Concierge Guide to Northeast Florida Bike Trails and Cycling Routes

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Northeast Florida bike trails could be the nation’s best-kept cycling secret. This Concierge Guide will give you the down-and-dirty details and inspirational insights to get you packing up your bikes and heading to the sunshine state.

We’ll highlight the best cycling cities in Northeast Florida and provide interactive maps for five-mile jaunts, full-century rides, and even self-guided multi-stop bike tours.

When you combine the warm winter weather, pristine beaches, and natural wonders of Northeast Florida with hundreds of miles of dedicated bike trails, bike lanes, and rideable roads, you’ll discover a true vacation biking destination.

Palatka Florida Sunset
Blue Spring State Park Deland Florida

Northeast Florida Cycling Overview

The best time of year for northeast Florida cycling is late October through mid-April. The weather is just about perfect for a bike ride, with cool and comfortable daytime temperatures and the most sunshine of the entire year. It is past hurricane season, and the season for special events like St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights and manatees in Blue Spring. There’s something special about winter in North Florida.

We list our regional cities and bike trails on the interactive map below (if any of these maps don’t load right away, hit the refresh button. We think they’re worth it 😉). You’ll notice that we expand the northeast Florida region a little farther south than traditional definitions, but that’s because of the incredible trail development happening for the St Johns River-to-Sea Loop (more about that later).

You can see our cycling cities from the table of contents highlighted on the map and the north Florida bike trails that we’ll be featuring. There will be more information in the individual sections about rideable roads, connecting routes, suggested rides, food, activities, lodging, and more, including the remarkable bike lanes along coastal Florida Road A1A. Note that mileage in the article is provided as a one-way distance unless otherwise indicated.

Northeast Florida Bike Trails include:

  • Doctors Lake Trail (4.5 mi)
  • Amelia Island Trail (5.8 mi)
  • Black Creek Trail (7.5 mi)
  • Timucuan Trail (11.9 mi)
  • Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail (14.5 mi)
  • Spring to Spring Trail (16 mi)
  • Lake Monroe / Sanford RiverWalk (16.5 mi)
  • Space Coast Spur Trail (16.8 mi)
  • Palatka to St Augustine (20.9 mi)
  • Palatka to Lake Butler Trail (26 mi)
  • East Central Regional Rail Trail (35.2 mi)
  • A1A Coastal Route (110 mi)

Amelia Island Bike Trails Overview

Amelia Island is one of about 100 islands on the Sea Island chain of tidal and barrier islands on the Atlantic Ocean coast of the Southeastern United States. They are located between the mouths of the Santee (South Carolina) and St. Johns (Florida) Rivers and are home to some pretty spectacular bike rides.

What makes Amelia Island stand out for vacationers is:

  • 50+ miles of extraordinary biking
  • Relaxed beaches
  • Fernandina Beach Historic District food scene (including the oldest bar in Florida)
  • Historic Fort Clinch State Park
  • Natural areas (particularly on the south end of the island)
  • Unique stays (Sea Cottages and multiple B&Bs)
  • Luxury resorts (Ritz-Carlton and Omni)

Pro tip: Download AllTrails+ for a one-stop shop app for planning all of your hiking, biking, and camping adventures.

Ferdinanda Beach Harbor at  sunset
The Palace Saloon: The Oldest Bar in Florida
Sea Cottages of Amelia
Fernandina Beach Historic District

Amelia Island Bike Trail Map

Amelia Island has six primary bike trails:

  • Amelia Trail (1.8 miles) – A glorified sidewalk along Amelia Island Parkway
  • ARTS Trail (2.6 miles) – Amelia River to Sea Trail is a lovely trail from the Amelia River to the sea (just like the name says 😉)
  • Fort Clinch Park Road (3.11 miles) – Not a trail per se but a slow, low-traffic park road through a canopy of oaks
  • Egan’s Creek Greenway (4.7 miles) – A 4.7-mile lollipop loop with a natural surface
  • Amelia Island Trail (5.8 miles) – The north end is a glorified sidewalk, but the south end from the Omni to Amelia Island State Park is quite nice)
  • Timucuan Trail (11.9 miles) – A beautiful trail through parks from Amelia Island State Park to the Mayfield Ferry

Amelia Island also has a beautiful half-century ride from the Fernandina Beach Historic District to the Mayport Ferry, shown on our Amelia Island bike map as the Amelia Island Ride. Southbound riders might want to try the ARTS Bypass for something different. Northbound riders will probably want to avoid the Amelia Trail along the Amelia Island Parkway because it’s a glorified sidewalk alongside a narrow shoulder road.

