Saturday, March 26, 2011

Florida's Palatka- Lake Butler State Trail

Managed by the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails, the Palatka to Lake Butler State Trail corridor stretches nearly 47 miles from the vicinity of SR 238 in Lake Butler to west of US 17 in Palatka along the former Norfolk-Southern Railroad right-of-way (though only a portion of that 47 miles is currently trail.) Construction of the 12-foot-wide, multi-use recreational trail along this corridor is being completed in phases and I biked the entire segment from Grandin to Keystone Heights along highway 100, making a 21 mile round-trip ride.


As with many rail-trails, the trail is lined with trees on both sides for much of its distance, providing shade in sweltering summer weather and shrouding the trail from highway noise, though the trail moves away from Highway 100 for most of its distance.  Occasional breaks in the trees remind you of the rural character of the trail with vistas like this...



The trail surface is asphalt in very good condition, especially the newest segment just recently opened.

There are plans to connect St. Augustine to Lake City by way of this trail system making the total length of the Trail over 100 miles, a portion of which will be designated as part of the 1400-mile Florida National Scenic Trail. 

No official trailhead parking exists yet, but parking is  available along the main street of Keystone Heights as well as the eastern end at Grandin and Highway 100. You can also park at Twin Lakes Park east of Keystone Heights off Twin Lakes Road, and washrooms are available there. Several places in town can also be used for cold beverage and snack/meal purchase if needed.
 


Official webpage

2 comments:

S said...

Hi Chuck,

I'm updating info for this trail on the www.traillink.com database and wondered if you could provide a map of the open section or post pictures here: http://www.traillink.com/trail/palatka-lake-butler-state-trail.aspx? Also, can you tell us the appx end points of the open section thus far? And is all of it paved? We're trying to updated the current open miles. Thanks!

Charles said...

Another excellent post with photos and info. I will be biking this section soon. I hope you can Google 'Trail View Mount' to see my dot com website specifically devoted to Florida paved trails and other discoveries I make in my travels. Many historic. Your blog always has great info and specifics, which help me a lot before I travel and ride. Take care and all the best.