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  1. #1
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    Kid friendly trails in Central Florida area

    I bought my daughter a Giant Revel Junior 20"...she is stoked to ride on some trails. I'm taking her to Carter Rd this weekend and I'll keep her on Ivy and walk along side her to teach her, but I wanted to know if anyone knew of other trails that are kid friendly.

    I'm new to MTBing and my only experience is Carter Rd ATM.

  2. #2
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    Paisley Woods in Ocala, San Felasco in Alachua, some of the easier trails at Santos and Alafia, ect. Most everywhere in FL has easy trails available.

  3. #3
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    You can try Circle B if she is brand new to trail riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shagster View Post
    You can try Circle B if she is brand new to trail riding.
    I never thought about that...it's nothing but double tracks out there right?

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    I don't know how old your daughter is but I started my son (he just turned 6) out at Lake Kissimee state park on his 16" dept store bike when he was 4. He ditched the training wheels at 2 1/2. It is a good place for kids to learn, you get the off-road experience with wider straighter trails that are designed for hiking, but there are some roots and twists that you have to navigate, there are two loops totaling about 13 miles, very scenic and good for building endurance. We went out there alot for about a year. 6 months ago we got him a 24" (he's tall for his age) spesh hotrock and started going to Carter Rd. a little more. All the trips to the state park have paid off. He has great endurance after an 8 or 9 mile trek at Carter he wants to go some more, and he keeps up really well on all of the yellows; ivy, sprinkler hill, modelo hwy etc. and he can ride a few of the blues pretty well too poison Ivy, cruddy buddy, and snake ridge. I am reluctant to take him on some of the harder (ridge) sections harder blues and of course the reds but he sure is having fun. We are ready to branch out, but I was also wondering what other kid friendly trails were around. Have been considering a trip to Alafia, or WTA (morris bridge.) But I'm not sure how they compare to Carter? One place to stay away from is the Sun N Lake Preserve in Sebring, not kid friendly at all and not fun at all unless you like averaging 3mph and navigating ill placed log ramps every two feet!

  6. #6
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    Last year, when my son was 7, we rode Boyette... I obviously didn't bring him on any black diamond stuff but he ran all the way around the entire perimeter of the place.
    I like turtles

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the replies!

    This morning we went to Peterson Park, there's a connecting trail to our apartment and she loved it.



    It was mainly flat, but there were quite a few root systems that she powered over and was nothing but grins.

    We're taking lunch and headed to Circle B now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krunk_Kracker View Post
    Thanks for all the replies!

    This morning we went to Peterson Park, there's a connecting trail to our apartment and she loved it.



    It was mainly flat, but there were quite a few root systems that she powered over and was nothing but grins.

    We're taking lunch and headed to Circle B now.

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    We did 3 miles at Circle B and another 6 at Carter Rd.... That's 11 miles!

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krunk_Kracker View Post
    We did 3 miles at Circle B and another 6 at Carter Rd.... That's 11 miles!

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    I saw you guys today at the trail head. Glad to see the little one enjoying it!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shagster View Post
    I saw you guys today at the trail head. Glad to see the little one enjoying it!
    Did we speak?

    I bet you couldn't tell I'm proud haha.

    She did another 4 miles today. I think she was burnt out from yesterday.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krunk_Kracker View Post
    Did we speak?

    I bet you couldn't tell I'm proud haha.

    She did another 4 miles today. I think she was burnt out from yesterday.


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    If I am not mistaken, I saw you on the trail at Carter yesterday and at the carter trailhead today. I ride a hard-tail orbea and I was with another guy today. If that was you on the trail, I said sorry, don't worry about us or something to that effect. I will say hello next time.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shagster View Post
    If I am not mistaken, I saw you on the trail at Carter yesterday and at the carter trailhead today. I ride a hard-tail orbea and I was with another guy today. If that was you on the trail, I said sorry, don't worry about us or something to that effect. I will say hello next time.
    Haha... We got that a lot. Sometimes she falls and she is very slow... She likes to stay in first gear. Everyone so far has been understanding and usually yells encouragement to her. It makes her day. When we rest she says things like "That guy told me I'm doing a good job Daddy" which I'm glad because she tells me I have to tell her she's doing a good job, since I'm daddy haha.