The similarly named (but distinctly different!) Amelia Island Trail runs along Highway A1A from Peter’s Point Park to Amelia Island State Park. Highway A1A has continual bike lanes, so consider staying in the bike lanes until the Omni Resort and then hopping on the trail until the state park. The Timucuan Trail is the best riding on the island, so you’ll want to try and stay on the trail (east side of A1A) whenever possible instead of the bike lanes. There was some storm damage north of Little Talbot State Park that will require you to leave the trail, but the ride will be much more enjoyable if you re-enter the Timucuan Trail through Little Talbot State Park. 

Below is our Amelia Island bike map with all of these routes displayed. It’s interactive with native Google pins, so please click around and explore.

Fort Cinch park road
Fort Cinch State Park at sunset

Our Time Cycling Amelia Island

While researching this guide, we took a couple of days to explore Amelia Island. We stayed at the Sea Cottages of Amelia, a comfortable midrange option with all of the conveniences of a studio apartment. They are very bike friendly because you can park (and lock) your bikes onto your private patio. We enjoyed dinner at Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro and our morning coffees at Mocoma Coffee (a local craft brewery with morning coffee service) and Amelia Island Coffee (a charming café in the heart of the historic district).

We cycled from the Mayport Ferry to the Sea Cottages and explored the ARTS Trail, Egan’s Creek Greenway, and Fort Clinch. The sunset shining through the oaks at Fort Clinch was gorgeous. So too, were the Christmas decorations and lights along Centre Street, but those are better explored while walking to dinner than biking at dusk. We stopped at SuperCorsa Cycles and talked about the local cycling scene and their shop rides. We slept well after 31 miles of riding, and in the morning, we worked our way down to the ferry and onto St. Augustine, which brings us to our guide’s next entry.

Looking for other things to do in Amelia Island?
🚣‍♂️ Escape the bustle of the city for the morning—and immerse yourself in Florida’s wealth of wildlife—on this family-friendly kayaking tour of Lofton Creek.
🚌 Discover the rich history of Amelia Island with a small-group sightseeing tour.

Biking on Timucuan Trail Amelia Island Florida
Bike lane on the Nassau River Bridge
Boardwalk on the Timucuan Trail Amelia Island Florida
Start of the Amelia Island Trail at Amelia Island State Park

Biking in St Augustine Overview 

We have published a dedicated guide that describes biking in St. Augustine in gory detail, including sections on:

You could easily spend three days riding north, south, and west of St Augustine, plus a couple more biking through the Historic District and sightseeing. With all the things to do in St. Augustine plus some of the most romantic hotels in Florida, it’s a destination unto itself, especially during the Nights of Lights season from mid-November through January. However, this is a biking-centric guide, so we’ll get to it.

Sunset sailing in St Augustine Harbor
Bridge of Lions at night

A1A Coastal Route – Mayport to New Smyrna Beach (110 mi total)

This A1A coastal Route runs from the Mayport Ferry down to New Smyrna Beach. There is some route finding involved, especially from Mayport to Atlantic Beach, through St. Augustine, and from Ormand Beach to New Smyrna Beach. Of all the rides in this guide, this one will require the most rider experience and judgement. We’ve broken it up sections to make it easier to digest and included pictures along the route.

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I started with the completed sections of the St. Johns River to Sea Loop and filled in with MapMyRide and Google Maps suggestions. It’s complicated, so I included my MyMyRide route as a start, but I suggest you double-check the River2SeaLoop Where To Ride Now page for updates before setting out and using your best judgment when riding here.

