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  1. #1
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Florida - Highest Concentration of Trail Areas

    The future-wife and I have been considering Florida as the next 5 year career development state. Lots of opportunities for both of us down there.

    Luckily we can both get jobs in just about every major city in Florida, but not Ocala

    So, of the major urban areas, which has the highest number of trails within say...a 20 minute drive of downtown?
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  2. #2
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    Tampa area. You have Alafia Sate Park, Loyce Harper Park and Boyette preserve all within roughly 30 minutes of Tampa, depending on what area you live in. You can find a lot of info on the trails at SWAMP Mountain Bike Club Trails in Florida

  3. #3
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    For Tampa you also have the Wilderness Trail parks. It is all easy and intermediate trails but there are a lot of them. My loop is about 30 miles. All the harder trails have been smoothed over or been forgotten.

    Also from Tampa you can shoot up to Santos for some great riding. I believe the full loop there is about 60 miles now.

    Withlacoochee (Croom) should still be good but I haven't ridden there since about 1992.

    Not sure if riding is still allowed but near Croom is Gran Canyon. It is an old limestone quarry that has some very difficult trails.
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  4. #4
    Papa T
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    Tallahasse has 3 trail systems

    1. Tom Brown Park and Cadillac Trails
    2. Redbug Trail and Lake Overstreet trails
    3. Munson Hills near St. Mark's

    Daytona Beach Area has 4 trail within 45 mins driving distance

    1. Spruce Creek Trails at Doris Leeper Preserve (New Smyrna)
    2. Graham Swamp Trail (Palm Coast)
    3. Mala Compra Trail (Palm Coast)
    4. Chuck Lennon Park (DeLeon Springs)
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  5. #5
    DILLIGAF
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    I live in a north Orlando suburb and within 45 min can be at Santos, Chuck Lennon, Mt. Dora Trail and Snowhill. For ref. I can be downtown Orlando in 30 min.

  6. #6
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Yea I kinda feel that 45 minutes it too far to drive to ride after work. Frankly, there are lots of places in the US where you can drive 45 minutes to great trail systems, but who has time to do that after work? My ideal city would be someplace with good job opportunities and riding IN the city park system as to avoid traffic congestion. Tallahassee is probably closest to this. Leave work at 4:30, hit the trails by 5:00.

    More importantly, the ability to ride both to work and to the trails from a downtown residence.

    Florida - Highest Concentration of Trail Areas-tallahassetrails.jpg

    I've been mapping all the trails across Florida (and most of the Southeast US) using SWAMP's database, along with local trail clubs.

    Here's a link to the Fusion Table and Google Map that I built.


    If you see that any of my points are not placed correctly let me know. Google tends to geocode based heavily on city name and it struggles to find parks. I've been slowly going through and trying to "fine tune" the map to better represent actual locations of trailheads rather than nearby cities.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  7. #7
    Jackalope Hunter
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    Tally has some good riding and is a pretty cool town to boot, I lived there for 3 years in the 90s. That said, there isn't nearly as much riding there as in other parts of the state. You might want to rethink Tampa if you are trying to maximize riding and minimize driving... Just my .02
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  8. #8
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    What other places are around Orlando? I only know of Santos.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  9. #9
    Cannondale Snob
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    If you want to live close to the city but don't want a long commute, you might want to re-think living in FL.

    Otherwise, live East of Tampa- near Brandon -and use the cross-town expressway to commute to work. Drive south to Alafia and Boyette, East to Carter Road, and North a good ways to Ocala.

    I would mention Croom and Wilderness Trails, but I avoid these because they are boring.
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  10. #10
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    Ocala area has santos,30 mins up interstate is san felasco. The trail system at santos may as well be numerous trail systems. Vortex,land bridge,49th street.

    Job wise,gainesville is way better. So you could live in between. Ocala also has a very nice paved greenway for road bike training.

    Tampa is a cluster fudge.....good luck driving anywhere near rush hour,hell anytime at all.

  11. #11
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    I live in lakeland... Work in Tampa......ride carter, alafia, and, boyette... All great trails
    11/2 hours from santos
    Tampa traffic sucks but you learn how to get around it!

  12. #12
    DILLIGAF
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    What other places are around Orlando? I only know of Santos.
    See post #5.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by msimmons View Post
    See post #5.
    Don't forget Soldiers Creek it's short but 20 minutes from Orlando. They are also building a new trail system near Lake Mary also about 20 minutes to Orlando.

  14. #14
    Just shutup and ride.
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    I'll say Tampa/Brandon as well. I live in Temple Terrace and work in St. Pete. Alafia and Boyette along with Flatwoods paved 7 mile loop with some pretty tame trails at Morris Bridge. Also, Starkey (a bit of a drive) is a new trail currently being worked on.

