cross the bridge over the river. Unfortunately the bridge was closed off on Palatka side. We drove over the bridge drove over the bridge and parked at the Post Office which is right on the trail. Trail was in good shape except for edges in the woods where tree roots are starting. Rode 29 miles out and back. Enjoyed it! It was worth the drive. Closer to St. Augustine it was in sun along road that's why we turned around. Good beer at the brewery in Palatka for the end of the ride! A good day.
Majority of the trail is next to the main road (207) so little shade and quite noisy. Along the trail there is nothing to see but run down houses and cars. We were even heckled by two men who appeared to be homeless and under the influence. Didn’t feel particularly safe or fun. Wouldn’t recommend.
No sign of closure today. 11-18-22
If you plan crossing the River on the bridge trail it is closed.
Really enjoyed this trail , we did it in 3 separate rides . So nice !! There are mile markers along the way . Very peaceful and runs beside highway 100 for a big part . Crosses roads in a few places but very safe . Highly recommend.
Although I Love this trail , there are areas where it needs some work , heaved pavement from tree roots . Would love to see Mile markers along the way as well . Definitely recommend it .
We road from Armstrong west about 10 miles for a 20 mile ride. Asphalt trail was well kept and all road crossings marked and safe. Potato and cabbage farms were huge and beautiful. Nice, flat ride if you want to relax.
Rode this today starting on the east end into Palatka and back. Saw maybe 10 people on the trail the whole time. Lots of beautiful canopied sections. Since it was not sunny today the other sections were just fine. Will definitely ride this route again!
I have been cycling this wonderful trail for a number of years and it is sad to see the deteriorating condition of some parts of the trail due to a lack of maintenance. The trail is usually covered with debris in places and the weeds are taking over parts of the trail. Tree roots have made the asphalt surface so rough in spots that it is actually dangerous.
We started in palatka. Highlight of the trail was right at the beginning at the bridge. We parked at beat western as the trailhead was a bit sketchy. Once crossing bridge path was a little rough for a mile. After that the trail was great for the next five miles. Lots of shade. Very hot day. The trail then runs along 207 for about three miles and the traffic was a bit loud. Overall it was a good time.
A lot of this asphalt trail is not shaded, some running just to the side of the road.
My husband and I road a section of this trail today. We entered at the Cora C. Harrison Preserve Trailhead and rode toward St. Augustine. We turned back around at the point where you need to cross a 4 lane divided highway with no signal. I felt too nervous about crossing. It was a nice trail for the most part. Some shaded areas, and some in full sun along side the main roads. I do appreciate that the trailheads have clean bathroom facilities, and picnic areas. The Cora C. Harrison Trailhead had a decent sized parking lot as well. The path is fairly level, with views of crops growing, and some cabbage was being harvested today. We did see a family of wild turkey as well. We will ride this trail again!
I ride this trail often for exercise, its pretty smooth, there is one very bumpy section just northeast of Spuds for ~ 100 yards for those with low pressure tires it shouldnt be a problem. Overall a well maintained pleasant ride.
I ride this trail at least three times a week. Trail is becoming a little bumpy due to tree roots. I start at the trail head on 207 just south of St. Augustine. I ride to Hastings, about 10 miles. I then leave the trail and take the country roads out to the river. I see maybe 3 cars a day on those roads. I end up with a round trip of 27 miles. Check out Google maps to find the roads that lead to Federal Point from where the trail crosses Main Street in Hastings. The trail crosses 207 twice. Bvery careful, cars don’t even slow down when you are waiting to cross.
This is a nice trail running from St. Augustine to Palatka. We started at the trailhead in Vermont Heights and we rode to Palatka. The trail is well maintained, smooth and restrooms along the trail. We enjoyed this trail very much and if we’re in the area again we would probably ride this again.
Rode this trail from St. Augustine to Palatka last week. It’s a nice trail, smooth and wide and well maintained. There’s restrooms/water along the trail. Parts of the trail parallel a busy road/highway so take care in crossing as the trail crisscrosses the highway. We rode to Palatka and had an early dinner. It was a nice trail! Bonus was going past the town of Hastings, Florida where it was called, Florida’s Potato Capital!
This trail was wonderful. Very smooth ride, not very many people and beautiful scenery. I rode from Hastings to the north end and back. I will ride this again.