The Sections for the A1A Coastal Route are:

  • Mayport to St Augustine (38.1 mi)
    • Mayport to Ponte Vedra (11.2 mi)
    • Ponte Vedra Blvd (7.1 mi)
    • Mickler’s Landing to St Augustine (20.1 mi)
  • St Augustine to East Central Rail Trail / Edgewater (69.8 mi)
    • St Augustine to North Peninsula State Park (37.3 mi)
    • North Peninsula State Park to East Central Rail Trail (32.5 mi)

Mayport to St Augustine (38.1 mi)

Mayport to Ponte Vedra (11.2 mi): We’ll start on the north end of the Mayport to New Smyrna Beach route. The Mayport Ferry runs every 1/2 hour, which includes transit and unloading times, so don’t get too hung up over planning the passage. (note: The Mayport Ferry occasionally closes for maintenance during the winter.  Check the Jacksonville Transit Page for current status. The alternative route is dangerous -105 to Dames Point Bridge (I-295) to Route 116. Seriously consider using a car shuttle until the ferry is operational again.)  

The bike lanes are pretty good heading out of Mayport, and there are even some water views of the St Johns as you turn the corner at Sherman Point. For the next mile or so, until the junction with 116, you might not even have a car behind you if you wait for the pulse of traffic to leave from the ferry, but then things start to get hairy.

After 116 bike lanes get occasionally repurposed for turn lanes, and by the time A1A joins up with Mayport Road, they’re all gone, and you’ll be riding on the sidewalk for about a mile. Between the Navy property and gated communities, the first chance to strike out on a neighborhood bypass is Maritime Oak Drive. This wiggly route takes you to Ocean Blvd/ First St, which is fairly pleasant riding with a beach town vibe but no real views. Make your way down First / Duval until you get to Ponte Vedra Blvd.

Ponte Vedra Blvd (7.1 mi): While there aren’t bike lanes here, riding on slow / low-traffic roads through an ‘Old Money’ section of Florida is really pleasant. The homes and gardens on the southern end are particularly glorious.

It’s nice to cut through Mickler’s Landing northbound and perhaps southbound as well. Although, depending on traffic, you might want to utilize the light at Ponte Vedra / A1A to cross the road.

Mickler’s Landing to St Augustine (20.1 mi): This is probably the single most enjoyable segment of the entire ride. There are bike lanes throughout, minimal cross traffic, and beautiful dunes through the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Preserve.

The elevated Francis and Mary Usina Bridge from Vilano Beach also gives you extraordinary views of St Augustine and the harbor. Be sure to check out the Historic District rides for alternate scenic routes through the city or stops along the way.

St Johns River Ferry Amelia Island Florida
Biking Ponte Vedra
Bike lanes on A1A in front of Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
Oak canopy by Fountain of Youth
The old city gates of St Augustine
A brick street in historic St Augustine

St Augustine to East Central Rail Trail / Edgewater (69.8 mi)

St Augustine to North Peninsula State Park (37.3 mi): There are bike lanes throughout this entire section and even a stretch of bike trail from Marineland to Gamble Rogers State Park. Although, sometimes calling it a trail is a stretch because of driveways and sand so use your discretion on when to take a bike lane or ride the trail.

There is a lot of perfunctory riding in bike lanes on this segment, but a few sections with extraordinary views, especially at the Manzantas inlet between the national monument and Marineland and the dunes of Gamble Rogers SP. 

North Peninsula State Park to East Central Rail Trail (32.5 mi): This is the section of the route I know the least about. I have ridden or scouted all of the other sections but this one. The route I have shown comes from research only.

The Bridge of Lions leaving St Augustine heading south
St Augustine biking-Anastasia Island Lighthouse
Matanzas Inlet Bridge
Flagler Beach to Marineland Trail
Backroads in Flagler Beach
Flagler Beach to Marinieland Trail at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area

Biking in DeLand Overview

When we lived in Orlando, we always considered hopping up to DeLand for the Spring to Spring Trail and a make-your-own pancake breakfast at The Old Sugar Mill Pancake House. We didn’t make it before moving to Huntsville, but we returned to research this piece and found the old Old Sugar Mill was replaced by the new Old Sugar Mill, which the locals say has the same menu and vibe.

