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The paved trail in Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park stretches across the preserve for about 6 miles. Well-spaced shelters along the trail offer pleasant places to rest in the shade; many are even furnished with ice water. The park, a short distance northwest of Tampa, is one of the largest natural areas in Pasco County. A mixture of pine woods, wetlands and palmetto scrub can be experienced here, and recreational opportunities include hiking, biking, birding, horseback riding and camping.
For further adventuring, you can continue on the 42-mile Suncoast Trail from the eastern terminus.
Parking can be found on the western end of the trail at the western entrance to Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park (10500 Wilderness Park Boulevard, New Port Richey).
This trail has been one of my favorites, lots of shade, a 13 mile r/t ride, no cars or related noise, but.. There are no bathrooms or water along the way, even where this trail ‘T’ intersects with the very noisy Suncoast Trail. My biggest gripe is the deteriorating condition of the trails surface, and each year it has gotten a bit worse. It’s still a beautiful ride though. The Good Neighbor Trail in Brooksville is now my favorite.
For a short ride when you don’t have a lot of time this is fine. But it’s flat, boring and the same trees ad nauseum.
Sunny day in mid 70s. Really beautiful ride. We did round-trip on a 6.5 mile leg on electric bikes. Scenery is very open with ground pounds and young pines. Given the size of the park very few people there on a Friday afternoon. Recommend this place highly.
Park has a lot to offer. There are lots of trails. However there are no trail maps to tell you how far and where they go. There was no one from the park staff to assist us. The bicycle trail was in good shape but does not make a loop. Maybe because of the time of year but there was no wild life to be seen other than a few birds.
This is a pretty ride for sure and basically a nice facility. But the trail itself needs work is several spots. Way too many potholes are lurking and no evidence of recent patches.
Looked like a nice park but had to evacuate due to brush fire
Nice level ride, scenery gets monotonous after awhile, no wildlife observed, clean rest facilities within park but none on trail, trailhead is at shelter #5 ( not parking lot #5 ), be aware of park closing time.
I'm an experienced hiker, so fortunately I always check my location with a compass before I head into the woods. I'm glad I did. I went with my son for a walk on the nature trail. It's a 1.6 mile loop - frankly, we were disappointed by the short distance and hoped to do a longer hike but we couldn't find the trailhead (which leads to the trails one takes to reach the backcountry camping sites). What should have been a modest, easy hike turned out to be anything but. Parts of the trail are wide open and well-marked. Other parts are overgrown and poorly marked. It was a good learning opportunity for my son - always bring, and use, a compass. But it was unpleasant and could have been much more challenging if I hadn't done so. We were never in any real peril - it's not a huge area - but there's no excuse to have such a poorly maintained trail in a family oriented park such as Starkey.
this trail is perfect to see what true natural Florida looks like
We spent three weeks in Florida in January of 2016 exploring various trails along the west coast and camping along the way. This trail was my favorite. We rode it twice. The weather was perfect for riding and this trail is beautiful. No cars, no streets, beautifully kept trail within a beautiful wilderness. The trail is mostly flat, but there are a few curves and enough varied vegetation that makes this trail a wonderful ride. It is a popular trail in this area and we saw many different bikes, walkers, and runners. There are mountain bike trails that shoot off the main paved trail for those wishing a more natural trail. At the end of the trail within the wilderness, you can extend your ride going off on either direction by several miles, but the trail there runs along a big busy highway. You are separated from the road, but the noise is horrific. The Starkey Wilderness Park is a beautiful park, well maintained and a wonderful ride.
Very hot not much shade at all. some covered tables and 2 water spots but both was not usable due to moss and water being nasty with larva growing in them. Trails were not marked clearly at all and at times giving misdirection maybe they had been moved or tampered with. I had to get out GPS on my phone in order to find our way back to corral. The lady in my party was so upset she was wanting to call 911 but I convinced her to wait a bit and trust the gps. 40 min later we made it back to the parking area. Again signs were down on ground arrows pointing up and down...THIS SHOULD BE CHECKED REGULARLY BY OFFICIALS as the park is large and has mile and miles of trails. This could have been a serious issue if I had not kept a clear head and had a cell phone with gps mapping.
Great and well maintained trail. All asphalt. The park is beautiful with animal life and sightings. Some elevation at times enough for a little challenge. Excellent for longer rides. Some wind at times. Bring plenty of water and snacks. Great people on the trail too.
Eastern end tees onto the Suncoast Trail. Some facilities available, more enjoyable than the Suncoast Trail for a casual cruise. Actual end-to-end distance is 7 miles.
This trail is aptly named---Florida wilderness at it's best. Lots of critters to see. No sights or sounds of civilization, except good pavement, occasional water and picnic stops, one power-line crossing, and good parking/facilities at the park. This trail also connects with the Suncoast Trail for 42 more miles of beautiful and relatively uninterupted riding. Carry basic tools and tire repair kit, because you can be several miles from help.
Started from the Suncoast Trail end and biked into J.B. Starkey Wilderness Perserve. Great for a January day in the 60s. Would have been hot and very exposed in the summer. If you like to Geocaching, there's several along the way. Restrooms at Starkey end. Picnic tables all along the way and water at several points. Not much variation in scenery but good for getting some miles under your belt.
Rode this trail for the first time last Saturday (July 12, 2014). This was a great ride and I like that it connects to the Suncoast trail. Plan to make regular rides from this trail onto the Suncoast.
The Starkey Trail is 6.5 miles. I ride it out to the Suncoast every Sunday
Terrific photos on review page! The little guy at the end of the slide show looks like he was posing for a portrait. I have not even been on the trail yet and can't wait to go! That is why these reviews and photos by trail users are so important.
Great job TrailLink
Beautiful place to ride that's not next to a road. Six and a half miles each way, plus some side trails that are also paved. Great place, esp. for ones that don't want a strenuous ride. Wildlife along the way, also. You can also extend the ride by roughly 40+ miles by jumping on the Suncoast Trail at the end of Starkley. Well maintained park and trail!
Awesome trail to get away from the hustle and bustle and be with the sights and sounds of nature. No matter what time of day you will see something. Hearing and seeing many birds, gopher turtles, deer, wild turkeys, armadillos, and raccoons. I will definelty ride this trail again when I need to get away.
We have retired and just started riding. The first ride was 9 miles and today we road 13 miles. The path is beautiful and if you look you will find many little critters.
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