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  1. #1
    The Weatherman
    Reputation: Pawndream's Avatar
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    Trails in the FL Panhandle

    This summer I am going to be spending 6 weeks (Jul 25 - Aug 31) at Tyndall AFB, and am looking for some nice rides in the local area to break up the time.

    I have looked at the trail listings here on mtbr and it looks like the best offering in the local area is Pine Log State Forest, but was wondering what else I might be missing?

    I am willing to drive about an hour any direction from Panama City to locate good dirt. Under 1 hour is about the optimal distance for me. I am willing to consider driving father than 1 hour from Panama City, but the trail system has to be super sweet for that level oc commitment. Two hours and it has to be REALLY good. 3 hour drive time has to be so good that my face is melted in a permagrin for a few days following the ride.

    I am a recreational cross-country rider (ie I don't race, train, or any of that stuff).. I just ride, alot. So not looking for free-riding type stuff if that helps narrow down the locations. Just swooping, flowy singletrack. The less sand, the better. I have some experience riding along the Gulf Coast and I know sand can make a decent trail experience go southward in a hurry... but maybe I have just been spoiled by hardpack.

    Any help from locals would be most appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Pawn

  2. #2
    Savvy?
    Reputation: SeanL's Avatar
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    Pine Log is fun in a sedate, let's go fast kinda way. Over in Ft Walton Beach, we've got the Timber Lake system of trails (need a permit to ride there...like $8 for it), over in Pensacola there's the UWF trails www.porc.org , and in Tallahassee is Tom Brown park. All the ones I mentioned would offer more riding opportunities than Pine Log. Now, if all you have time for is Pine Log, then so be it...I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself wherever you get to ride.

    The UWF trails and Tom Brown are very good, well worth the extra drive to get there. Ohh, and you're gonna experience sand wherever you go. Tom Brown probably has the least amount of sand of the trails I listed.
    That which does not kill me, postpones the inevitable.

  3. #3
    The Weatherman
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanL
    Pine Log is fun in a sedate, let's go fast kinda way. Over in Ft Walton Beach, we've got the Timber Lake system of trails (need a permit to ride there...like $8 for it), over in Pensacola there's the UWF trails www.porc.org , and in Tallahassee is Tom Brown park. All the ones I mentioned would offer more riding opportunities than Pine Log. Now, if all you have time for is Pine Log, then so be it...I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself wherever you get to ride.

    The UWF trails and Tom Brown are very good, well worth the extra drive to get there. Ohh, and you're gonna experience sand wherever you go. Tom Brown probably has the least amount of sand of the trails I listed.
    Thanks for the info Sean!

    Pine Log will probably be an evening, after the work-day kind of ride. On the weekend I will probably roll over to Ft Walton Beach and Pensacola to hit UWF and Timber Lake.

    Probably won't hit Tom Brown. I just took a look at the trail maps of it and saw that it is about 3 miles of singletrack. Not a whole lot of riding for the drive time. Maybe if I have something else to do in Talahassee, but certainly wont be driving there purely to ride.

    Another question, what's the thorn situation like down there? I don't have to deal with them hear in Eastern Nebraska, in fact, my tires have never gone flat in 6 years I have been riding here. No slime. Nothing. How common are flats at UWF/Timber Lake?

  4. #4
    Savvy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pawndream
    Thanks for the info Sean!

    Pine Log will probably be an evening, after the work-day kind of ride. On the weekend I will probably roll over to Ft Walton Beach and Pensacola to hit UWF and Timber Lake.

    Probably won't hit Tom Brown. I just took a look at the trail maps of it and saw that it is about 3 miles of singletrack. Not a whole lot of riding for the drive time. Maybe if I have something else to do in Talahassee, but certainly wont be driving there purely to ride.

    Another question, what's the thorn situation like down there? I don't have to deal with them hear in Eastern Nebraska, in fact, my tires have never gone flat in 6 years I have been riding here. No slime. Nothing. How common are flats at UWF/Timber Lake?

    For starters, that trail info you looked at regarding Tom Brown is quite outdated. Here is an updated trail map http://talgov.com/parks/pdf/magnoliatrail.swf I don't know how long the new Cadillac trail is, but it's pretty fun. I'd say there are 10 or so miles of trails...some of which are pretty challenging.
    Trust me, it'd be worth the drive.

    Re: thorns.
    I've never had a huge problem with getting flats. There are things out there that will take a bite out of your tire but no more so than anywhere else. I ride with a group every Thursday at Timber Lake, and I can't remember the last time one of the group got a flat.
    That which does not kill me, postpones the inevitable.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Tallahassee: Superb Riding & "Bike Church"

    don't be fooled: there's TON'S of single-track & fast double-track around here.
    on the north-side of town the topography is excellent. big hills, big oaks, clay roads/trails. on the south-side, its completely different: mostly like the "rest" of florida.
    please join us for Bike Church any Sunday morning at Lafayette Park Community Center. meet at 9:30; roll out 9:45. bring food, water, & an extra tube.
    typical ride duration: three or four hours, sometimes more, sometimes less.
    typical pace: fast. (most riders have raced either sport- or expert-class)
    typical attendance: 3 to 9 riders. (on rare occasions no one is there, but that's because we're hungover). if you drop me an e-mail at ad4e@arrl.net i'll confirm someone will be there to lead a ride. its definitely worth the drive.

    steve in Tallahassee (riding a Salsa Dos Niner)
    Think Big, Live Large: Ride a 29er.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    pack up the car and head for tampa(Alafia, Boyette, and Santos). still, if your stuck up in the pan handle all the ones listed should do you good.

    p.s. i can personally promise that Alafia wont have a spot of sand on anything other then sand pine trail.

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