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Hi all,

My wife and I are moving to Clearwater in a few days. Currently, I ride a Ripmo and ride the type of trails that you would expect that bike to be ridden on. I figured that there would not be too much in the way of mountain biking in near Clearwater aside from Alafia, which is about 1:20 from our future address.

BUT, I figured there would be plenty of gravel riding, my only experience with Florida being confined to the northern part of the state. However, after some searching, I can't really find any gravel riding to speak of in the clearwater/St Petersburg/Tampa area.

I would love to hear the state, or lack there of, of MTB and gravel riding in our future home, if anyone here has knowledge of it.

Thanks in advance!
 

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From a quick search it looks like there may not be much "close" to Clearwater proper but lots in the area. Your best bet would be to reach out to one of the shops in the area, I know University Cycle has a small shop on site at Alafia as well as one in the Tampa area for sure, maybe others? You are in a good area to be able to head north to Santos, which has lots of trails with various features. The of course there is Alafia which is a blast, even for someone who was just visiting from AL. There is also Balm Boyette, which is west of Alafia and closer to Tampa, that I heard great things about but didn't get a chance to ride as I was only there for one weekend and hit Alafia and Santos.

The Ripmo may be overkill for most trails in the area, at least the ones I went to. I saw a lot of low/mid travel bikes and lots of 27.5" even. From the reviews I've heard the Ripley would probably be great for the area or any 130-150 travel type bike. There are lots of wooden features so the 27.5 is really playful. Also although it may be "flat" the riding in the area will not feel like it as there are lots of punchy ups and downs, no long sustained climbing but lots of repetition.
 

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I visit Clearwater fairly regularly and when I can I make sure to put a couple of days aside for Alafia, Boyette, Loyce E. Harpe Park and Santos. They're all a drive but Alafia, Boyette and Loyce are all close enough together you could hit two in a day. All great trails.
There's another one in Hillsborough County that's closer to Clearwater but it kinda sucks. I think it's called Flatlands or something like that.
 
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