The Spring to Spring Trail has expanded into a nearly contiguous 85-mile trail system that connects DeLand to Titusville and New Smyrna Beach. You could easily make a weekend of biking in DeLand with its beautiful downtown, boutique hotels, and delicious restaurants. We’d love to come back and try Tiny Houseboat Adventures too.

A good two-day ride plan would be to ride Spring to Spring and Lake Monroe Loop one day (30-50 miles) and the out-and-back from Osteen to Titusville (60 miles).

Blue Spring State Park
Wings of the West Wing Trail: DeLand Angel Wings

DeLand Bike Trails

I give my apologies upfront for making up my own naming convention. I’ll claim it’s a byproduct of the active trail expansion, and I’ll try to make the best of it. The St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop (SJR2C)  is one of two top-priority Florida SUN Trails (Shared-Use, Non-motorized paved trails).

The 260-mile SJR2C Loop is about 50% complete as of spring 2021. The other priority Florida Sun Trail is the Coast-to-Coast Trail (C2C). The two SUNTrails and the massive East Coast Greenway share significant portions of the trails around DeLand and often share signage. 

Historically, the Spring to Spring trail connected Gemini Springs to Green Springs (~5 miles) but has expanded to connect DeLeon Springs to Green Springs (~27 miles) (minus the Beresford Gap). This section includes the beautiful Blue Spring State Park which has its own trail entrance.  It also has a spur to DeLeon Springs State Park.  It terminates just north of DeLeon Springs. Then there’s the East Central Regional Rail Trail, which is a fine name, but it has been used to describe both the trail to Titusville and to Edgewater. So, mia culpa for making up a naming convention, and I’ll standardize it as soon as possible, hopefully in line with the promised trail sign upgrade.

Spring to Spring Trail (16 miles): For the purpose of this guide, I’m calling the Spring to Spring Trail the contiguous trail portion from Lake Beresford Park to Green Springs Park. To be fair, there’s a little neighborhood gap below the Debary Plantation Trailhead, but it’s easy riding on neighborhood roads. Also, as of December 2022, the signage across US-17 was extremely lacking, but if you remember that the trails are cater-corner to each other, and use sensible caution,  you’ll be fine.

Be sure to check out the “colored springs” – Blue Spring State Park and Green Springs County Park. Blue Spring Park has swimming in the summer and one of the largest natural congregations of manatees in the winter. Plus, there are kayak rentals and a guided pontoon boat eco-tour. Green Springs is a rare green sulfur spring that used to be a health retreat but now is a must-see photo stop.  Both parks have an entrance directly on the trail. 

Gemini Springs Deland Florida
Green Springs Deland Florida

Beresford Gap bypass to De León Springs State Park (11 miles): The lower half of this route is the SJR2C recommended Beresford Gap Bypass. The upper half is a completed trail along Grand Ave and with some dedicated trail to the junction with US-17 at Spring Garden Ranch Road.

The final approach on neighborhood roads to DeLeon State Park is very nice and well worth riding. DeLeon State Park has year-round swimming in the springhead and the iconic Old Sugar Mill Pancake House, where you can carb-load on make-your-own pancakes with your choice of mix-ins. 

East Central Regional Rail Trail (35.2 miles): The trail opens up after you clear Green Springs with only a few street crossings and smooth, flat blacktop. It’s a segment where you can really open things up if you want. You’ll find regularly placed milestones that count down to zero at the Maytown Trailhead. Finally, the last-best restroom, water, and food are available around Osteen; after that, you’re self-supported for about 25 miles until you reach the BP Station just before the 442 Overpass

East Central Regional Bike Trail Deland Florida
Biking Ponce De Leon Springs (photo credit Maggie Ardito)

Maytown to Titusville (16.8 miles): If you’re looking for a long-distance out-and-back from DeLand, I’d suggest heading to Titusville. Unlike the Eastern Regional Rail Trail that ends abruptly at the Daytona State College: New Smyrna Beach-Edgewater Campus, the Titusville Trail drops you off in the middle of town.

