Biking the Withlacoochee Bay Trail

By: Kevin Mims

ADD TO FAVORITES

I don't think I've ever biked a paved trail that I didn't like but some rides are better than others of course.

Some rides are great just for exercise while others are great for scenery and wildlife. At the Withlacoochee Bay Trail in Inglis you get a little bit of everything all rolled up in one 10-mile ride.

The Withlacoochee Bay Trail is located on the very western tip of the Cross Florida Greenway starting from the trailhead at Felburn Park. It's a linear out-and-back ride where you'll cruise down the side of the former Cross Florida Barge Canal heading underneath the US 19 overpass. The ride is mostly open with lots of sun so plan to use a little bit of sunscreen if you go on a hot sunny day. There are several shady spots and pavilions with benches that are perfect for sitting and taking in the views.

The trail is mostly flat and straight with only a few notable inclines and curves. Keep a watch out for some rough patches of pavement on the edges of the trail especially if you are on a road bike. Otherwise the trail is well maintained and shouldn't pose a problem for riders of all skill levels. 

At five miles the trail ends at the Gulf of Mexico where there's a covered pavilion and picnic table that makes for an ideal spot to catch the setting sun. The trail closes at dark so you won't be able to watch it go all the way down but can still take in a good evening ride with plenty of color in the sky. Pay attention to the time you took to get to the end of the trail; you'll need to double back and make your way back down the trail before the park closes.

All in all this is a great ride that's well suited for all types of bikes from cruisers to road racers. The wildlife viewing is good (I saw three deer on my return trip) and the scenery is excellent. Do yourself a favor and add it to your ride list. For more information and directions check out www.floridastateparks.org/crosswithlacoochee.

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