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Eco-biking ... Ecotourism on a Bicycle

Explore More of Natural Florida, Faster

The purpose of eco-biking is to explore and enjoy nature. It is not "mountain biking." Eco-biking is slower, typically combined with short trail hikes. Public lands in Florida offer a wealth of ecotourism opportunities. Below are links to over 35 Eco-biking reports.

Two advantages of eco-biking:

  • explore large areas faster in order to enjoy more activities (sightseeing, hiking) in a limited time. Examples are seeing more on day-trips to some larger Florida State Parks.
  • helps to avoid mosquitos and other biting insects, because you're typically moving faster vs. hiking. A great example of this advantage is eco-biking in the Everglades.

Eco-Biking by Region

FL Panhandle Region - 2 Trail Reports

Conservation Park Conservation Park - 24 miles of unpaved trails and a mile of boardwalk on 2,900 acres, popular for hiking and biking. The park is just a few miles from the busy beach, shopping and tourist areas of Panama City Beach - a natural escape.

View Trails, map, and 35+ photos

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Topsail Hill Preserve State Park - 5 miles paved (round-trip) and 15 miles of unpaved trails, popular for biking and hiking. Camping, 3.2 mile pristine beach, towering dunes, and rare Coastal Dune Lakes make this 1640-acre State Park a worthwhile Panhandle destination.

View Trails, map, and 50+ photos

North FL Region - 11 Trail Reports

Gold Head Branch State Park Gold Head Branch State Park - Scenic State Park near Keystone Heights. Biking on 3+ miles of park road, hiking on 3 trails plus Florida National Scenic Trail, camping and cabins, picnicking, paddling, swimming and more. The scenic ravine is a highlight.

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Goethe State Forest Goethe State Forest - 53,000+ acre forest. Best suited for equestrian activities and hiking, some mountain biking. The roads are rough on limestone composite and the trails sandy - very limited eco-biking opportunities.

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Inglis Island Bike Path Inglis Dam Recreation Area - Part of the Cross Florida Greenway, includes a 2.5 mile paved trail, plus 7.5 miles unpaved (grassy) trail for fat-tire biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Views of lake, river, dam, canal and locks.

View Trails, map, 45+ photos

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife RefugeLower Suwanee National Wildlife Refuge Overview Page - 4 options:

- Dixie Mainline Trail - 9 miles along Florida's Big Bend
- Nature Drive - 9 mile limestone road suitable for biking, varied habitat and wildlife
- River Loop Trail - 3/4 mile loop trail with boardwalk and views of Suwannee River
- Shell Mound - Archaeological site, 1/2 mile hiking trail to the Mound

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Cross Florida Greenway Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway - Extends 110 miles from the St. Johns River to the Gulf, along the former Cross Florida Barge Canal. 31 miles of paved bike trail sections, 36 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail.

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Paynes Prairie State Preserve Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park - Just north of Micanopy and south of Gainesville. Park roads open to biking. Also five sandy trails, totaling about 20 miles. Paved Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail (a FL Top 10) goes through north section.

View Trails, map, and 60+ photos

Ravine Gardens State Park Ravine Gardens State Park - A lovely park near Palatka, centered around two ravines. The 1.8 mile rim loop road is popular for bicycling and walking with great ravine views, and three hiking-only trails range from easy to strenuous.

View trail, map, and 50+ photos

Woodpecker Trail Woodpecker Trail - Located in Big Shoals State Park along the Suwannee River, a 3.4 mile paved bike trail. In addition, there are about 28 miles of unpaved trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding.

View Trail, map, and 18+ photos

West FL Region - 5 Trail Reports

Aldermans Ford Conservation Park, Alafia River Alderman's Ford Park Trail - This moss-draped, 2-mile paved trail at Alderman's Ford Conservation Park (Lithia, FL east of Brandon, south of Plant City) was a pleasant find while checking out kayak launches on the Alafia River.

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Chassahowitzka WMA Chassahowitzka Wildlife Management Area - On Florida's Gulf Coast, 15 miles south of Crystal River. Miles of biking on limestone roads and on logging tram roads. Two hiking trails, two cave diving sites.

View Trails, map, and 30+ photos

Crystal River Archaeological State Park Crystal River Archaeological State Park - Along the Crystal River west of the City of Crystal River. Short but scenic paved path at a National Historic Landmark, this archaeological site features 6 Pre-Columbian Native American mounds and other historic features. River views, birdwatching, picnicking and fishing.

View Trail, map, and 20+ photos

Crystal River Preserve State Park Crystal River Preserve State Park - 27,000 acres along the Gulf Coast for about 20 miles from Yankeetown to Homosassa, and including the mouth of the Crystal River. 7-Mile Loop Trail is the eco-biking highlight. Hiking trails, paddling, picnicking, fishing, more.

View Trails, map, and 60+ photos

Myakka River State Park Myakka River State Park - Near Sarasota. Up to 7 miles (one-way) of biking on the paved park road, plus unpaved options and hiking trails. One highlight is the Canopy Walk, a suspended walkway 25 feet above ground through the hammock to a 74-foot viewing tower.