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At the Titusville trail terminus, you’re just a couple of pedals away from Space View Park, where with a little planning, you can watch a launch from the Cape and return without having to fight traffic. You can find more space tourism in the nearby American Space Museum & Walk of Fame, but you’ll probably need to Uber to the Kennedy Space Center if you want to go. 

Lake Monroe / Sanford Riverwalk (16.5 miles): This is an alternate way around Lake Monroe if you’re riding an out-and-back or could be used to form a 26-mile Lake Monroe Loop. As of December 2022, the trails are almost all complete except for a small gap along Celery Road that’s scheduled to begin construction in 2023. Until then, use caution as the shoulders are a little narrow.

According to SJR2C “The RiverFront Trail was completed in 2021 from Sanford all the way to the Coast to Coast Trail (Gemini Springs) at the western end.” We scouted this section and thought the Sanford Riverwalk (aka RiverFront Trail) was very nice with lake views and easy access to oh so cute historic Downtown Sanford.

Sanford Riverwalk
Sanford Riverwalk

Our Time Cycling DeLand

We left St. Augustine before breakfast, and Jenn dropped me off at the BP Station near the Cow Creek Trailhead early in the morning and drove on to scout the Lake Monroe Loop. I pushed hard and fast to Green Cove Springs, where I met up with Jenn again. Jenn picked up a delicious pizza at Riverwalk Pizzeria & Brew Pub, and I biked on to meet her for a 1:00pm eco-tour at Blue Spring Adventures.

Between the hunger, the no-riding rules at Gemini Springs, and a little route finding at the US-17 crossing, I barely made it to the boat, but that pizza tasted so good.

We checked into our room at the Hampton Inn and cleaned up for dinner with Maggie Ardito, President and Founder of St John River to Sea Loop Alliance (and Florida Trails Promoter of the Year😮👊💯) and Georgia Turner from Visit West Volusia.

Our hosts showed us around charming downtown DeLand where we saw the Wings of the West Mural Trail, grabbed a beer at Persimmon Hollow Brewing Company, and had some of the best chicken tikka marsala ever at Cress. Our only regret was that we couldn’t get a room in one of the boutique downtown hotels.

In the morning, we rode with Maggie and her husband to DeLeon Springs for a heaping stack of pancakes at The Old Sugar Mill Pancake House before heading up the road to Palatka.

Steak Dinner at Cress Restaurant
Cafe Da Vinci - DeLand Fl

Palatka Biking Overview

Palatka was always an important trading city, even before the arrival of Europeans, because it has one of the few natural crossing points on the St. Johns River. Naturalist William Bartram conducted many Florida expeditions from Palatka in the late 18th century.

During Palatka’s golden age in the late 19th century, it rivaled Jacksonville as the major port on the St. Johns. Seven steamboat lines operated out of Palatka, with piers extending across the entire waterfront. It was home to eight first-class hotels, the largest of which, the Putnam House, contained 500 rooms and throngs of winter visitors, including President Grover Cleveland and sharpshooter Annie Oakley. However, as the railroad replaced steamboats, Palatka slid from a prominent port city to a sleepy river town.

However, its rich history lives on with an immersive mural display downtown, vibrant architecture, and an extensive collection of Bartram sites mentioned in Bartram’s Travels. Putnam County is known as the Bass Capital of the World, and the early March azalea bloom in Ravine Gardens attracts thousands of visitors yearly. It’s also home to a thriving local biking community who have chartered numerous cycling routes and two long rail trail projects.

Below is our Palatka cycling map:

Palatka Florida- Clocktower at Sunset
Palatka Florida - sunset over the St Johns

Palatka Bike Trials

Palatka to St Augustine Trail (20.9 mi) – When this trail is completed, it will connect Palatka to St Augustine and bridge an important gap on the SJR2C Loop. However, it’s about 7 miles short, ending unceremoniously just before I-95. Experienced cyclists can find routes into St Augustine listed on the SJR2C Loop where to ride now page.

Even without connecting into St Augustine, it’s a 40-mile out and back from downtown Palatka on a dedicated bike trail. It pretty much runs along the road for the first half up to Hastings (Florida’s Potato Capitol). From there, it enters some lovely tree canopies and wetlands, which make for a beautiful ride.

