i rode the trail as far south as i could go, along the waterway, but it definitely wasnt 10.x miles (unless i missed something, but i asked 3 or 4 groups of locals along the route). i started from the campgrounds/trailers on laurel rd between the trail and albee farms, and by the time i made it to the south end of the trail, it was 7.6mi (and that included about 1 mi getting to the trail), so about 6.6mi south...going back north, its 7.5 mi to palmer ranch (from laurel rd), so a total of about 14.
heres the routes i rode, minus the 1st one didnt map my route...im still kinda pissed since it was my longest ride while down there
58.84 mile ride - http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/96653710
31.28 mile route - http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/70923838
19.6 mile route - http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/71136438
43.48 mile route - http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/71313298
the 58.84 was the ride on the trail up to palmer ranch, to honore, to university, to 41, and down to the marina (there was a big statue of a 50's guy and girl...dont remember the name of the place), then back along the same route. the others i mainly stuck to the trail...the last day i was hoping to be able to ride over to myakka and get through somehow southbound, and come out towards venice ave...rode directly into that wind for ~10+ miles (and WOW was it strong on sunday), to find out there wasnt a way to go south from there...ended up riding clark back, to beneva, to 41, to laurel. the tailwind coming back on clark was a nice break.
i'll be back down for sure. i was so disappointed when i got home to OH and stepped outside at the airport and it was low 30s. hopefully in another month or so we can get back out up here. FL is VERY VERY bicycle friendly compared to what we have here. i was highly surprised by all the bike lanes, yield to cyclist signs, etc etc.