According to the eastcoastgreenway’s Instagram feed the 7-mile Extension to St. Augustine has been completed! Gotta get down there to ride it this winter. ¿
Loved riding this trail. It is more scenic in my opinion than the Jacksonville-Baldwin trail. And takes you through nice downtown palatka.
I like the hut with the fan along the trail, much of the trail is exposed to the sun, but I love how it goes over the St Johns River and allows you to look for manatees. Saw a cottonmouth on the trail!
We rode the entire trail and enjoyed the variety of northern Florida scenery--forest, farmland, and swamp. Some sections parallel the highway but are separate from it with only a couple of well marked highway crossings. Our only question is -- where are all the people?? There were so few riders out on this pretty Sunday afternoon. Not complaining. Just saying.
Parked at the Vermont Blvd location and rode all the way to Palatka. Great trail that has a nice wide paved surface. A lot of places to stop and rest along the trail.
Wife and I started in Palatka, we crossed over the St Johns River and followed the trail to Hastings. Good trail, lots of farms to see.
Love the newly paved path. (4 stars) there’s a bathroom near the cemetery/picnic area. (Didn’t see it until we were driving to Palatka) The only thing I didn’t like about the newly built portion...no shade. The bridges were cool and we did see some gators and turtles. Maybe ride it in the early morning or late afternoon during the hot months. Just a thought...
Attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday 6 April, 2019. About 200 people...riders, trail group pavilions, dignitaries, and trail friends. Official opening of the last link from Spuds thru Hastings to the rest of the segment starting west of Hastings. Beautiful run. Got a newly broken in 40.6 mile bike saddle butt on the new Palatka to St Augustine State Trail, which will become another finished segment of the St Johns River 2 Sea Loop, a 250 mile loop in north central Florida.
Parked in Hastings FL and went east out first to the end of segment near I-95 heading towards St Augustine 24.2 miles out and back. Then headed west to the trailhead in Palatka. 16.4 miles out and back. Little sore in the saddle the last few miles. Overall. A great day, and a new daily distance record. 283 total miles recorded in the first two months of trail biking in central Florida. Mostly rails to trails corridors.
This trail is great when it comes to biking in Florida. Beautiful scenery, lots of forest riding and farms. Few miles of highway riding. Can make this ride 50+ miles easily.
Great mix of woods & open areas. Trail is smooth & well maintained. Several bikers on the trail today. Surprised to discover Florida’s Potato Capital of Hastings.
We finally got to ride the western part of the Palatka to St. Augustine Trail today that runs from Hastings to Palatka. I reviewed the eastern part, St. Augustine to Hastings a few weeks ago.
There is plenty of parking in Hastings on Main St. but we parked in the Post Office lot a block off Main for safety reasons. The trail goes right through town and you pick it up on Main St. The first part is through local neighborhoods where unfortunately some locals find it fun to break beer bottles on the trail so use caution. Once out of town you border farm fields with an open trail which would be very hot in warmer months. A few miles down the trail though you get into some shade but not much. It appears the trail is not much used as we saw only 4-5 other cyclists but it was a week day. As you get closer to Palatka it narrows and then becomes essentially a sidewalk and once in town crosses many parking lots so safety could be an issue. The trail near Palatka also becomes very trashy and industrial.
All in all though this is a great ride. If you wanted to go from St. Augustine (actually Vermont Heights about 3 miles out of St. A.) to Palatka it would be a very good ride mileage wise. There is beautiful farmland, creeks with very nice bridges across, and lots of wildlife, mainly large birds. In Hastings there is a fantastic restaurant named Norma D's Kitchen, "The Local Spot" that has great food. Right on Main Street about 100 yards from the trail, it is open only for breakfast and lunch and is well worth either starting there after a big breakfast or ending there for lunch. We had breakfast and were very happy with the food and service, and price! Our next ride we plan to start there and back for lunch.
We road the trail today from St. Augustine, actually Vermont Heights where there is parking and bathrooms, to Hastings. The section between Spuds and Hastings is now complete so you can ride all the way to Palatka. The new section is fantastic with some great bridges and farm fields. Most of the trail has plenty of shade also. There is still some finish work to be done but it is completely surfaced and ready to ride. It was great seeing so many people out today from serious riders to families on cruiser bikes. If you do the ride plan on being in Hastings early morning and hit up Norma's Kitchen for breakfast. We were not able to get there at that time but will plan around that next time.