Palatka to Lake Butler Trail (26 mi)  – Don’t let the name fool you, this trail doesn’t connect to Lake Butler yet… but it will soon. The corridor has been secured, and they’re working on bridging the gaps. Right now, it runs from the outskirts of Palatka to Keystone Heights.

There are two nuggets of wisdom buried in that last sentence. First off, you’ll have to use some of the local Palatka bike routes to access the trail or drive to the trailhead. Secondly, you gain about 130′ climbing up to the ‘heights’ of Keystone Heights, which is just enough to notice on a long ride.

The trail is very pleasant, with light tree cover and a plethora of amenities in Keystone Heights, including creative breakfasts at Orange Blossoms and camping in covered wagons at Keystone Heights RV Resort.

Palatka to St Augustine Trail - Ed riding a shady section of trail
Palatka to St Augustine Trail - Wetlands in the Cora C. Harrison Preserve
Palatka to Lake Butler Trail, Palatka, Florida
Palatka to Lake Butler Trail, Palatka, Florida

Putnam County Bicycling Routes

These routes were created for the 2015 Palatka Bicycle Festival and built from Putnam County’s cycling page cue sheets. I recommend reading the cue sheets before heading out, as they contain suggestions on navigating traffic and what you might see along the way. We’ve embedded the MapMyRide routes from our research, but that doesn’t replace the first-hand information from the cue sheets.

I have only personally ridden a variation of the Murals and Historic Home Loop and a portion of the Bartram / Bellamy Century to reach the Palatka to Lake Butler Trail.

  • Historic Homes and Murals Route (8 miles -round trip)  See Palatka’s historic homes and murals, including 1.8 miles of car-less roads through Ravine Gardens State Park. In my opinion, you have to ride through Ravine Gardens while you’re in town, but it’s up to you if you want to straighten out some of the meanders on this route.
  • East Palatka Short Loop (12.2 mi – round trip) An easy hour ride along the east side of the St Johns River.
  • Palatka to Hastings Loop (27 mi – round trip) – A longer loop on the east side of the St Johns River. I would be tempted to ride the river portions of this ride and the Short Loop and return via the bike trail.
  • Dunns Creek (47.4 mi – round trip) – A lollipop loop to Lake Broward and Welaka. There are some tricking sections on this route, including US 17 and CR 309 (a hilly rural road with no shoulder), so be sure to read the cue sheet. Dunns Creek could be combined with an out-and-back on the Palatka to St Augustine Trail to make a pretty nice century ride.
  • Brown’s Landing (10 mi – round trip) – An out-and-back to Brown’s Landing Dock, and it’s easy to add on a loop through Ravine Gardens. 
  • Buckman’s Lock Loop (23.6 mi – round trip) – The closest you’ll get to the actual Stoke’s Landing / Spalding Lower Trade Store from Bartram’s Travels without a boat.
  • Bartram / Bellamy Century (98.9 mi – round trip) – A century ride that utilizes the best parts of the Palatka to Lake Butler Trail.
Ravine Gardens Palatka, Florida
Ravine Gardens Palatka, Florida (Thanks Linda)
Ravine Gardens Palatka, Florida
Putnam County Florida - Bass Capital of the World

Our time Cycling in Palatka

We’d already ridden the length of the Palatka to St Augustine Trail, so we wanted to focus on the Palatka to Lake Butler Trail and meet the local riders who put together the fabulous Palatka cycling routes. Even though we were still full from pancakes in DeLeon Springs, we had to grab a burger at Angel’s Dining Car (the oldest diner in Florida) when we rolled into town.

After lunch, we checked into our room at the riverfront Hampton Inn Palatka and headed out to Azalea City Brewing Co to meet Linda Crider, a past founder of Bike Florida and a board member of the St. Johns River to Sea Loop.

After chatting about all things Palatka, Linda led us on a group ride through Ravine Gardens and along the historic waterfront. Ravine Gardens was a real treat – riding through a beautiful natural area on pedestrian-only park roads. We enjoyed a fabulous sunset over the river, cleaned up, and met Linda along with Dana and Julie from the Palatka CVB for dinner at Velchoff’s Corner.

