your daily adventures
Meet in Gainesville, warm up ride to Steinhatchee Falls.
Your group will meet at Gainesville Regional Airport around lunch time, then shuttle to Steinhatchee, a fishing port on the Gulf Coast of Florida. We'll get the bikes fitted and enjoy a warmup ride to Steinhatchee Falls and Rise, including a ride on one of Florida's renowned limestone roads. Later we welcome everyone with a great seafood dinner at one of Steinhatchee's better restaurants.
Cycle through pine forests and small rural towns, bike the Nature Coast Rail Trail
We will head out for a local breakfast, then cycle through parts of the Steinhatchee Wildlife Management Area along quiet backroads. Reaching Cross City we pick up the Nature Coast Rail Trail, a beautifully paved bike route that keeps us off the highways and roads for most of the rest of our ride today. The ride takes us through farmlands, small towns and forests to Old Town, where it crosses the Suwannee River on an old trestle bridge. Reaching Fanning Springs we turn south for a bit, then back across the Suwannee to our motel for the night, simple lodging with a magnificent riverfront location. Small town charm and southern cooking highlights our dinner choice to tonight.
Bike the Nature Coast Trail, through horse farm country, bed down in historic Micanopy.
We will bike to breakfast in Fanning Springs, before continuing along the Nature Coast Trail to the old rail station in Trenton. From Trenton we ride south towards the horse farm region of Florida, considered to be the Horse Capital of the World and renowned for its thoroughbreds. We only pass through a small slice of this massive region enroute to historic Micanopy. This afternoon wander the main street of Micanopy, poking around in antique dealers, art galleries and bric-a-brac shops, before relaxing in our 1850's era Bed & Breakfast. And no trip to Florida is complete without at least one BBQ dinner and the diminutive cafe you enjoy tonight is ranked in the Top 5 in all of barbecue joints in Florida. We will also enjoy a tasting of the excellent craft beers from several breweries in Gainesville.
Visit Majorie Kenning Rawlins home, bike to the St John River, enjoy historical Inn.
The boomers among us may recall a story and film - The Yearling by Majorie Kinnan Rawlings, set in 1870s Florida, today we cycle past her home in Cross Creek, the area that inspired the book. Nowadays, a small fishing town, Cross Creek itself connects two large lakes ( Orange & Lochloosa ), we'll stop for a quick look at her house before cycling through this region dotted with numerous small lakes and ponds. We'll check out a bit of the ill-fated Cross Florida Barge Canal before reaching Palatka, our stop for the night. Palatka sits on the banks of the St John River one of the few rivers in the world that flows south to north. As we are getting closer to the Atlantic coast, seafood is again on the menu.
Ride the Palatka Rail Trail to the Atlantic Ocean, walk the streets of 450 year old St Augustine
After breakfast we pick up another of the Florida Rail Trails, taking us first across the St John's River on Memorial Bridge and then through the pine forests and sandy dunes of coastal Florida towards St Augustine. Unfortunately it is not completed all the way yet, you will will pop out onto the local roads and finish our ride into St Augustine. St Augustine is America's oldest continually inhabited city, founded by Spanish explorers in 1565. Your short 30 miles of flat cycling will give you lots of time to explore this picturesque city. Perhaps explore the historic district, limited to foot traffic only, stroll the ramparts of the 350 year old Castillo de San Marcos or just sit on the balcony of our bed & breakfast in the historic district and people watch. Our final dinner will be a short stroll away, where ocean fresh seafood meets traditional southern cooking, plus maybe a few craft beers from the local microbreweries.
Return to Gainesville Airport for your flights home.
Our cycling holiday must come to an end today. We will shuttle back to the Gainesville Airport in our vans, one last chance to enjoy the scenery through which you pedaled for the last few days. See ya'll later.