Ride this trail today on our tandem. I had been told about the unfinished gap between Spuds and Hastings. The gap is now completed and you can ride the trail the entire distance.
Started from the Vermont Heights ¿ trailhead, ¿
new restrooms here, not finished yet.
Rode north 2.4 miles to the end near I-95.
Rode south about 6.2 miles to the new trailhead at Armstrong Park. Restrooms, parking and picnic tables available.
West about a mile to the end in Spuds at CR-207. Can see trail work in progress West of CR-207.
Crossing CR-207 both times easy with Flashing lights and cooperating drivers.
Returned to Vermont Heights for a 17.4 mile ride.
I ride this Trail a lot since I live in St Augustine. The only bad thing to say about it is some dog owners let their pets run free (western end) so I've had run ins with a pit bull that roam the wooded areas. So beware, other than that its a nice path. Hope they finish the Hastings section soon
Construction has begun on the Hastings gap in the trail. The new construction will close the gap between the county line (east of Hasting) and the current end of the trail on the east side of Hasting. When the construction is complete in the fall of 2018 (hopefully) you will be able to ride from Palatka to the outskirts of St. Augustine (near I-95) on the trail. Plus the new Trail Head just west of Hastings will open up at that time also. Bathrooms and parking!! It's already built waiting on the trail to be finished!!
My wife and I tried this trail for the first time on Sunday April 02 2017. We arrived around 9:00 am and parked off of 207 where the trail and road converge. (see other review for more details.) The parking was easy to spot and there was plenty of space. There is a typical poster billboard with some information about the trail here also.
The most difficult crossing was 207. But if you aren't in a hurry and trying to maintain a pace for training or performance it isn't a big deal. If you have young kids then maybe it would be a little more nerve racking.
We gave the trail a grade of A. It was peaceful, flat, in good condition, and in the shade for much of the ride. We gave the amenities a C+. We didn't see any restrooms. And didn't pass and grocery stores or restaurants. Although we didn't leave the path at all. The could possible be some places just off the path.
We didn't see any dogs, or snakes, or chickens, or really much wildlife. The people we saw along the trail were friendly and always said good morning.
One of our dogs were found on the bike trail 2/3/17 chocolate lab/tree Walker. We are still looking for our male pointer he is white with dark spots and dark head. He has a camo collar and tag but I'm hoping even if anyone has seen him they can direct me where to look. His name is Thor. My number is 386-503-4894 please call me; don't comment here because I'll never see it. He is so missed. Please help me find him.
We parked on a small dead-end section of Old State Road 207, which is right off current SR 207 about 3 miles SW of I 95. Good place to park if you're going to ride back toward St. Augustine (which doesn't go all the way through BTW), but if you're riding SW toward Hastings the first 2 miles run alongside busy 207. Not a very pleasant ride. Much better to park along County Road 305 where the trail crosses it (on the south side). Wide shoulder to park on and no signs posted to the contrary. This not only eliminates that 2-mile stretch but gets you on the right side of 207, avoiding a crossing that even with warning lights is a bit edgy what with 4 lanes of high speed traffic. The trail from here is wide and smooth through woods and rural areas. A pleasant, if not exactly spectacular, ride.
Rode the trail from Vermont Heights to Hastings on Thursday October 27th. All hurricane debris has been removed and the surface is in great shape.
From the trailhead parking lot toward St A, the trail is still open. About 2.8 miles from the trailhead towed Hastings there are many trees down and the trail is impassible until it is cleared.
The trail is starting to get filled with branches and leaves on certain parts. some small plants need to be cut back along the fence that parallels the beginning of the trail right before you cross Hwy 207 at the safety lights. Lots of pine needles and twigs on the path now also.
I really do like this trail but biking by yourself, well I just don't feel real safe on some segments of the trail (closed in segments). Also, on the west end of trail there are some homes which the homeowners leave their dogs to run free or maybe the dogs get out but either way, unsafe (Rottie and other dog)
If you are riding with another then great ride. Just watch the dogs and be aware of your surroundings.
Rode to the Vermont Blvd entry from my house on Anastasia (10 miles each way) so was a fine 27 mile ride. Path was great condition but meh Florida scenery.
