Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Withlacoochee State Trail

We had many things on our list for today so we were looking for a fast walk just to get a little exercise (work off some of that strawberry shortcake from yesterday).  Laps around the outer loop of the campground would have worked, but we prefer something a little more scenic.  Withlacoochee State Trail was close by so that’s where we went.

This is another Rail/Trail conversion and is very similar to the Van Fleet Trail a few miles farther east.  The Withlacoochee State Trail has the distinction of being the longest paved rail/trail in Florida, coming in at a whopping 46 miles.  Like the Van Fleet, the trail is wide, relatively straight, with wide shoulders for dogs and horses.  The trail is open to walkers, bicyclists, skaters and horse back riders, but in our very limited observation, it is used mostly by bicyclists.  Today, for example, we saw one other walker and about a zillion bicyclists.
Railroad mile marker

We started at the Ridge Manor Trailhead.  We parked at this trailhead to access the River Trail last week.  It’s a large parking lot with restrooms and picnic area. Ridge Manor Trailhead is only 6 miles from the southern terminus at Owensboro Junction.  Today we walked north for about 2.5 miles then turned around to return to the car.

Lyre-leaved sage
Like the Van Fleet Trail, there were relics of the old railroad days.  We passed markers which we suspect give the milage to Richmond, but the brochure doesn’t say that.  The rest benches are farther apart than on the Van Fleet trail.  We finally came to a rest stop after a couple miles.  It was much nicer than the ones on Van Fleet.  This rest stop had a rack bicycles could be leaned against, a hitching post for the horses, and a covered picnic table as well as the resting bench.  Pretty nice.

After our walk we’ve been busy preparing for dinner guests this evening.  Tony and Diana will be leaving in the morning, so this is like their sendoff dinner.  We’ve also invited other friends to joins us for cocktails beforehand.

With guests coming, I better get busy.

Thanks for tagging along.


  1. We never did get our bikes on that trail. Maybe next time. Give our "safe travels" to "Tony and Diana."

  2. enjoy the send off!!..Cheers to you all!!

  3. Nice blog. How come you don't bicycle? You could cover so much more area. Faster. Stay safe.