Thursday, September 3, 2015

Biking Florida's Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail

The first three miles of the Jacksonville-Baldwin State Trail out of Jacksonville run along power towers, and for the first four miles or so you travel past residences, businesses, and small ranches, but then there are only occasional glimpses of civilization and only a few road crossings as you traverse a beautiful forest as seen below. Since this is an old railroad grade, the trail is basically flat with only gradual rises and dips.

This is one of only a few trails I've biked which had highway-type speed limit signs as seen here, probably because it is maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation, which also explains the railroad crossing gates and flashing lights seen two photos below at a railroad crossing.

West of Helsema Road, signs warn of a nearby gun club, and I heard some gunfire in that area. A new motorcross area is also passed by the trail and you can stop and watch the motor bikes jumping huge mounds of earth.  Porta-potties are located in the trailhead lots at each end, and another midway at the Camp Milton Historic Preserve. The old railroad station might also have washrooms.

This rest stop/washroom facility is a nice stopping point, but it also signals that you are at the historic Camp Milton site.

Camp Milton Historic Preserve pays tribute to the Civil War in Florida, with exhibits of ramparts and defensive fortifications and signposts as seen below (click to enlarge.)

This long boardwalk gets you from the washroom/rest stop to Camp Milton. Take this side tour and learn about how the Civil War impacted Florida.

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