Author Topic: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville  (Read 14921 times)

BridgeTroll

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Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« on: January 17, 2017, 10:49:04 AM »
Over the years I have been an ON and Off recreational off road or mountain biker.  I am On again and it has been a blast.  I would like to start a discussion of local bike trail options... not for transportation or commuting purposes but for recreation.  I have found some extensive and fun trails out on the Westside that provide 15+ miles of fun and interesting rides.


First stop... Pope Duval Park  https://www.google.com/maps/@30.3069475,-81.8931509,1387m/data=!3m1!1e3
http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/pope-duval-park.aspx

This site is basically a series of dirt roads that sometimes require a 4WD vehicle.  Pretty easy but if you look at the map you cross under I-10 into a vast array of mostly unmarked trails that ultimately connect to the Cecil field complex.  I have ridden up to 30 miles back there and still have not been on all the trails.


Next up... Cecil Equestrian Center... https://www.google.com/maps/@30.2430361,-81.9058676,1167m/data=!3m1!1e3
http://www.jaxequestriancenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Cecil-Riding-Trails.pdf

Not publicized as a bike trail but there is the beginnings of an awesome biking facility here.  Only a mile or two of marked trails but they all connect to a HUGE series of unmarked trails that connect all the way to Pope Duval consisting of 5400 acres of wilderness.( http://apps2.coj.net/parksinternet/parkdetails.asp?parkid=349 )  Both of these sites offer an extensive array of wildlife.  On virtually every ride I surprise at least one deer and/or a flock of turkeys.  If you ride far enough... the silence of the forest is almost surreal.


Also on the Westside is the Baldwin Trailhttps://www.google.com/maps/place/Baldwin+Trail+-+Imeson+Trailhead/@30.3451659,-81.7748473,294m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xe5e9eab4836516d2!8m2!3d30.3456034!4d-81.7727322

http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/jacksonville-baldwin-rail-trail.aspx

Baldwin Trail features a paved straight line for 14.5 miles with three different trailheads for access.  Here you will encounter walkers, joggers, and bikers of various abilities.  Plenty to see... fun ride with friendly encounters with all the other folks who are out in the fresh air...

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Z24Duho03v0" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Z24Duho03v0</a>



I have not yet ridden at Tillie K. Fowler Park... https://www.google.com/maps/place/Tillie+K.+Fowler+Regional+Park/@30.2298587,-81.7025609,829m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x464c69df86cff2d9!8m2!3d30.2302255!4d-81.7028446

http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/parks/tillie-k-fowler-regional-park

I understand there are 2 miles of dedicated Mountain bike trails...  Based on videos it looks like pretty skinny trails with plenty of obstacles and terrain.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/IN2t0IBqhOU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/IN2t0IBqhOU</a>



Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park... https://www.google.com/maps/place/Kathryn+Abbey+Hanna+Park/@30.3704294,-81.4066688,986m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xcb308369ee26935c!8m2!3d30.3709244!4d-81.4067709

http://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/docs/preservation-(1)/kathryn-abbey-hanna-park-trails-maps.aspx

I have not been here since getting my new bike... I do remember the trails as pretty intense...

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/cLrVSVXAJV8" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/cLrVSVXAJV8</a>

Please add to this list... I know there is more...
I try to ride every weekend... would love to go for a ride with you...  8)
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

acme54321

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2017, 11:10:07 AM »
For actual singletrack mountain bike trails here are your options:

Tillie Fowler- About 10 miles of trail total - 3 dedicated MTB

Hanna Park - 17 miles of MTB trails - Best in Jax

Losco Park -  Short 5k Loop

Nocatee - 5 miles of trail behind Ponte Vedrea High School

Fort Clinch/Fernadina Greenway - Clinch has a nice 6 mile loop then just south of it area  few more miles of singletrack and doubletrack on the greenway

Jennings State Forest - Large trail development in the works to eventually connect to Cecil Commerce Center/Equestrian Center/Pope Duval

Farther Away day trips:  Graham Swamp and Mala Compra in Palm Coast,  San Felasco in Alachua, Santos in Ocala, White Springs trails


https://www.facebook.com/groups/sorbajax/?fref=nf
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 11:12:31 AM by acme54321 »

DrQue

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2017, 11:32:20 AM »
For road biking I much prefer the Baldwin Trail to sharing the road with cars and trucks. If there are any comparable options, I would love to know about them.

acme54321

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 11:41:04 AM »
For road biking I much prefer the Baldwin Trail to sharing the road with cars and trucks. If there are any comparable options, I would love to know about them.

Talbot Island

Palatka - Lake Butler Trail

Gainesville - Hawthorne Trail

Palatka - St Augustine

Lehigh Greenway (Palm Coast)


TimmyB

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 11:52:53 AM »
For road biking I much prefer the Baldwin Trail to sharing the road with cars and trucks. If there are any comparable options, I would love to know about them.

That's the one thing that Jax is seriously lacking.  The Baldwin Trail is about the only decent-length rail-trail around.  We have been to urban areas all over and most of them have so much more than we have to offer, even those that have made the commitment and carved these trails out right into their downtown areas.  I know there is one up in the Talbot Island area that is being finished up (I saw a press release about it last month) but other than that, we don't have many options.

TimmyB

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2017, 11:58:21 AM »
Here is the news article on the Timucuan Trail extension from 29 November 2016.

http://jacksonville.com/news/2016-11-29/next-phase-timucuan-trail-set-begin-along-jacksonville-s-heckscher-drive


acme54321

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2017, 12:07:08 PM »
There is also the S-Line but its not very long an a little chopped up.

Unlike a lot of cities, Jax still has most of it's historic railroads in operation.  Other than the Baldwin trail there aren't any other meaningful options.  A good problem to have if you asked me.  A trail paralleling the CSX tracks down Roosevelt would be pretty cool. Crossing the Ortega River would be a problem though.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 12:10:20 PM »
For road biking I much prefer the Baldwin Trail to sharing the road with cars and trucks. If there are any comparable options, I would love to know about them.

This subject comes up quite a bit.  I don't ride nearly as much as I used to, but I was also never against riding in traffic.

Out of curiosity, what kind of ride are you looking for length wise?  Because while I understand not wanting to ride down US-17, there are plenty of 4-lane roads around with moderate speed limits and very little traffic. 

What part of town you live in plays a pretty big part in this also.  I prefer to not drive somewhere to ride.

Edit:

And no Mountian Bike thread would be complete without a video of this guy.  BTW, acme, he solves your CSX 'trail' conundrum in the video.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/K_7k3fnxPq0?" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/K_7k3fnxPq0?</a>
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 12:19:09 PM by Non-RedNeck Westsider »
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BridgeTroll

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 12:18:07 PM »
For actual singletrack mountain bike trails here are your options:

Tillie Fowler- About 10 miles of trail total - 3 dedicated MTB

Hanna Park - 17 miles of MTB trails - Best in Jax

Losco Park -  Short 5k Loop

Nocatee - 5 miles of trail behind Ponte Vedrea High School

Fort Clinch/Fernadina Greenway - Clinch has a nice 6 mile loop then just south of it area  few more miles of singletrack and doubletrack on the greenway

Jennings State Forest - Large trail development in the works to eventually connect to Cecil Commerce Center/Equestrian Center/Pope Duval

Farther Away day trips:  Graham Swamp and Mala Compra in Palm Coast,  San Felasco in Alachua, Santos in Ocala, White Springs trails


https://www.facebook.com/groups/sorbajax/?fref=nf

Do you bike alot?  I kinda stopped going to the Hannah park trails a few years ago due to distance from home... and well... hitting a tree pretty hard.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

acme54321

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2017, 01:11:54 PM »
I try to but don't get out as much as I'd like :-\  Usually at least once a week to one of the those trails systems.

Hitting trees is part of the business though ;D

BridgeTroll

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2017, 01:26:36 PM »
Have you ridden any of the trails between the equestrian center and Pope Duval?  I need to try out Tillie Fowler park next...
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

DrQue

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2017, 01:29:37 PM »

[/quote]
This subject comes up quite a bit.  I don't ride nearly as much as I used to, but I was also never against riding in traffic.

Out of curiosity, what kind of ride are you looking for length wise?  Because while I understand not wanting to ride down US-17, there are plenty of 4-lane roads around with moderate speed limits and very little traffic. 

What part of town you live in plays a pretty big part in this also.  I prefer to not drive somewhere to ride.

[/quote]

I live around 5 Points and do ride the streets, but not as often as I used to. Experiencing a close call with a texting driver made me re-think my approach. I pick my battles now. I do find that the areas around downtown, particularly down Bay St to the stadium and beyond make for great weekend/evening riding due to the lack of traffic.

Typically I am doing 20 - 40 miles in a ride.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2017, 01:42:23 PM »
I live around 5 Points and do ride the streets, but not as often as I used to. Experiencing a close call with a texting driver made me re-think my approach. I pick my battles now. I do find that the areas around downtown, particularly down Bay St to the stadium and beyond make for great weekend/evening riding due to the lack of traffic.

Typically I am doing 20 - 40 miles in a ride.

You should give Riverside to San Marco via Acosta down San Jose & back a shot.  I still haven't ridden it personally since the bike lanes were added, but it still looks comfortable for those who don't want to share lanes.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/forum/index.php/topic,22279.0.html
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acme54321

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2017, 01:44:52 PM »
Have you ridden any of the trails between the equestrian center and Pope Duval?  I need to try out Tillie Fowler park next...

Yeah I've explored around out there a bit.  There is also a way to get into Jennings from Cecil field if looking for more dirt road miles.  Mostly double track, I'm more into the singletrack variety.  I built that ramp that's in the preview picture of your Tillie video  8)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 01:46:37 PM by acme54321 »

BridgeTroll

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Re: Bike Trails in and Around Jacksonville
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2017, 01:45:33 PM »

This subject comes up quite a bit.  I don't ride nearly as much as I used to, but I was also never against riding in traffic.

Out of curiosity, what kind of ride are you looking for length wise?  Because while I understand not wanting to ride down US-17, there are plenty of 4-lane roads around with moderate speed limits and very little traffic. 

What part of town you live in plays a pretty big part in this also.  I prefer to not drive somewhere to ride.

[/quote]

I live around 5 Points and do ride the streets, but not as often as I used to. Experiencing a close call with a texting driver made me re-think my approach. I pick my battles now. I do find that the areas around downtown, particularly down Bay St to the stadium and beyond make for great weekend/evening riding due to the lack of traffic.

Typically I am doing 20 - 40 miles in a ride.
[/quote]

Baldwin trail is perfect for that... plus no fumes or texting drivers.  I'm not riding the roads unless there is a barrier between myself and auto's.
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."