The trail is flat and well maintained and a most of it was nice and shady. We walked round trip for a total of 17 miles. There were lots of bikes but we only saw two other walkers. The trail is well marked as to where the bikes ride and were the walkers walk. We didn't have any problem with bike traffic like on some trails. There are a few benches along the way but no picnic tables. No bathrooms and NO WATER source. On a bike that might not be a big issue but when you're walking it's hard to carry enough water due to the weight. Be aware the parking area on State Road 207 is not marked so it might be difficult to locate parking for the trail. Look for cars with bike racks parked well off the main road!
Be sure to take time to stop and read the info signs as you pass through Armstrong on the trail. Very interesting area and history.
This was my first RT ride!!! And it was my longest ride so far as I am new to biking ( and exercise in general:)). Nice flat path and the cross over 206 is very well marked and easy---just push the buttons for the flashing lights and watch. Met a nice woman putting up signs for a RT party at Railroad and Armstring. I u-turned and ended up doing abit 12 miles total which for me was great!!!!
Great trail. A good workout and very convenient
My Brother-in-Law and I did this trail twice. The first time was unsuccessful due to a self inflicted pedal problem (it kept falling off) and my Brother-in-Law had to go back to the get the truck and rescue me. The second time on Sept 30, we rode the whole trail. It was very nice with a variety of scenery and a few turkeys.
Every review I read prior to our rides mentioned the parking as a problem. The first trip we parked at the cement plant. We asked a man running the loading part of the cement plant about parking and he said we could park inside the gate, but please be out by closing time, because the week before someone had left their car and he had to leave the gate open so they could get out. He suggested parking by the telephone poles out side the gate. Then you still have to walk your bike over some nasty stones along the edge of some rail road tracks to get to the trail.
There is room to park 3 cars off Vermont. But we found on the second trip there is a pull off road about 2 miles west of IS95 on Rt 207 that has plenty of room to park. The trail skirts the road there, so access is easy. I would recommend this place to park, and so did the guy at the cement plant.
Went on this trail last weekend. Very nice, level and smooth. Very few people nice Bird sounds loved the area will definitely go back.
Enjoyed a quiet 17 mile ride (round trip on this trail segment); we parked off the trail where it crosses Vermont Street (parked right off the road adjacent to the trail), just a mile or two off Interstate 95 and Highway 207 (we were staying one exit north off of Interstate 95 and State Road 16, about 7 to 8 miles from the trail head); the trail goes approximately 1.45 miles to the East/North back towards Saint Augustine before it ends into the railroad tracks(looks like this would be a great investment to continue the trail over the railway bed into Saint Augustine to link with the A1A for a longer ride up to Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach); the trail runs about 7 miles from the intersection with Vermont towards Palatka along Highway 207, where it crosses 207 (very well marked and safe crossing with flashing lights); the trail also crosses 3 or 4 other small roads, all of which seemed to have very little traffic and all crossings were very safe; the trail was nicely paved and smooth and well shaded the majority of the trip; the trail dead ends at the South and West end at Highway 207, not clear how it would be extended at this point, but I believe there are plans to connect it to another portion of the Heritage Trail at this end; highly recommend this ride, it was a nice change of scenery from the Ocean ride with the cars along A1A from Vilano Beach to Ponte Vedra
Seemed to be some issues with others finding parking so I drove around a bit first and did some recon. You can turn R on Vermont off 207 and follow that (bout a mile) and you can see where the trail crosses the street. It says no parking, but I think that means no parking in front of the gate, but in the little lot is ok. This is about a mile from the north end start of the trail head. I also drove a bit down 207 and found a large area to the right of where it goes from 45mph to 55mph (sign). It's the old part of 207 and you can park there and ride from there. It's about 1.5-2 miles south of the north end trail start.
Overall it was a very nice ride, mostly flat, veru little elevation change, lot's of shaded areas, only one crossing of 207 and a couple of back road crossings. I had some sort of glich with my phone so I don't have any actual distance or elevation numbers.
