I went out there today for the first time. I'm surprised at how tired I am; I'm not beat, but I could definitely take a nap about now. It was nice to know that you weren't going to get run over; that aspect alone made the ride a little more enjoyable. I think I'm into this cycling thing. Are there any places similar to this in town? I never knew this place existed until last week.
Jax-Balwin is a great trail. So is Gainsville-Hawthorne. They are all worth a visit.
Check out Hanna Park in Jax if you want to go off road--what a great park for bikers! They have miles of trails inside the park, from gavel roads to high-skill level single tracks. You can rent a cabin for $40 a night, rent a boat for the lake, go to the ocean, go mountain biking, and never leave the park. Enjoy.
I've spent tons of time at Hanna Park; it's deifinitely an awesome place to ride a MTB. I've heard nice things about the Hawthorne Trail; that'll be the next one I check out. I was hoping there was something else similar to the Baldwin Trail a little closer than Gainesville. Thanks brother.
Oooo. I used to live in Jacksonville, FL. I moved here to Kentucky last summer. For a nice quiet place to be check out HANNA PARK in Mayport area (at the intersection that goes to base - Mayport road and Wonderwood, you'll see a sign for Hanna Park going down the road. Fee to get in is very low and the area is beautiful.
EDIT TO ADD: lol I guess I should type a little faster. Hanna Park truly IS a nice place.
They are suppose to be building another one from Big Talbot Island to Fernandina Island sometime in the future, but will probably take 10 years years. The JTB trail is a nice 29 mile route. What makes it nice is that you can ride it 4 times and do a century for the most part without having to worry about cars and there are benches all along if you need a rest. The trees are really nice to help keep you cool when the heat and sun are really on. The only issue really is water although they do have a couple of place along the trail about 6 miles and 12 from the east trail head that I believe have water, although I've never stopped at either to check. If I do a second run, I usually bring water with me to refill my bottles. Just make sure you don't get stuck out there at night, issues with kids and vandalism to cars has been a problem in the past. If you want to meet up out there sometime, PM me and will get together.
Another good point is that you can use it as a staging ground to do some longish rides to the Okefenokee swamp that is about a 102 mile round trip. There are quite a few maps at the North Florida Bicycle Club that use the trail as part of the ride. Here a link. http://www.nfbc.us/Rides/Maps/tabid/109/Default.aspx