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  13. #13
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    That's great. I always encourage kids when I see them on the trails.

    I remembered after seeing this thread that my son also rode Carter a couple of years ago on his 20" Gary Fisher.
    I like turtles

  14. #14
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    Just a heads up I took my 6yo to Alafia yesterday, and it is definitely kid friendly ie. if your daughter can ride Carter she can ride Alafia. The easy loop is just as the name says...easy, but a lot of fun and some nice mild elevation changes. I also took my son on the southern half of Bridges (blue) which was a really fun trail, and he rocked all of the climbs and drops! He'll be dusting me off in a few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XCScott View Post
    Just a heads up I took my 6yo to Alafia yesterday, and it is definitely kid friendly ie. if your daughter can ride Carter she can ride Alafia. The easy loop is just as the name says...easy, but a lot of fun and some nice mild elevation changes. I also took my son on the southern half of Bridges (blue) which was a really fun trail, and he rocked all of the climbs and drops! He'll be dusting me off in a few years.
    Does it seem to be easier for kids versus carter rd?

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    To me, yes there is one long uphill grade on the middle trail (rock garden is the name). And there are several 3 ft wide bridges dispersed thru out, but overall less climbing and fewer roots. A lot of it is akin to the ivy trail at Carter with fewer roots.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCScott View Post
    To me, yes there is one long uphill grade on the middle trail (rock garden is the name). And there are several 3 ft wide bridges dispersed thru out, but overall less climbing and fewer roots. A lot of it is akin to the ivy trail at Carter with fewer roots.
    Sounds good.

    Maybe we'll plan a camping trip out there.

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    Glad to hear of other people getting kids involved. I always ride with my 12 yo son and he is already better than me. But, lately I started taking my 10 yo daughter and 6 yo son with me to Alafia as well. They have surprised me with what they can do. My daughter rides a 26" Schwinn (I didn't think she would hit the trails when I bought it) and my 6 yo son rides a 26" Giant Revel (XXS frame). They both cleaned Rock Garden and were getting bored with "all the roots". So, I took my daughter on Roller Coaster. My thinking was that North Creek has alot of water, so if she had to bail she would land in the water - not good. At least Roller Coaster has dirt on both sides so if she had to step off, she could. She cleared every drop! I would go first and then turn around to watch her and she was always right behind me! Kids learn alot faster than us old guys!

    For something easy you might also try Alderman's Ford on 39 just north of Alafia. It has a paved loop, but there are also a couple trails through the middle that are good for kids. Another option is Flatwoods in North Tampa. It has a paved loop and a trail through the middle.

    Have fun.
    Jeff
    '12 Giant Talon 2
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  19. #19
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    No doubt taking the kiddo's makes it even more fun, heck i've been out of the mtb scene for 10+ years just got burned out on it I guess. Main reason I got back into it is because my son expressed interest in it, way more emphasis now on having fun and riding not what trails I can do and what bike I'm riding. I am curious to hear from the Tampa contingent on how Balm Boyette compares to Alafia as far as kid friendliness (if that's a word) though. WE are thinking of trying that out next and eventually Santos.

  20. #20
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    Another good kid friendly option is the Flatwoods/Wilderness Park trails in North Tampa off Morris Bridge Road. I take my daughters there all the time. The trails are all relatively flat beginner type trails and are perfect for kids. A lot of people families biking there so the atmosphere is much more kid friendly than Boyette or Alafia.

  21. #21
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    Wow... Alafia is fun! Just did 10 miles out there and had a blast. It's faster than Carter Rd, less roots and you can really get some speed up. There's even some areas where you can pump really well.

    River Loop and Rock Garden seem like they are good for the kiddos.

    Oh, and I Looooooved Bridges. I think I was in the air more than on two wheels on that one. It'll be a few weeks before I take the lil'un on that one, lol.

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    Last edited by Krunk_Kracker; 01-28-2013 at 08:22 AM.

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    Cool! Glad you had fun out there! I've got a new fork coming this week, if I get it on by the weekend planning to take the wife and lil man out to Boyette this coming weekend. I'll let you know how it goes!

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