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Linda was a gracious host and offered to ride with me through town to the Palatka to Lake Butler Trail. We wiggled and weaved through neighborhood streets until we reached Francis Youth Sports Complex. There, we hopped on a trail that paralleled 309c, which took us to an entrance to the Palatka to Lake Butler Trail.

I said goodbye to Linda and headed to Keystone Heights. There was some tree cover and bucolic scenery along the way. I called Jenn from Keystone Heights, and she was running late, so I decided to take the SR21 trail out to Gold Head Branch State Park. It was safe but uninspiring and surprisingly hilly after 25 miles of riding on a beautiful railroad-grade trail.

I met up with Jenn at the state park, where we took a quick hike on the Ravine Trail before driving to Orange Blossoms for brunch.

Palatka Florida Mural
Velchoff's Palatka, Florida

Overview of Biking in Orange Park

At first glance, Orange Park might seem like a peculiar choice for a highlight trail town in this guide. However, the more we looked into it, the more we liked Orange Park as a home base. It lets you enjoy the urban attractions of Jacksonville without dealing with its notoriously tricky bike infrastructure (all of the St Johns bridges besides the outer belt connect into downtown).

It turns out that Orange Park has a lot going for it as a trail town. So much so that we’ve created our….

Top 10 reasons to go biking in Orange Park:

  1. Our Orange Park Ride – a beautiful 30-mile cycling route
  2. Access to the Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail
  3. The fabulous restaurant scene
  4. The Club Continental Hotel
  5. Beautiful St Johns River Views
  6. Full-service local bike shops
  7. Green Cove Springs’ Spring Park
  8. The fantastic local coffee scene
  9. Tree houses at Camp Chowenwaw
  10. Unique history, including the roots of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the remarkable Anna Kingsley

Below is our Orange Park Cycling Map:

Camp Chowenwaw Orange Park Fl
1920 Carriage House AirBnB on the St Johns River

Orange Park Bike Trails

Orange Park Ride (30 mi round trip) – This ride combines three bike trails (River Road, Doctors Lake, and Black Creek) with mellow neighborhood roads around Holly Point. Each trail connects to Club Continental, but you could easily access this ride from the Camp Chowenwaw tree houses if you wanted. 

  • River Road Trail(~4 mi out and back) is a glorified sidewalk with exceptional river views.
  • Doctors Lake Drive Bike Path (~11 mi out and back) is the best-constructed trail in town that travels under massive oaks draped in Spanish moss. Note that the first 100′ or so of the trail’s northern end is a little funky. Strava shows many heat trails from local cyclists riding the road for a bit and crossing the grass once the surface improves.
  • Black Creek Trail (~20 mi out and back) is the final spoke of the Orange Park Ride wheel. It’s the longest segment  but not our favorite. Some beautiful sections include crossing over Doctor’s Inlet, boardwalks over wetlands, and the final 1/2 mile through the trees at Black Creek Park. However, there’s also some slogging between stores and US-17 with too many cross streets.

For those of you who love math, you’ll realize we’ve listed 35 miles of trails for a 30-mile route. The discrepancy comes from Doctor’s Lake and Black Creek sharing connector roads through Holly Point.

Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail (14.5 mi) – This trail is a proper rail trail weaving through woodland and trail towns with regular restrooms and water stations along the way.

Highlights include Camp Milton’s interpretive trails through preserved Civil War earthworks, a Florida farm, and nature trails. Also, Baldwin has small-town charm and enough restaurants and stores to plan a SAG stop.

Black Creek Trail Orange Park Fl
River Road Orange Park Fl
Doctors Lake Orange Park Fl
Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail Orange Park Fl

Our Time Cycling in Orange Park

We rolled into Orange Park after a full morning of riding on the Palatka to Lake Butler Trail. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset along River Road and incredible Puerto Rican food at Palermo (the mofongo was legit!) with Kimberly from Clay County CVB as she shared with us all things Clay County.

