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Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The future-wife and I have been considering Florida as the next 5 year career development state. Lots of opportunities for both of us down there.

Luckily we can both get jobs in just about every major city in Florida, but not Ocala :(

So, of the major urban areas, which has the highest number of trails within say...a 20 minute drive of downtown?
 

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For Tampa you also have the Wilderness Trail parks. It is all easy and intermediate trails but there are a lot of them. My loop is about 30 miles. All the harder trails have been smoothed over or been forgotten.

Also from Tampa you can shoot up to Santos for some great riding. I believe the full loop there is about 60 miles now.

Withlacoochee (Croom) should still be good but I haven't ridden there since about 1992.

Not sure if riding is still allowed but near Croom is Gran Canyon. It is an old limestone quarry that has some very difficult trails.
 

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Papa T
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273 Posts
Tallahasse has 3 trail systems

1. Tom Brown Park and Cadillac Trails
2. Redbug Trail and Lake Overstreet trails
3. Munson Hills near St. Mark's

Daytona Beach Area has 4 trail within 45 mins driving distance

1. Spruce Creek Trails at Doris Leeper Preserve (New Smyrna)
2. Graham Swamp Trail (Palm Coast)
3. Mala Compra Trail (Palm Coast)
4. Chuck Lennon Park (DeLeon Springs)
 

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DILLIGAF
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506 Posts
I live in a north Orlando suburb and within 45 min can be at Santos, Chuck Lennon, Mt. Dora Trail and Snowhill. For ref. I can be downtown Orlando in 30 min.
 

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Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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2,894 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yea I kinda feel that 45 minutes it too far to drive to ride after work. Frankly, there are lots of places in the US where you can drive 45 minutes to great trail systems, but who has time to do that after work? My ideal city would be someplace with good job opportunities and riding IN the city park system as to avoid traffic congestion. Tallahassee is probably closest to this. Leave work at 4:30, hit the trails by 5:00.

More importantly, the ability to ride both to work and to the trails from a downtown residence.

TallahasseTrails.jpg

I've been mapping all the trails across Florida (and most of the Southeast US) using SWAMP's database, along with local trail clubs.

Here's a link to the Fusion Table and Google Map that I built.


If you see that any of my points are not placed correctly let me know. Google tends to geocode based heavily on city name and it struggles to find parks. I've been slowly going through and trying to "fine tune" the map to better represent actual locations of trailheads rather than nearby cities.
 
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Jackalope Hunter
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Tally has some good riding and is a pretty cool town to boot, I lived there for 3 years in the 90s. That said, there isn't nearly as much riding there as in other parts of the state. You might want to rethink Tampa if you are trying to maximize riding and minimize driving... Just my .02
 

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Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What other places are around Orlando? I only know of Santos.
 

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Cannondale Snob
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If you want to live close to the city but don't want a long commute, you might want to re-think living in FL.

Otherwise, live East of Tampa- near Brandon -and use the cross-town expressway to commute to work. Drive south to Alafia and Boyette, East to Carter Road, and North a good ways to Ocala.

I would mention Croom and Wilderness Trails, but I avoid these because they are boring.
 

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Ocala area has santos,30 mins up interstate is san felasco. The trail system at santos may as well be numerous trail systems. Vortex,land bridge,49th street.

Job wise,gainesville is way better. So you could live in between. Ocala also has a very nice paved greenway for road bike training.

Tampa is a cluster fudge.....good luck driving anywhere near rush hour,hell anytime at all.
 

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Just Ride
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285 Posts
I live in lakeland... Work in Tampa......ride carter, alafia, and, boyette... All great trails
11/2 hours from santos
Tampa traffic sucks but you learn how to get around it!
 

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Just shutup and ride.
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81 Posts
I'll say Tampa/Brandon as well. I live in Temple Terrace and work in St. Pete. Alafia and Boyette along with Flatwoods paved 7 mile loop with some pretty tame trails at Morris Bridge. Also, Starkey (a bit of a drive) is a new trail currently being worked on.

You also have the urban get-together/rides with SWAMP and the last Friday of every month is a Critical Mass in downtown Tampa. A little bit of a drive to Santos and Croom and a longer drive to Markham if you so desire.
 

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On your map, the Balm Boyette trails are incorrectly located at Riverview, FL. Here is the actual address:

13998 Balm Boyette Road
Lithia, FL 33547
 

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Shortcutting Hikabiker
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Gainesville is right between San Felasco and Santos, it also has miles of trails right in town and an awesome cycling community.
 

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Don't forget Soldiers Creek it's short but 20 minutes from Orlando. They are also building a new trail system near Lake Mary also about 20 minutes to Orlando.
I live by lake mary. Any info on the new trail? I can help build this summer
 

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South Florida has lots of trails with in a reasonable drive of each other, particularly if you live in Ft. Lauderdale. There is Amelia, Markham, Oleta, Virgina Key, and Quiet Waters all with in 30 minutes of Ft. Lauderdale if you aren't in rush hour.
 

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Trail Rider
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Tally has some good riding and is a pretty cool town to boot, I lived there for 3 years in the 90s. That said, there isn't nearly as much riding there as in other parts of the state. You might want to rethink Tampa if you are trying to maximize riding and minimize driving... Just my .02
Theres over a 100 miles of singletrack in the immediate Tallahassee area.

Redbug, Overstreet, Timberlane School Loop, Miccosukee, Alford Arms, Fern, Magnolia, Cadillac, Lines Tract, Munson, Twilight, and the Forest Loop all rock some great singletrack.

Lots of additional non-paved multiuse at Phipps, Overstreet, Alford Arms, and Miccosukee to add mileage to singletrack oriented rides.

Then theres the Apalachicola National Forest(500,000+ acres - largest public lands in Florida), which borders Tallahassee, with literally hundreds of miles of forest roads and double tracks. The St Marks Wildlife Refuge, just south of town with well over a 100 miles of forest road. There are also countless WMAs and State Forests in the area.


Tallahassee has a ton of trail, concentrated, a lot of it not so much in the eye of the internet forums.
 
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