Alafia River State Park - Trail, Lithia (South East of Brandon), Florida

Alafia River State Park - Trail, Lithia (South East of Brandon), Florida

DESCRIPTION

The Alafia River State Park is a collection of scary drops, off-camber hillside ledges, high speed banked turns and intimidating ridge top trails. This single-track is built on the rugged terrain of a previously mined area. Currently there are about 14 miles of trails at Alafia.

The easiest (Green) loop is called Sand Pine and can be ridden as an out-and-back three mile ride or as a two mile loop riding back on the levee. The other Green trail is the River Loop, and is for experienced beginners. Although only three miles long (with bailouts at one-mile intervals), it feels longer because the trail has technical sections where roots or tight turns slow the pace and challenge the rider.

The intermediate (Blue) sections, Bridges and Rock Garden, are really fun with lots of medium-sized hills, some short and steep, with others more gradual for a speedy downhill. There are several very challenging sections along the blue trail (even for experienced riders) and the sudden drops, climbs, twists and turns are just plain fun to ride.

The Rollercoaster and Moonscape trails (Black) form a 4-mile advanced loop which MUST be ridden one-way. Gatorback and Rabbit Ears are very difficult shorter loops off Bridges and Sand Pine, respectively. These sections all include steep roller coaster dips, technical rocky sections and very difficult climbs and drops. Many of these have a steep, straight line descents followed by a short valley before the trail climbs rapidly up the opposite side. It is a roller coaster sensation that takes your breath away and gives extra "G" forces as your swoop suddenly transitions from a dive into a climb. Not all of these are a straight line down and up. Some drops have relatively sudden turns. Knowing what to expect and controlling your speed accordingly is necessary here.

Several of the trail designers recently got together and laid out trail so extreme they had to come up with a new designation; "Double Black Diamond." These "extreme" sections will definitely be an E-ticket ride.

Day use bikers use the main entrance at 14502 CR 39 S. (it's about a mile south of the old trailhead) and follow signs to the picnic area. A cyclist's trailhead with bathrooms, bike wash and picnic pavilions is available. There is a $3.25 fee. Camping with electricity and water is also available. Thirty campspots are available for $13 a night plus tax. The bathhouse has hot water for showers. These bath facilities are for registered campers only. Call Reserve America at 1-800-326-3521 to make reservations.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 95  
[Nov 12, 2016]
mtbtrailrider
Weekend Warrior

I rode Alafia the day after riding Balm-Boyette. While I was able to ride all the trails at Balm-Boyette, I was not able to ride all the trails at Alafia due to the technicality of some of them...fortunately these are labeled as double-black diamonds. We did try one of the double-black diamonds...Gatorback...and walked most of it. Rollercoaster was not technical, but just a fun trail to ride. There are trails for every level of experience, you just need to keep a map with ya. The trails are very well maintained and plenty of signage to help you out. I ride a lot of trails in north Georgia, ie Blankets Creek, Rope Mill, Dauset Trails, and although there is not as much elevation change to these trails...the trails are still a lot of fun to ride. Coupled with Balm-Boyette and you have a couple good fun days of riding.

Similar Products Used:

Balm-Boyette

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Mar 29, 2015]
David
Weekend Warrior

Been riding for a month. Was in NC for 3 weeks for work and bought a bike while i was up there. Hit quite a few places incl dupont. I bring it up b/c i like to give my history as a rider to give u an idea of my comparisons. Been riding crotch rockets for 15 yrs but first time on mtn bikes. Dupont as well as every trail in NC was incredible! With long climbs and huge decents, jumps, roots, ledges, creek crossings, and ample room on a landing area (usually) For error.

Alafia- doesnt seem to be anything better in a reasonable driving distance for a day ride IMO. havent been to santos but i hear its good. Boyette is nice but i find not as technical as Alafia. Some stuff i couldnt finish at alafia. Finished all the trails i rode at boyette. Carter, i found was either very easy or very technical with bigger consequences if u fail. If ur like me, and wanting to improve ur skills while being challenged, this is the place to go, for a days drive. If u want leisure rides, all 3 aforementioned places have that also. The parking is 4 bucks and the parking area is great with bike wash. Compared to nc, lol, none of this is an aerobic workout.

Customer Service

Depends on what ur after, i did sand pine to rock garden, then bridges, to roller coaster. Roller coaster and bridges were awesome. Not too technical, just alot of fun. Then i hit north creek, twisted sister and then magic island. Last 2 were very tight and not that easy, lol. Something to aim to.