    You also have the urban get-together/rides with SWAMP and the last Friday of every month is a Critical Mass in downtown Tampa. A little bit of a drive to Santos and Croom and a longer drive to Markham if you so desire.

  15. #15
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    On your map, the Balm Boyette trails are incorrectly located at Riverview, FL. Here is the actual address:

    13998 Balm Boyette Road
    Lithia, FL 33547

  16. #16
    Shortcutting Hikabiker
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    Gainesville is right between San Felasco and Santos, it also has miles of trails right in town and an awesome cycling community.
    "Listen here you beautiful *****, I'm about to **** you up with some truth"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB51 View Post
    Don't forget Soldiers Creek it's short but 20 minutes from Orlando. They are also building a new trail system near Lake Mary also about 20 minutes to Orlando.
    I live by lake mary. Any info on the new trail? I can help build this summer

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by joboy View Post
    I live by lake mary. Any info on the new trail? I can help build this summer
    Check out sorbaorlando.org for more info on the trails around here. They had a trail building day last weekend.

  19. #19
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    South Florida has lots of trails with in a reasonable drive of each other, particularly if you live in Ft. Lauderdale. There is Amelia, Markham, Oleta, Virgina Key, and Quiet Waters all with in 30 minutes of Ft. Lauderdale if you aren't in rush hour.

  20. #20
    Trail Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayjudy13 View Post
    Tally has some good riding and is a pretty cool town to boot, I lived there for 3 years in the 90s. That said, there isn't nearly as much riding there as in other parts of the state. You might want to rethink Tampa if you are trying to maximize riding and minimize driving... Just my .02
    Theres over a 100 miles of singletrack in the immediate Tallahassee area.

    Redbug, Overstreet, Timberlane School Loop, Miccosukee, Alford Arms, Fern, Magnolia, Cadillac, Lines Tract, Munson, Twilight, and the Forest Loop all rock some great singletrack.

    Lots of additional non-paved multiuse at Phipps, Overstreet, Alford Arms, and Miccosukee to add mileage to singletrack oriented rides.

    Then theres the Apalachicola National Forest(500,000+ acres - largest public lands in Florida), which borders Tallahassee, with literally hundreds of miles of forest roads and double tracks. The St Marks Wildlife Refuge, just south of town with well over a 100 miles of forest road. There are also countless WMAs and State Forests in the area.


    Tallahassee has a ton of trail, concentrated, a lot of it not so much in the eye of the internet forums.

  21. #21
    Jackalope Hunter
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    Like I said, there's good riding in Tally. But quite a bit of what you mention are not dedicated MTB trails... some of us get bored to tears with forest roads. Again, just MY .02

    Honestly there is no "one" place to live in Fl that has it all, the very best trails are spread out all over the state... Living in Orlando, I have to drive WAY to much to get the goods... just sayin
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  22. #22
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    Yeah, but over 100 miles of pure singletrack all within city limits or within a 15 minute drive. The forest and multiuse stretches are added mileage on top of that

  23. #23
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    It would seem that Tallahassee has the greatest potential for a dense trail network just outside of town on par with Santos. There is public land within a 7 mile radius in every direction of Tallahassee, with the southeast corner being the only exception. Now if only Tally MTB could get a gigantic loop...
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  24. #24
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    i live in orlando and will tell u for what ur looking for, miami is ur top choice. in miami itself u have amelia earhart, virginia key, and oleta, and just north of miami (~20-30 minutes) u have markham park. one of the parks mentioned near tampa, alafia, is better for highly skilled riders as it is an EPIC, but the others are comparable or below the miami parks' skill levels, and they are further away from the actual city of tampa. miami has the highest density of QUALITY trail riding in WELL MAINTAINED parks for skilled riders - not just a flat trail through the woods, those shouldnt even count unless ur looking for lesiure rides. however, weekday traffic will be an issue in either miami or tampa, so factor that in to ur calculations as well.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyejustamazeyall View Post
    i live in orlando and will tell u for what ur looking for, miami is ur top choice. in miami itself u have amelia earhart, virginia key, and oleta, and just north of miami (~20-30 minutes) u have markham park. one of the parks mentioned near tampa, alafia, is better for highly skilled riders as it is an EPIC, but the others are comparable or below the miami parks' skill levels, and they are further away from the actual city of tampa. miami has the highest density of QUALITY trail riding in WELL MAINTAINED parks for skilled riders - not just a flat trail through the woods, those shouldnt even count unless ur looking for lesiure rides. however, weekday traffic will be an issue in either miami or tampa, so factor that in to ur calculations as well.
    I will agree those trails are well maintained, but that's it. Those trails are absolute cake and require little to no technical ability outside of Markham. Even Markham isn't all that difficult. They are great for XC, but anyone looking for technical trails with some elevation change need to look outside of south Florida.

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