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  1. #1
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    Top 10 MTB Trails In Florida Road Trip. Help me with one plz!!

    What up guys and girls, Im new in this forum sharing a little adventure and seeking your help. This coming December 10th is my 26th birthday so I wanna do something different for myself. I plan to visit and ride the Top 10 best MTB trails in Florida. So far the List Ive gotten off singletracks.com it looks something like this. Any great trails that I havent listed here that deserver a visit? I love big drops and jumps! Please feel free to share.. Hey if you guys wanna join in the fun and ride along in your home town trail hit me up in facebook;(search for Orbelis Almeida) dont worry Im no professional rider, but that is not stopping me.

    Please I need to get in contact with Jimmie to see if he can let me in his trails! It seems that in my list that is the only private property??? Any contact info that any of you might have? Address of the location?? Plz pm me if you can or msg via facebook.. THANKS A LOT!!!


    Rank Map-----Park Name--------------------City-----------Difficulty
    1 (6)Alafia River State Park----------------Brandon, Florida - Advanced

    2 (4)Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve---------Tampa, Florida - Intermediate

    3 (3)Loyce E. Harpe Park (carter Road)-----Lakeland, Florida - Intermediate

    4 (9)Markham Park-------------------------Sunrise, Florida- Advanced

    5 (5)Santos--------------------------------Ocala, Florida - Intermediate

    6 (1)Jimmie Cottons Trail------------------Fort Meade, Florida - Expert

    7 (6)Chuck Lennon Park--------------------De Leon Springs, Florida - Intermediate

    8 (10)Virginia Key North Point--------------Miami / Key Biscayne, Florida- Intermediate

    9 (8 )Grapefruit trail-------------------------Palm Bay, Florida - Advanced

    10 (7)Mala Compra-------------------------Palm Coast, Florida - Intermediate

    Top 10 MTB Trails In Florida Road Trip. Help me with one plz!!-top-10-mtb-places-fl.jpg



    gg

  2. #2
    Papa T
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    I would replace Mala Compra with Graham Swamp in Flagler County....much more climbing and flow and then bump it up to number 6 or 7 in the ranking.
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  3. #3
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    Well if you like big drops Santos is a must. Drops at the Vortex pit up to 20 feet but not always open. Usually open for scheduled events when ambulance is present(seriously). But Santos for sure. Smaller drops at the pit are always open.

    Now not sure what makes a trail a Top Ten but I'd think for sheer beauty you should include San Felasco (an hour north of Santos).

    Oh yes not sure why Alafia is advanced and Santos intermediate. They both have really tough trails and both have easier. I'd rank them the same. Yes Rollercoaster and Moonscape at Alafia have steep up and down but I think the rocks, roots etc on Anthill and Rattlesnake at Santos are just as difficult.

  4. #4
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    I wouldn't know what one to take out, but Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah is pretty good.
    NTFTC

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    San Felasco and a lot of the Tallahassee trails(Magnolia/Cadillac, Munson/Twilight and Redbug/Overstreet/Silk/Cambodia) should 100% kick some of your existing list to the curb.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numb Bum View Post
    I would replace Mala Compra with Graham Swamp in Flagler County....much more climbing and flow and then bump it up to number 6 or 7 in the ranking.
    The Rank isnt mine is off singletrack.com I might just add Graham Swamp since I wont be able to ride Jimmie trails; being a private trail it will be close. I think it was Jimmie himself I talked to and he said that they only do group riding so when they have a big enough group he opens then to allow riding for that day.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
    Well if you like big drops Santos is a must. Drops at the Vortex pit up to 20 feet but not always open. Usually open for scheduled events when ambulance is present(seriously). But Santos for sure. Smaller drops at the pit are always open.
    Now not sure what makes a trail a Top Ten but I'd think for sheer beauty you should include San Felasco (an hour north of Santos).
    Oh yes not sure why Alafia is advanced and Santos intermediate. They both have really tough trails and both have easier. I'd rank them the same. Yes Rollercoaster and Moonscape at Alafia have steep up and down but I think the rocks, roots etc on Anthill and Rattlesnake at Santos are just as difficult.
    Santos is scheduled for thrusday . Ill do a search for San Felasco, mother's nature awe inspiring beauty is always a must.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegweed View Post
    I wouldn't know what one to take out, but Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah is pretty good.
    That is my home Trail

