I was greatly disappointed in this trail. An 18-mile, paved trail sounds so wonderful, but the reality was a different story. It has so much potential, it is a shame that it wasn't better designed and isn't better maintained. Mountain bikers, walkers and joggers might find this trail ok, but there is a reason all the road-bikes were on the road and not on the trail, and someone on inline skates would not be able to use most of the parts of the trail we experienced (the 6.5 miles on the southeast section).
Having read the reviews of how busy and crowded this trail tends to be, we set out early on Christmas morning to enjoy this trail. We started at the southeast end of the trail, planning to ride our Trikkes at least 10 miles before turning around. The trail was so poor, we gave up in frustration at 6.5 miles, and Trikked back to the car. Perhaps further on the trail we would have encountered better conditions, but we were too tired of trying to navigate bad conditions to find out.
The trail is amazingly inconsistent. Some areas are narrow sidewalks, others are wider asphalt. A few sections are smooth, but too many sections are bumpy, with cracked asphalt that is heaving.
Much of the trail is below the level of the road, with little-to-no vegetation to stop the runoff of sand, dirt, rocks and debris, across the trail. Some sections are actually the shoulder of the road, with only flexible plastic pipes, sticking up perpendicular from the road, to divide the trail from the roadway, with cars and trucks flying by.
At various points, the property owners are watering the trail with their underground sprinkler system, creating puddles as deep as 2 inches. The design of the trails did not provide for drainage.
The one real plus is that in the morning, most of the trail is shaded, which would be wonderful on hot summer mornings.
The area near Alys Beach was beautiful. While I understand the money isn't available to have all 18 miles that nice, there is a lot that could be done with this trail to make it more enjoyable.
Today we drove up to Port St. Joe's to ride the Loggerhead Run Bike Path. This trail is not fancy, but it is more consistent, well designed for drainage and sand control, and a delight to ride, albeit with little shade. Those who designed and maintain the Timpoochee Trail could take some lessons from them. I only wish we had booked our accommodations near Port St. Joe's- but now we know for our next trip to the region.