Southeast - Looking for info on the Pinellas Trail
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03-29-08, 08:27 AM
I will be visiting Palm Harbor in mid-April and will be renting a road bike to ride while I am visiting my In-Laws (not that I need to get away from them - they are GREAT In-Laws!) I was thinking of riding the length of the Pinellas trail, or riding along Gulf Blvd and then hopping back on the trail. Since I have never ridden it before I was hoping to get some insight as to whether it would be a good ride or not. I am not looking to go super fast, or do time testing or anything like that. I just want to enjoy some nice long rides while on vacation!
I would appreciate any thoughts or ideas anyone has! Thanks!
Ive skated it once from end to end. Its a nice trail but in the middle, there is a lot of stop and go spots as the trail passes through neighborhoods. It would be a nice ride but I wouldnt expect miles and miles of not having to stop.
Maybe someone that rides it more can give you more insight.. Ive only done it once and that was on inlines so my perception could be a little skewed.
03-31-08, 02:35 PM
The trail is a great ride if you dont plan on going too fast. There's usually enough traffic on it to prevent it from being used as a race course, and through most parts there are frequent intersections and some of them are at major roads. But its mostly in the shade, so the sun isnt gonna be too oppressive.
If you ride the length of the trail, and dont have the energy to make it back, the number 19 bus will take you straight back to palm harbor. Pretty sadly though, if you can maintain a decent clip, you can ride from tarpon springs to downtown faster than a bus can make it.
04-04-08, 09:25 AM
I rode part of it, in the rain, when I was in the area last month. Just south of Tarpon Springs I encountered some medium sized tree limbs across the trail so I stopped and removed them. When I came back later they were on the path again. Someone doesn't like us.
04-06-08, 03:15 PM
There is alot of "neighborhood" riding on the Pinellas Trail and if that is not too your liking, you may find the Suncoast Trail a better option if you can get up to Pasco county. Light traffic and few intersections to deal with. Forty-one or so miles one way.
Have fun and be safe where-ever you ride.
04-06-08, 03:39 PM
I did the end to end and back ride on the trail earlier this year. It is approximately 71 miles total from US 19 in Tarpon Springs to US 19 in St. Petersburg and back. I agree with the above information, parts of the trail are somewhat open, but there are many areas with frequent cross streets and stop signs. The southern part of the trail has quite a few bridges over the main roadways, Florida hills :-) I think it is a great ride if you are not in a hurry, want to get in some miles and see some sites. There are quite a few places to stop to buy food/drinks and some nice scenery at parks along the way.
The Suncoast Trail provides long stretches of paved multi-use trail with much less traffic and few cross streets. Not many stores available, but water is provided in Pasco county by the park system, not sure about north of SR 52. http://www.centralpascochamber.com/pdf/TrailMap.pdf
My local club has a number of nice rides mapped out from Palm Harbor that you might find useful, take a look at the Ride Schedule and then the individual rides for some nice route maps. www.suncoastcycling.com
Short of having a full map of the trail efore you get down here, try this - Stop by any of the local bike or city agecies and they may be able to give you a copy. But if not just print out the maps for the trail (http://www.pinellascounty.org/trailgd/default.htm), it may help avoid those few spots in the center where its a bit difficult to follow. Good Luck, it's a great trail
04-14-08, 07:35 AM
Thanks! I have been using live maps. I actually went out on it yesterday from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs - I wanted to get off on Tarpon road, and missed it somehow and went all the way to the end, and somehow ended up back on Tarpon road in the other direction! In any case it is really great - I wish Connecticut had anything like this in my area!
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