Saturday, March 3, 2012

Biking Davie, Florida's Linear Park Trail

The Linear Park Trail travels east to west for eight miles along the north bank of the South New River Canal, a major drainage canal originally initiated by Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (1905-09) to drain the Everglades. I began at the west end at Vista View Park (free weekdays, $1.50 fee weekends)  seen here...

As you bike east, you'll constantly have the canal on your right and Griffin Road beyond that, and on your left, Orange Drive and then residences, businesses, or parks...

This trail is older, narrower, and less well-paved than its sister trail a bit to the north along the North New River Canal, the Plantation Canal Trail.  But there are fewer busy roads to cross here, and other than at University Drive, these crossings have signals and pedestrian push buttons right on the trail, instead of having to jut to the south a bit to cross a street.  And there's no expressway din while on this trail, just a hum from traffic on Griffin.  Trail markers like below let you know the distance to the end of the trail and also to various parks near the trail which include Bamford Sports Complex, Pine Island Park, Tree Tops Park, Robbins Lodge, and Vista View Park. For more info on these parks go here.

The trail takes you past the concrete remnants of an old canal lock and also the rustic old Town Hall building for Davie seen here...

You'll regularly find covered rest areas available along the canal for fishing, picnicking or just to get out of the sun for a while.

The trail takes you past or directs you to many of  Davie’s important and historic downtown sites, including Potter Park, Betty Roberts Park, Grif’s Western Wear Store, Osborne’s Hardware, Davie’s Western Theme District, Town Hall and Rodeo Arena, Bergeron Rodeo grounds, and the Canoe Landing at the site of Davie’s first Trading Post. Continuing west along the Trail you’ll encounter the George Anderson Footbridge which will take you over the South New River Canal to the Historic Old Davie School built in 1918, or Lange Park. The footbridge was dedicated to “Uncle” George, a pioneering resident, and owner of the first general grocery store in Davie.

The trail's east end is at US 441.  Parking is available at any of the parks listed above, or in shopping center lots along Griffin.  I also noticed many vehicles parked on the grad along the trail /Orange Drive belonging to people fishing the canal or using the rest stop kiosks, so I imagine bikers could also park here.

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