    Amelia Earhart is awesome and the guys mantaining it have done an AMAZING job! However as far as the list we know that Markham is a lot better having a lot more drops and advance sections.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuPrBuGmAn View Post
    San Felasco and a lot of the Tallahassee trails(Magnolia/Cadillac, Munson/Twilight and Redbug/Overstreet/Silk/Cambodia) should 100% kick some of your existing list to the curb.
    Wow man it sounds like I should spend a whole week in the Jacksonville area, which I might just do! . Thanks for the info.

  10. #10
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    Reviews so far!

    Alafia River State Park----------------Brandon, Florida
    Alafia is awesome! no dought. The Easy sections are quite good for any beginners and the surrounding nature is peaceful and relaxing. The advance section is REALLY GOOD, Great Downhill parts and very fast passed, Keeps your heart beating for sure. The scenery is not really that great since is more of a dedicated MTB trail. You can also do horseback riding if you like that. What I didnt like was that in a huge part of the beginners section there is a lot of sand that is like meh. Cant really go as fast as you want in this part cuz of that.

    Loyce E. Harpe Park (carter Road)-----Lakeland, Florida
    I must start by saying this: this is not a good park for beginers, for those a little more advance this place is AWESOME!!. I pretty much stuck to the advance sections and man were they good! You are basically riding the whole time withing 2 feet of the lake, even when going down a steep hill the river is there next to you reminding you that if you mess up a bath is inevitable. A lot of schechy sections that keeps you in your toes and really narrow trails with huge ravines on each sides that promise a painful fall and refreshing bottom greeting by the river. Even in the seemely easy parts you sometimes get a hard turn that if going too fast and without previous knowledge of the trail you will end up in the lake (like I did). THE THREE FINGERS <-- MUST RIDE!!. Beatiful Lake view (near the 3 fingers section) that just take your breath away. What I didnt like was that the trails do not have very good signage. One part that was suppose to be closed is downhill and just dissapears in the lake at the bottom, all you can do is brake, pray and hold on to something to avoid the bottom murky water. So far this has been my favorite but I still I have a lot to see.

  11. #11
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    Jimmy Meade trail is closed. Ride felasco instead. It's about 1 hour north of santos.
    It's one of my favorite places. Very little to no tech trails, but pure xc bliss through multiple ecosystems with the most elevation in Florida.
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  12. #12
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    If you're in jacksonville ride Hanna park in Atlantic beach. It's no santos or markham, but it's super fun and us locals love it.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Possum Jones View Post
    Jimmy Meade trail is closed. Ride felasco instead. It's about 1 hour north of santos.
    It's one of my favorite places. Very little to no tech trails, but pure xc bliss through multiple ecosystems with the most elevation in Florida.
    It does not have the most elevation in Florida. It is very nice though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Possum Jones View Post
    If you're in jacksonville ride Hanna park in Atlantic beach. It's no santos or markham, but it's super fun and us locals love it.
    I think I did a race there about 10 years ago.
    Is was pretty fast but muddy.

  15. #15
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    I prefer the ratings on mtbr.com trail reviews section, been around longer so it is more robust. Once you eliminate all of the closed trails, Graham ranks in the top 10 in the state....better than Mala Compra imho.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuPrBuGmAn View Post
    It does not have the most elevation in Florida. It is very nice though.
    I'm just curious.... what trail in FL has more "natural" elevation change than San Felasco?
    I'm thinking about the power line trail... for Florida, from the top of that hill to the bottom, that's a pretty good elevation change. I'm guessing if there's a trail that has something greater, it's in the Pan Handle area.

  17. #17
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    Between Redbug, Overstreet, Cambodia, Silk, the Powerline, Plantation Loop, and Phipps/Knapp, there is far more elevation changes. Redhills area of the panhandle. I really wish we could take advantage of more of it. Some real potential in the Chattahoochee area for some respectable(ish) climbing.

