Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Biking Florida's Withlacoochee Bay Trail

The Withlacoochee Bay Trail extends east from the Gulf for nearly 7 miles.  The trail is immediately south of the Highway 19/98 overpass at the Old Cross Florida Barge Canal.  A paved road runs alongside the east side of 19/98.  A right turn takes you to Felburn Park which has plenty of parking, washrooms, picnic tables, and more.  An alternative is to park at the Florida Wildlife Office lot at the end of that paved road.  This trail is the western terminus of the Carr Cross Florida Greenway.

The 12 foot wide paved trail parallels the canal on its south side for 7 miles and an equestrian trail is also nearby with access to 11 miles of riding trails.   The trail is in good condition and mostly flat, though there are some minimal ups and downs.  the western-most couple of miles run through maritime hammocks and along salt marshes.  It runs about 5 miles west to the Gulf, and the trail also extends east another mile and a half or so before ending east of Felburn Park.

 Rest stops are frequent and quite elaborate as seen below...

A marvelous view of the Gulf awaits you at the end.  

This osprey and its mate in the nearby nest patiently waited as I took their photos in the parking lot...

Miles of old logging roads offer hikers and mountain bikers more miles of wooded trails.

The Withlacoochee Bay Trail is located at US 19/98 at the old Cross Florida Barge Canal, approximately 12 miles north of Crystal River and 0.5 mile south of Inglis. Turn east at the south end of the bridge and proceed north on the frontage road to the road to Felburn Park trailhead parking.

No comments: