Hit the Trails
Many visitors to Florida's Nature Coast decide to utilize alternative modes of transportation and take to the many state trails that offer hiking and bike opportunities. From the St. Marks State Trail in the northern region of the Nature Coast to the newly opened hiking and biking trail that parallels the Suncoast parkway in Pasco and Hernando Counties, there are plenty of places to get off the highway and take to the trails. Below are four areas of interest.
1. St. Mark State Trail - This 16-mile stretch of trail runs from Tallahassee to St. Marks in Wakulla County. This was the first designated state trail in Florida. For more information call 850-922-6007.
2. Nature Coast State Trail - Recovered from old railroad right-of-way, this trail parallels U.S. 19 and State Road 26 in Dixie, Levy and Gilchrist Counties. While paving of this trail is continuing, all trail corridors are open for use. This 32 acre linear park, links diverse wildlife viewing areas, a natural swimming spring and the historic Suwannee River. Trailheads are in Cross City, Old Town, Fanning Springs, Trenton and Chiefland. For more information call 352-493-6073.
3. Withlacoochee State Trail - This 46-mile paved trail runs from Trilby in Pasco county north through Hernando County to just south of Dunnellon. The trail goes through Floral City, Inverness and Citrus Springs. It also takes users through the Withlacoochee State Forest. Trailheads are in Trilby, Ridge Manor, Silver Lake Campground, Floral City, Inverness and Citrus Springs. For more information call 352-394-2280.
4. Suncoast Parkway Bike Trail - This 29-mile trail follows along the route of the Suncoast Parkway from State Road 50 near Brooksville to the southern border of Pasco and into northern Hillsborough County. The trail is separated from the highway by fencing and landscaping. It crosses through several rivers and wildlife areas. Areas to access the trail in the Nature Coast are at State Road 50 in Hernando County, Grove Road in Hernando County and at State Road 52 in Pasco County. For more information call 727-856-4488.
For more information about:
Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge, call (352) 493-0238
The Nature Coast Trail State Park, call (352) 493-6072
Manatee Springs State Park, call (352) 493-6072
Fanning Springs State Park, call (352) 463-4520