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Sports - Outdoors - Biking

Mountain Biking In Florida - Thunderous Applause For Hot Trails
By Rika Susan

Mountain biking in Florida offers some outstanding "off-road" biking trails. Year-round riding is possible, although Spring and Fall are the most pleasant periods for casual bikers.

Part of the fun of mountain biking in Florida is the unpredictable weather. A thunderstorm can turn a sandy trail into churning mud within minutes. The heat will be a constant companion. You are also likely to do battle with mosquitoes and other bugs for ownership of the trail.

Nonetheless, mountain biking in Florida is enjoyable and scenic.

One of the best trails is in the Blackwater River State Forest. There is no designated biking route in this 183 000 acre forest, but there is a 14 mile trail on a doubletrack service road that covers an area between Coldwater and Dixon creeks. The sandy surface is most challenging during dry weather, although rain on the trail brings its own difficulties... This will be confirmed on more than one occasion, while mountain biking in Florida.

In East Jacksonville, a series of trails begins near the corner of Beach Blvd. and Kernan Blvd. The terrain is mostly rolling hills, although it varies quite a bit, with twisting rough cut singletrack trails that are ideal for the more advanced and technical rider.

Another area to visit while mountain biking in Florida, is around the Oleta River area north of Miami. This is a six mile singletrack trail. It is well marked according to level of the rider. It is best to start with an easy trail to test your skills, and then step up the level if you want more of a challenge.

These trails are dedicated to cyclists, so there are no hikers or oncoming traffic to consider. This allows you to ride as fast and tight as you want, although with mud, sand and slippery obstacles, it is may be wise to exercise some caution!

For a different experience of mountain biking in Florida, follow the narrow sandy track of the Grayton Beach Recreational Park Mountain Bike Trail. It meanders through interesting, dense vegetation for about 4 miles, and is quiet and easy - making for an ideal vacation ride.

You are not done with mountain biking in Florida, until you have been on the Razorback trail in Reddick. Rated as in the top 50 in America, this is intermediate to advanced riding at its best! The 10 mile loop will test your stamina, your reflexes, and your courage. There is a less demanding beginner loop of about 6 miles. Kids will feel at home on their own mile long loop. The Razorback is about 20 minutes from Santos Trails.

Mountain biking in Florida, particularly the north central region, can be packed into a 6 day trip if you have the stamina. The 327 mile Florida Springs Bicycle Tour is one way of doing this. Covering 10 parks and a forest, the rural roads will lead you to spectacular areas, including the Suwannee River.

For a great guide to mountain biking in Florida, read the revised edition of 'Mountain Bike! Florida' by Steve Jones. More than 300 action-packed pages will give you an overview of all the classic trails in the area. The maps and photos will help you to plan your trip. More than 80 trails are covered.

There's no leaving this sunshine state, until you can say that you have been mountain biking in Florida!

For more information visit

Rika Susan of researches, writes, and publishes full-time on the Web. Copyright of this article: 2006 Rika Susan.



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