Parking was hard to navigate! We exited 207 and turned right in Deerpark Rd. Followed all the way to deadend then turned left and parked just outside of cement plant. Hit up trailhead at very beginning where railroad ends! BEAUTIFUL ride when not on highway- although it was only for a short bit. Nice ride overall
I am new to serious biking. Bought a Fuji hybrid last summer and mostly ride on highways [U.S. 1 and SR A1A near me here in St. Augustine. I was happy to find,after a little research, that that this State Trail is somewhat near me. It was a 40 minute ride over to SR 207 and maybe 2 miles south of I-95 when I found an access near the North Trailhead. There is a spur off SR207 that appears to be available for limited parking. When I was finished riding this part of the trail,approx. 2 miles, a rider was parking and unloading a recumbent.
I enjoyed my first ever RTC ride! The section I just described ends near a working cement plant and railroad tracks. I backtracked and rode the entire trail and passed potato farms and rural communities [Armstrong, Spuds] and crossed a couple of local roads. [The SR 207crossing has warning lights for bikers]. There is a steep ditch on the east side of the path and it was full of water after recent rains. The trail was very shady and I noticed a few benches and a fairly new bridge along the way. The Southern Trailhead ends unspectacularly about 2 miles from the Town of Hastings on the highway. I rode into Hastings and had lunch,hung out in their library and caught a bus back home.
I am thrilled to have a trail under my belt and look forward to doing many more. I have the Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail on my to do list. Thanks for letting me share.
I have been following the progress (or lack of) of this trail for over 8 years now. Initially started as a 3 mile trail with the promise of extending into Palatka/Hawthorne/Gainesville system. I think its barely up to 6 miles. And...they have had to close half of it due to trail cave ins and maintenance after just a year of opening. Has plenty of potential but slow going and has a major 4 lane hwy crossing right in the middle.
Tried parking at the southern start of the trail but felt a bit isolated and neighbor dogs were unchained in their yard, so headed to the Vermont Blvd crossing. Parked on the side of the road but was unsure because "no parking" signs on gates on either side of the road. After riding the trail, would now park off 207 where there's an arc of old road that runs parallel to 207. It's no longer a road to anywhere and there weren't any "no parking" signs that I could see.
Enjoyed the trail on this misty, grey morning. However, the trail is still closed to the south, right as it veers off 207. It looks like it's done and we did keep going past the signs to check it out until we finally came to a bridge with the signs closing it off.
I'll definitely come back when the trail is re-opened and hopefully it will be a prettier day. The trail is smooth and straight, very easy to ride.
The section of trail from C.R. 305 to Armstrong Rd. will be closed September 12 to December 26, 2014 for reconstruction.
There really is no place to park. There is an area on Vermont blvd. where you can park on the side of the road but there are no parking signs. Basically you have to park illegally. The path itself is beautiful. I wish that it could be made longer. About 10 miles.
Trail in great condition as of 3.20.14. Not far from I-95. Good spot to stretch your legs after driving all morning.
Started out on Vermont Heights rd, rode north to where it stops then turned around and rode to the end, at 207 , then rode back Vermont Heights, very nice ride, lots of shade on the lower half, beautiful day. Take head there is no trail head, no mile markers only 2 benches along the ride, no restrooms, but it is worth the ride!
Please someone tell me what did I do wrong? Drove all the way from Jax, found the starting point off 207 but there is no parking at all. Just a few private homes and the forest. tried to find some business nearby and park there but there is nothing around.....
I've ridden this trail numerous times. It is great as far as it goes. When it is finished and links-up with the Palatka-Lake Butler leg-it will be fantastic. Too bad I won't live to see it. But you youngsters will and you'll love it.
We rode a total of about 11.3 miles on the trail today. It was really nice. Parts are open and sunny, but there are plenty of shaded areas as well. We even saw a Gopher Tortoise on the side of the trail! We can't wait to go back an ride more of the trail. Finding the trail head is a bit of a challenge though, don't go by the 4199 Deerpark Boulevard address. The trail actually ends next to one of the industrial sites and there is no access to it at that point. We went 3-4 roads down 207 to Vermont Heights Rd and found limited parking available where the trail crosses that road. From there, it is about 1.5 mi. to the north end of the trail. There is also an old stretch of 207 that is off the main road that you can park along and access the trail. Hope this helps!
This trail is pristine and a very nice ride.
The southern end starts out going through quaint rural neighborhoods and runs through unspoiled forrest with shade.
It picks up a deep creek on the right and crosses over a new bridge heading through farmlands back out to run next to the SR 207.
There is a crossing light to go over SR 207. This part of the trail is in the sun.
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