Touring - Ferry from Key West to Ft. Myers
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David in PA
09-28-06, 10:06 AM
Now that I am a native Floridian, I plan to take a major tour of Florida using AdventureCycling.org's maps. In case your interested, Map #7 for their Atlantic Coast Route now includes all the way to Key West including through Miami. They also created a Florida Connector map, which enables a loop route to St. Augustine/Ft. Myers/Ft. Lauderdale.
Anyway, my question is this: Has anyone taken the ferry from Key West to Ft. Myers? Cost? Hassles? Etc.?
David in FL
I have not but have read several journals about others experience.I think I listed most of those sources on a earlier thread of yours (or another Florida thread around the same time) .So you should have all the info I have(but I can look up the bookmarks if you don't).As I recall the ferry is fairly expensive(at least by my frugal standards),likely to be loaded with tourists,and subject to delay(I seem to recall one person had to wait for the next boat due to some problem).
On my tour of the Keys I rode both ways it really is scenic enough to do twice and if you are doing an around state tour imo the Tamiami Trail section through Big Cypress /Everglades etc. is one of the highlights of the entire state that would be missed with the ferry option.However,as I have posted before,the road through there is dangerous(only the Big Cypress part you can't bypass with loop road)but with decent tires you can ride on the grass between the road and canal if necessary.I am actually headed down that way sometime soon and plan to take my mtn bike to handle grass if necessary as well as the dirt levees I use as a shortcut to get there (bypassing Miami).
Whatever you decide enjoy touring in Florida!
10-03-06, 08:18 AM
I live in Cape Coral...have taken the ferry many times down and back to Key West.....few things to remember in my experience.....many poeple go down on Saturday and come back on Sunday....so Sunday night is very crowded....You have to make sure the ferry knows you are bringing a bike and I would stay away from returning on a Sunday night.......
Also, recognize that the ferry leaves Ft Myers Beach at 9:00am +/-...goes to Key West and then returns....IF the weather/wind/waves are too aggressive, the boat will not come down that morning, hence you have no return boat....this doesn't happen very often, but has happened to us....they refund your fare...no problem....run/ride to the airport and rent a car one way....costs about the ferry fare of two of you...in your case just ride back....
I have heard of many people crossing Alligator Alley on US41.....I would not do it...check CrazyGuyOnABike.com for the "Raven"......he had no problems....I repeat, though, I would not do it...I would go inland and cross above the "Alley"......
We are leaving Cape Coral for Jacksonville on 11/6....am not following the "old" Adventure Cycling route up the middle of the state, as tooooo much traffic in the Orlando area for me....the amount of new construction along that "beautiful, peaceful, old" route is mind boggling....we are leaving Cape Coral and will follow the N River RD alongside the Caloosahatchee to Labelle, (North side of the river, versus RT 80 on the south side of the river) then over to RT 29 and RT 78 into Okeechobee on Day 1 - 99 miles (north end of the lake)....day 2 is a 30 mi run into Ft Pierce, then we follow the "New" Adventure Cycling maps right up the coast...Melbourne area end of Day 2....Daytona area end of Day 3....St Augustine area end of Day 4 and to my daughter's house in Jacksonville on Day 5...distances/mileage and number of days is directly dependent upon number of Hooter's reastaurant's/Microbreweries that we may pass in the afternoons....
Welcome to Florida and have many great trips!!!!!!!!!!
Actually,41 is Tamiami Trail not Alligator Alley which is I75 where bikes are not even allowed.I have ridden across 41 myself w/o problems but we hit the bad area(through Big Cypress) at low traffic times.I could see it being a problem at high traffic times but as I said a grass shoulder is available and the Big Cypress scenery is fantastic.
I have also crossed the state on 74 which I consider a low traffic, safe and scenic but very remote route.When I neared Palmdale and 27 I mistakenly turned south on 29 instead and it was high traffic,narrow and w/o a shoulder in that area and I was actually really glad when I soon discovered my mistake and got off it and on 27 with its wide shoulder in spite of the bad rep it gets due to high speed traffic.Also I have ridden on 78 and from Moore Haven to Okeechobee,and it is narrow,two lane w/o shoulder and with high truck traffic(from some nearby rock operations)from Moore Haven up through Nicodemus Slough where it then picks up a shoulder the rest of the way and becomes particularly scenic imo above Lakeport.When I ride my bike around Lake O (either on levee and/or the roads)I always make sure to use the dirt levee on the Moore Haven to Nicodemus part.
I live in Florida for 10 years now but in Tampa for about 3 months and recently talked with some friends about doing the Ft.Meyers - Key West ferry taking folder bikes with us.
I'm so sorry for the ignorance, never been to the keys: Is there a lot of biking options down there or taking the weight and inconvenience of having a folder with me would be a mistake?
Bikes are a very popular option for getting around in the streets of Key West.Outside of there you could ride around various state parks or wildlife refuges or along Rt 1 the main route through the Keys which is well shouldered but with high speed traffic.A bike path runs off and on along the Rt1 route as well and you can ride out on a few of the old bridges in particular the old 7 mile span(though I hear it may soon be closed for repairs).
All in all I would say a folder would be and excellent idea(might consider a folding kayak as well, lol).
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