    Looking at Strava, the elevation gain for the Powerline at San Felasco is just shy of 100' of gain. The climb up from Lake Jackson(Phipps/Knapp) over here is 130'+ of gain. If you're talking about a single climb.


    FWIW, none of the trails in the Tallahassee area are built on reclaimed mines or anything... they are all natural clay hill ridgeline and sandhills.

  18. #18
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    Allright Reviews so far.

    Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve

    This Park is sooooo underrated. Honestly I liked it more than alafia. The flow is so fast passed; OH RIDGELINE I LOVE YOU RIDGELINE!! Biggest fall so far on the trip;on a curve at ridgeline for going too fast :P .. I can just dream of tearing this section so hard over and over again, Getting that awesome speed from those huge hills! The flow on this park is amazing even the easy section (which is HUGE) you can push it sooo FAST and get beatiful tight turns; because unlike in alafia there is no soft sand pretty much anywhere in the bike trails. The Park is SUPERHUGE which just speaks of the fun potential.

    Santos--------------------------------Ocala, Florida

    Thiis park is also another mamoth park. I did pretty much all the redtrails except the huge jumps which (the one with the gap) is prety much a mind ****. Ofc that 20-30 feet drop is downright crazy sht and was closed. Talking to a few of the locals they told me that it only opens for events and such. Honestly if you want to have your skills questioned this is the park to come to. HUGE JUMPS from which I stuck to the smalls ones. Played a little bit on the ramps by the side which are very fun. The red trails are VERY technical and the downhill sections are pretty much always full of rocks that keep your descent control in high alert. This is one of those parks that you can just come over and over again and take months to really master all those drops and trails.

    Chuck Lennon Park--------------------De Leon Springs,

    I did this one in the late hours of the afternoon right after Santos park. It is a small park with very fun terrain all around. The only red section is quite good, keeps you very busy with no time to wonder looking around. I was beat up from Santos but still the red trails can be done so qquick that I went for another round. I would say that this park is a great workout/training xc place that has very good potential fro those that are starting out, and or are just gettting into the advance section of mtbiking.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numb Bum View Post
    I prefer the ratings on mtbr.com trail reviews section, been around longer so it is more robust. Once you eliminate all of the closed trails, Graham ranks in the top 10 in the state....better than Mala Compra imho.
    I didnt even know mtbr.com had a top trails review. Usually I just come here for other stuff. I just googled "top florida trials and oout of the top result the only good one was that one.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbelisalmeida View Post
    I didnt even know mtbr.com had a top trails review. Usually I just come here for other stuff. I just googled "top florida trials and oout of the top result the only good one was that one.
    The trails reviews on here used to be great, but they seem to be ignored lately. There was a thread in another forum about trying to get them going again.
    NTFTC

  21. #21
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    If you're going to come through south Florida, you might as well hit Oleta and Amelia too.

    Viiginia Key, Marhham, Amelia, and Oleta are all pretty different and fun in their own ways.

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    Good review and I agree with most of your findings. Since you are heading down west coast, you might want to hit Caloosahatche trail in Alva. Fastest trail in FL (maybe?) and there is a section called "far east" which has a mini Balm Boyette feel to it with many short steep climbs that will get your heart rate up and riding under the canopy is really a neat experience.

  23. #23
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    I would say Munson is much faster than Caloosahatchee.

  24. #24
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    I've only done 4 of these on the list. Was just down in Tampa area to ride Alf/BB recently and couldn't make it to Loyce-Carter Rd....now really wishing I did based on all the great things I've read! I'm in Jax, so San F, Santos, and Graham Swamp (near Malacompra) are my 'close' trails. Think Chuck Lennon will be next on my list...

    Great list though. Thanks for taking the time to post!

  25. #25
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    If you want the best place near Tampa go to Alafia! I don't think anyone mentioned Croom mountain biking. It's a great place to go not great trail markings and have to carry all your water and food out there but you can go out there and ride 50 miles without seeing the same trail twice. Perfect place for the long ride on the weekends for me.

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