First time here and as soon as my knee finishes healing back up, ill be back out tearing it up. I have boyette to thank for my knee, lol. Side note, dont try diamonds if its ur first time with clip ins........they are awesome, get a set if u dont have any! they make climbs awesome

Similar Products Used:

Boyette is similar

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Feb 14, 2014]
Cucucachu
Weekend Warrior

This is one of the better trails in Florida. It has lots of tree cover and has trails for everyone. Some are "challenging". It cracks me up when some wannabe reviews a trail based on the toughest trails in his region.
I've been fortunate enough to ride in many other states including Hawaii, CA, CO, UT, NC to name some. Porcupine Rim is my all time favorite - you have to ride the whole enchilada to really appreciate it. Hawaii's big island north end Kohala mountain range doesn't really have a trail but we started at the top and rode down to the lighthouse and it was fantastic!
Alafia doesn't compare, but it is a very good network of trails if you love to ride. They are not training trails, but super fun! I would not recommend them for newbies.

Similar Products Used:

Carter Road & Balm Boyette.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Feb 23, 2013]
centaur11
Cross Country Rider

Having ridden a number or the trails in Florida I can't say they are particularly challenging. Alafia is nice place with reasonably well marked trails but without elevation and technical features it's not much effort.
Yes Gator was ok and rollercoaster as well but I found some of the double black diamond trails more like stunts than technical. I understand that by Florida standards this is the norm but I'm from the NE and long technical climbs, rock gardens and knurly descents are common.
I will be back year after year during the winter for a break from the NE but PLEASE refrain from calling anything in Florida challenging.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jan 07, 2013]
Zemu
Cross Country Rider

Huge variety of beginner to advanced riding trails. Very well maintained. Traffic is never too heavy. Watch out for armadillos.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Dec 25, 2012]
IKnowURider
Weekend Warrior

Rode these trails on Christmas Eve this year for the first time as a side trip from family trip to Orlando. Normally ride in South Florida where vertical change is negligible. Haven't been hit in the lungs this hard right from the get go since I lived in Georgia, where there are real hills. The hills in Alafia are spoil piles from an old mining operation, but they are relatively large, forested, and the trail uses them in a challenging design. Gatorback will challenge experienced riders, as will the other expert trails. The intermediate trails are also fun, Rollercoaster for instance is worth the time. I got turned around out there, but it isn't so large that getting lost temporarily is a problem. Easy trails are just that, on necessary to get somewhere else.

Customer Service

Go behind the restrooms towards Moonscape and Rollercoaster then try to find Gatorback. Wish I had taken that route.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 28, 2012]
Rafael
Weekend Warrior

This trail is an IMBA Epic and it stands to this designation. The trails have a very nice flow with short steep climbs and drops as well as gradual climbs and descents in some sections. The blacks and double blacks, like Moonscape and Gatorback are plenty technical and provide plenty of hucking and jumping opportunities. Rollercoaster is tons of fun with a super flowy singletrack that will definetively put a smile in your face. A trail bike with 4 to 6 inches of travel should be your weapon of choice when riding this trails.
My only experience with the green trails was to get to more technical trails but they seemed like there was a lot of sugar sand in them.

Customer Service

Follow the trail map at the entrance of the trails. Club Mub has done a good job of adding signage to the trails but it definetively helps if you have ridden them before or ask a local for routing. I rode Gatorback first, which it is not the best trail to warm up as it is technical and the climbs require out the saddle efforts.

Similar Products Used:

Carter Road, less technical but "The Fingers" area are somewhat similar to the advance trails in Alafia.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Mar 08, 2011]
Quik564
Cross Country Rider

Alafia rocks, great variety of challenging and fast, flowing sections. The definition of an IMBA epic! Check out my HD video summary to put it in perspective...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4CBStFFrv4&hd=1

Customer Service

Mix it up, all trails are fun and excellently maintained... just don't miss Gatorback, Moonscape and Rollercoaster!

Similar Products Used:

Santos. RIP Razorback.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 31, 2010]
flipmodious
Weekend Warrior

An IMBA Epic indeed. Alafia has a great mix of fast single track and technical sections. There is an even mix of advanced, intermediate and novice trails so there is something for everyone. A few of us went out there for the first time recently and produced a video. Includes everything but the two novice trails. Those are still fun though!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmTb9eup5Jk

Customer Service

Do it all!

Similar Products Used:

Santos

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 15, 2010]
B
Weekend Warrior

Has anyone ridden this trail lately? I am wondering if it still gets great reviews before I drive 3 hours to ride it!!

Help me out!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 95  

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