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St. George Island, in the Florida Panhandle, is a 22-mile barrier island with Apalachicola Bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. It has a laid-back vibe and is known for its uncrowded beaches. A 6-mile paved path parallels Gulf Beach Drive, the island's main road, from just outside St. George Plantation (a private gated community) to the entrance of St. George Island State Park on the island's eastern end. Enter the state park and you'll have the opportunity to pick up hiking trails for exploring its dunes, forest, and marshes. Although the linear path lacks shade, it provides a non-motorized transportation link between businesses.
Parking is located adjacent to the Cape St. George Lighthouse and St. George Island Visitor Center, which are located at 2A East Gulf Beach Drive. The entrance to the parking area is just west of the physical address at West Gulf Beach Drive and Franklin Boulevard.
The eastern terminus of the trail is at the entrance to Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park (1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive).
If you park at the lighthouse you can park for free. It’s two miles one way down to the plantation where the trail ends turn around to go the full length of the island out towards the state park. The trail is fully paved however there are lots of driveways and roads to cross so be careful it’s not to bad in the off season. The trail itself is older and less smooth. You can also enter the state park but you will need to share the road. All in all a nice fun ride and you cannot beat the St. George island beaches some of the best!
This is your typical along the street ride. Hardly any traffic with little shops and restaurants. Take your time to enjoy .
We loved riding St George Island. Bike path is paved & separate from roadway. You can ride from one end to the other, however, we have electric bikes and the Plantation HOA prohibits renters from riding electric bikes or golf carts inside their gates. You must be a home owner to ride there. Not a real problem just a FYI if you plan to rent a home inside Plantation.
Staying in the Plantation (east end of SGI) you can ride east or west on the main road through the plantation, or you can ride east/west on the roads closer to the beach, which are connected by a small paved trail that connects many of the plantation subdivisions. Staying inside the plantation you can easily ride 10 miles (all paved) or if you ride east (out of the plantation) you can ride into the town (down the paved trail, or road) to the farthest end of the trail on the east end of SGI. No matter which way you ride, it is paved, easy riding. A must do if you enjoy cycling and are going to spend some time at SGI. Don't have a bike or don't want to bring one, no problem, you can rent one at SGI.
We started at the lighthouse and rode all the way to the end of the paved road in the state park. The beach is unspoiled and there are restrooms in two locations at the park. We spent some time in the water and then rode back, 18 miles round trip to the lighthouse. $2 per bike to enter the park, but well worth it.
Can ride an additional 7+ miles, one way, at the state park at the east end of the trail. An update on the bike path continuing into the gated community. They are no longer as accepting of cyclists using their hallowed grounds. The gatekeeper came out of gatehouse as if foreign terrorists were trying to breach security and turned us away. ( I give him credit for his restraint; he didn't draw a weapon!).We ate at Paddy's Oyster Bar on E 3rd St. Friendly owner Patrick serves the freshest and largest oysters my wife and I ever tasted.
During the summer of 2014, the Plantation (west end) homeowner's association added more trail along the trunkline road down the center of this barrier island. The western end of the trail is in a gated community, but they don't give cyclists a hard time, so it's worth a ride.
Total trail length from west to east is about 15 miles- from Dolphin Drive in the Plantation to the East End near the state park.
Nice ride that follows the main road down the center of the island. Beautiful unspoiled area without the wall to wall high rise condos that have spoiled many Florida beach towns. The state park at the east end of the island provides for additional trail scenery. Several restaurants on the island (near the lighthouse); we ate lunch at The Beach Pit - Great Food & Drink, Oysters to die for.
The island is a well kept secret not to be missed.
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