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zzOtherlandzz 03-21-12 10:41 PM

Lochloosa & Longleaf Flatwoods ride..
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Decided to check out some more of the trails in Lochloosa Wildlife Management area today. The plan was to ride from the east side over to the west side of the area and then check out Longleaf Flatwood Reserve. I mapped it out yesterday on mapmyride ... I stayed pretty close to the map.... but did wander a bit. VERY surprising how close the total distance came out too.

For the most part the trails/roads were all in pretty nice shape. There were areas of sand but for the most part not the "sugar sand" stuff. Just a few short stretches of the sugar sand. The sand that was on most of the roads had a good base under it, so you didn't sink in too much. The limestone and hard pack stuff was pretty fun to ride on.

When I first made it over to the Longleaf entrance I thought.... "these trails are going to suck" Right from the trail head it looked like there was going to be a LOT of sand. There was for about 1/3 of a mile and then the trail got overgrown a bit with grass. And then turned into a hardpack road for awhile. There was a bit of everything in Longleaf.. Sandy, grassy, two track and some hardpack roads. Some trails in the woods, some in areas that had been logged or burned awhile back.

Entering Lochloosa from the horse parking area on the G.ville Hawthorne trail in Hawthorne

One lane bridge that does't really look like it is needed...

Longleaf Flatwood trail head. When I looked at the trail heading off into the distance I was a bit worried that the trails were all going to be sand...

Just a few pictures of the different types of trails in Longleaf.

Camping area.... with a working hand pump well...

Even this stretch that looks pretty sandy in the picture wasn't too bad to ride on. The sand wasn't too deep.... so I didn't sink to much..

Realpsi 03-22-12 06:28 AM

Nice pictures! I rode Florahome to Keystone yesterday and Florahome to goldhead Sunday. I need to get me a trail bike so I can start getting offroad.

I did Hawthorne to Gville trail a month or so ago. It looks like you accessed the area directly from the Hawthorne-Gville trail. Is that correct?

zzOtherlandzz 03-22-12 02:02 PM

Yep..... I accessed it from near the Hawthorne end. It is the horse parking trailhead it is a bit over a mile west from the actual end of the trail in Hawthorne.

I ride the Palatka Lake Butler trail quite a bit. But lately I have been doing a lot of mountain biking so haven't ridden it as much. I have been parking in Grandin and riding towards Florahome and then riding in the Etoniah Creek State Forest. There at the end of the new section trail at Holloway Road if you go north on Holloway about 3/4 of a mile there is an entrance to the forest. I do a loop that takes me into the forest and then back out onto the PLB trail that isn't paved. Its pretty fun, good change of pace from riding the road bike all of the time. There are some good trails in Etonia and some really sandy ones that aren't too much fun.. Although you do get quite a working riding in the sand..

I really like the ride up to Goldhead.. The hills can be quite challenging for me sometimes. Have you ridden in Goldhead? Last fall I road to Goldhead and did my first overnight camping trip on a bike (only one night).

April 1st Putman Cycles out of Palatka is having a ride starting at the winery there in Grandin. I think there is free food and beverages after the ride... I'm still waiting on the email with more information.

Realpsi 03-22-12 06:57 PM

I live just west of Palatka on 20. I know nothing of the ride on the 1st. It does sound interesting. When you ride the non paved section do you come out at te east entrance of the forest? I have noticed the gate their locked a lot.

I have never ridden in Goldhead but have driven it a few times. I prefer the hiking in Goldhead. Its sad the lake for swimming is drying up. I loved the Hawthorne trail near the Gainesville side.

zzOtherlandzz 03-22-12 09:34 PM

Yep... I come out on the east side on state rd 100... The gate is locked to vehicle traffic. I had been riding in there for about a month before I realized that your supposed to pay 2 bucks... LOL It didn't say anything about 2 bucks at the other entrance. Nobody has ever said anything to me.

I know what you mean about the lakes drying up.... When I started riding 7 years ago there was a LOT more water in the streams and creeks. Now there are just bridges over nothing.

Have you ever hiked in Rice Creek? You can hike/ride from sr 20 over to sr 100... Pretty cool 1000+ ft boardwalk in the middle. Used to be a boardwalk over the swamp now its pretty much dried up.

Yep the G.ville side of the trail is pretty scenic.

Lindaosm 03-23-12 03:10 PM

Love the pictures and hubby and I are definitely going to check out Long Leaf. I looked it up yesterday and then realized we had been by it a few times. Glad to hear that the sand wasn't too bad. Sure hate that sugar sand stuff...especially after the horses have been on it and really beaten it up. I am looking forward to getting back on the bike and making mental notes about where we're going to ride. Moved the surgery up to the end of April. Probably will be really hot by the time I can start riding again but I don't care. Just so tired of not being able to get on the bike. Like you I prefer the mb trails. So many different things to see. I'm keeping a copy of your map but don't know if we'll ride that far. As I've always said, 10 miles on the mb is like 20 on the road bike. Thanks for the pictures and map!

zzOtherlandzz 03-23-12 10:06 PM

Yep, You know I agree about the 10 miles off road trails = 20 on the pavement :)

There are still more trails/roads to explore in Lochloosa. More like logging roads, But I still enjoyed riding them. I guess the part of the land that I started my ride on near the G.ville trail is actually Grove Park Wild Life Management area... & not Lochloosa.. Doh!! Just found that out while looking on the internet a bit ago.

Yep by the end of April it will be pretty hot, who am I kidding it got "pretty" hot today... By the end of April it will be really HOT.. But by then you will want to go for a ride so bad that it wont matter how hot it is :D

Side note.... The friend that just got a bike 2 weeks ago that has only ridden it a couple of times from his house to mine (2 blocks away).... Wants to go get a different bike he found on Craigslist. A better bike... He says he will ride it more because it is "better"..... It really is a better bike, but if your not riding now.... are you really going to ride more with a "better" bike?? Mind you the bike he got 2 weeks ago is a GOOD bike.... not a a "Mart" bike ... I dunno... Told him I would go with him to pick it up Wednesday when the guy who is selling gets back in town....

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