We also had ourselves a little Clay County Christmas with the Hometown Holiday at Clarke House Park and the Parade of Trees at Green Cove Springs Park. Club Continental was fully booked for weddings, so we pivoted to a lovely riverfront 1920 Carriage House AirBnB.

We had visions of riding in the morning, but the weather turned. Instead, we drove the route and ate too much along the way. The best meal of the day was the prime rib at The Hilltop Restaurant, with an honorable mention for their she-crab soup. The scouting trip confirmed the Holly Point neighborhood was super bike friendly, with some of the largest oaks in all of Florida.

Merchant Logo
Yum A Southern Market
Prime rib at Hilltop Orange Park Fl

Northeast Florida Bike Trails FAQs

Is a helmet required to ride a bike in Florida?

If you are over the age of 16, you are not legally required to wear a bike helmet in Florida.

What is the longest bike trail in Florida?

The longest biking trail in Florida is the East Central Regional Rail Trail. It is 52 miles from Titusville to DeBary.

Wrapping the Concierge Guide to Northeast Florida Bike Trails

Congratulations on reaching the end of a 5000-word article. If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably interested in planning a trip to enjoy Northeast Florida bike trails. There are a couple of ways to do this. The first is driving to the different trail towns and taking a series of day rides. The second is to string the towns together with a multi-day bike tour.

The trail towns are well connected from Amelia Island to DeLand / Titusville. Connecting to Palatka will be easier once the SJR2C Loop is completed. Riding into Orange Park is a formidable challenge, but it could be used as a staging point for a loop closure using the Amtrak route from Jacksonville to DeLand, especially if you utilize local public transportation from Jacksonville Beach to the station.

Also, if you’re traveling to ride in North Florida, you should consider spending a day cycling on Jekyll Island. Between the trails and history, it’s an experience you will not want to miss.

p.s. – don’t forget to read our bike disclaimer 😉

Disclosure: A big thank you to Amelia Island, Florida’s Historic Coast, West Volusia, Visit Putnam County, and Explore Clay County for hosting us and setting up a fantastic itinerary!

As always, the views and opinions expressed are entirely our own, and we only recommend brands and destinations that we 100% stand behind.

Ready to Book Your Trip? These Links Will Make It Easy:

Lodging:

  • We loved staying and the beautiful all-inclusive Sandals Royal Curacao and we think you will too! Book your Sandals getaway now!

Our Packing Favs:

  • Travel in style with a suitcase, carry-on, backpack, or handbag from Knack Bags
  • Packing cubes make organized packing a breeze! We love these from Eagle Creek

Attractions/Activities:

  • Save on tickets to attractions, sightseeing tours, and more with Tiqets
  • Get Your Guide and Viator for guided tours/excursions, day trips, and activities
  • Want to learn a city from the ground up? Take a small group walking tour with Walks – 5-star rated with a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence
  • Want to book an epic adventure experience with top-notch companies like Intrepid Travel, G-Adventures, or Backroads? Check out Travelstride
  • Find information on local trails with the All Trails App.
  • Need something else to plan your perfect trip? Visit our Resources Page for more trusted partners

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Biker on North Florida bike trail
North Florida bike trail by ocean at sunset
2 bikers on bike trail in North Florida
Co-Founders and Content Creators at | Website
Hi! We are Jenn and Ed Coleman aka Coleman Concierge. In a nutshell, we are a Huntsville-based Gen X couple sharing our stories of amazing adventures through activity-driven transformational and experiential travel.

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Meet Ed & Jenn

Hi! We are Jenn and Ed Coleman, and together we are Coleman Concierge. It is our goal to inspire you to get out, expand your world, and to seek adventure, even in your own backyard.

We deeply believe in the transformational power of travel. Our tagline is amazing adventures for ordinary people because we believe that you don’t have to be super rich, super fit or super anything to have an amazing adventure. Expanding your comfort zone and trying new things will pay huge dividends in both health and happiness.

We advocate for sustainable and ethical travel and truly believe in the power of travel to transform both ourselves as well as the world around us.

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Proud Media Members of:

North American Travel Journalists Association

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Society of American Travel Writers

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