Southeast - Cycling the Withlacoochie State Trail
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My husband and I are considering cycling in Florida. We read about the Withlacoochie State Trail. I believe it runs from Ridge Manor to Citrus Springs. We would like to lodge at either end of the trail. Which town would offer the best restaurants and lodging? Thanks!
11-20-11, 10:38 AM
The trail actually runs from Owensboro Junction in the south. Dade City (south end) is 6 miles from the start good restaurants and motels. Ridge Manor trail head at SR 50 & US 301 is just east of I 75 with good motels and restaurants good parking. Inverness on SR 44 and US 41 is a little bit north of the center of the trail has good motels and restaurants good parking and Wallas Brooks Park. Bike shops in Inverness and Floral City. Fort Cooper State park is just south of Inverness. Bridge over SR 50 at Ridge Manor has been paved and is easy to ride (it used to be packed dirt).
You can start anyplace on the trail ride north then South or vise versa you will enjoy it very much. If you have time ride the Withlacoochee one day the drive east about 25 miles to Claremont and ride the South Lake and West Orange Trail. Eat at the French Bakery in Winter Garden you will not regret it.
11-20-11, 01:29 PM
You might consider staying at Inverness which is about the middle of the trail. Central Motel is a decent place to stay and Stumpknockers is an excellent restaurant. I used to stay there when my club would come up from SW Florida for a couple of days and ride the trail. I now live close by in Ocala and just drive down for the day - usually starting at Inverness.
Another good trail is the Nature Coast Trail out of Chiefland. Staying at Inverness, you're a relatively short drive to Chiefland.
11-20-11, 10:28 PM
Yep I stayed at Central Motel when I went and rode the trail last year. The motel backs right up to the trail, get up in the morning hop on the bike and go :D Glad to hear they paved the trail over that bridge. It wasn't to bad going up the limestone over the bridge, but coming down the other side on the road bike was a bit uncomfortable.
Nice bike btw ... lookinUp ....
... and Stumpknockers is an excellent restaurant.
Gotta give Stumpknockers (http://stumpknockers.net/) two thumbs up. :thumb: :thumb:
11-23-11, 07:21 AM
stumpknockers is awesome...stayed at Central a few years ago on an MS ride..I too am glad to hear they paved the bridge finally!The 'Cooch is a great trail as long as it's not too hot out..lack of shade in long stretches can wilt anyone!:p
11-25-11, 07:58 AM
I agree with all the above. The Central Motel is nice, and right on the trail, I have stayed there twice in the past for weekend rides on the trail. The trail is fun to ride, and has lots of places along the way to stop with parks and places to eat in Inverness and Floral City. The trail does have long areas without any shade, but I ride the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail that has NO SHADE and have gotten used to the heat and sun. I have to vote the Withlacoochie Trail as one of the nicest trails in Florida, along with the West Orange Trail. The Lake Okeechobee Trail is also a very nice trail with EXCELLENT views and lots of wild life around, but has NO SERVICES along its length and so you have to be prepared to ride it well.
Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL
11-28-11, 05:15 AM
I have started my ride at the Wallace Brooks Park trailhead, rode downtown to eat lunch at Stumpknockers, then rode south to Floral City. Also another trailhead south of Wallace Brooks is Ft. Cooper State Park. Beautiful there. Just Goggle these locations and addresses. Love this ride.
11-28-11, 05:32 AM
We normally start towards the north end at Central Ridge Park which is just west of Holder. There is a half mile paved path near the soccer fields that goes east to the trail. Most of the time we head south to Inverness, take a break and then head back north. There are portions between Hernando and Inverness that are out in the open but most areas are nicely shaded.
12-10-11, 05:13 AM
Can't help with places to stay because I stay with my daughter when I am down that way but I usually ride the Withlacoochie one of the days I am there. Very nice trail. It gets more crowded and there are more street crossings on the north side. I was just there over Thanksgiving and start at hwy50 (RidgeManor I think) There is a bridge on the trail that goes over Hwy 50 that for years the run up to the bridge on both sides have been unpaved. It has finally been paved. It was not much dirt but a little soft in spots and could take you down if you were not alert. In any case it is no longer a problem. I believe the trail is 46 miles end to end
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