View Trails, map, and 65+ photos



Central FL Region - 11 Trail Reports

Circle B Bar Reserve Circle B Bar Reserve - On the northwest shore of Lake Hancock in Polk County, this popular Reserve is a former cattle ranch. Its 1,200 acres have been restored to natural wetland habitat, with up to 7 miles of trails. Many birds and alligators.

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Lake Apopka Loop Trail Lake Apopka Loop Trail - In the Lake Apopka Restoration Area, the trail runs about 18 miles, the most scenic being along the north shore of Lake Apopka. Some lakeshore trail shared with cars (Wildlife Drive, open Fri., Sat. and Sun only).

View Trails, map, and 100+ photos

Lake Jesup Conservation Area Lake Jesup Conservation Area - Established to protect water resources around Lake Jesup, the Conservation Area consists of 3 separate sections, most best for hiking, some eco-biking, equestrian riding.

View Trails, map, and 15+ photos

Lake Kissimmee State Park Lake Kissimmee State Park - Consists of 5,930 acres on a former cattle ranch. Nestled between 3 lakes (Kissimmee, Rosalie, Tiger), this is a remote area of Central Florida offering camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain and eco-biking (best on the paved park road), horseback riding, fishing, boating and birdwatching. With little light pollution, good for stargazing on a clear night.

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Lake Luisa State Park Lake Louisa State Park - This State Park features bikes lanes along the 7-mile paved main road, plus 20 miles of unpaved multi-use trails. Billed as a "natural theme park" close to Disney World, there are activities here for just about everyone. Popular for camping. A local favorite for cyclists.

View Trails, map, and 100+ photos

Lake Norris Conservation Area Lake Norris Conservation Area - 5.5 mile multi-use trail near Eustis, FL. Best biking at the East Trailhead, most of trail better suited to hiking and equestrians due to sand. Popular paddling launch onto Blackwater Creek from the East Trailhead.

View Trails, map, and 40+ photos

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge - Popular in winter for bird watching. Near DeLeon Springs, Volusia County. Over 15 miles of unpaved trail for hiking and biking. Great sunsets. Mostly grassy or hard-packed, but avoid when wet. (The wet clay here dries like cement on tires.)

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Orlando Wetlands Orlando Wetlands - The Orlando Wetlands is a 1,650-acre, man-made wetland loaded with wildlife, a good spot near Orlando, FL to see an alligator. Biking is on the wide earthen berms, 18 miles total, popular on cool weekends.

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Seminole State Forest Seminole State Forest - Gated entrance to drive in (get code from Forest Service). This helps to make this a more peaceful preserve, while close to a growing urban area. Hard-packed dirt roads, one of the best State Forest rides. Two picnic spots by Blackwater Creek.

View Trails, map, and 130+ photos

Shingle Creek Management Area Shingle Creek Management Area - The 1,750 acre management area in south Orange County protects an important resource - Shingle Creek, the northernmost headwaters of The Everglades. The management area also offers visitor activities including hiking, eco-biking, mountain biking, paddling, fishing, picnicking and wildlife viewing.

View Trails, map, and 45+ photos

Wekiva Springs State Park Wekiva Springs State Park - This popular State Park near Orlando is best known for swimming and snorkeling at Wekiva Spring, but has much more to offer including more than 30 miles of off-road trails for eco-biking and hiking.

View Trails, map, and 90+ photos


East FL Region - 2 Trail Reports

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - Established in 1963 as a buffer for the Canaveral (John F. Kennedy) Space Center, famous for bird watching. Fewer eco-biking options today as priorities change, but hikes remain.

View Trails, map, and 150+ photos

Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area - Along the St. Johns River, near Christmas, FL, east of Orlando. Hiking trails, plus miles of mostly hard-packed WMA roads, but plenty of sandy spots too. Areas of old growth, river and lake access.

View Trails, map, and 60+ photos

Southeast Florida - 5 Trail Reports

Bluegill Trail Bluegill Trail - From its start at Riverbend Park, Bluegill Trail runs on a crushed shell and stone surface on the C-18 canal levee for 6 miles to Sandhill Crane Access Park in Palm Beach Gardens, then another 3 miles on paved trail to Grassy Waters Preserve. Best on fat tires, but overall a bikeable canal trail.

View Trail, map, and 10+ photos

Jonathan Dickinson State Park Jonathan Dickinson State Park - At 11,500 acres Jonathan Dickinson State Park is a real treasure with something for everyone - biking, paddling, hiking, camping, picnicking, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, and more. The park roads are bikeable, plus there are paved bicycle trails and scenic nature trails.

View Trails, map, and 22+ photos

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park - At 54,000 acres, this is one of Florida's biggest preserves, protecting the largest remaining tract of Florida dry prairie. Located in a remote area, not an eco-biking "destination" (the park road is rideable and there are 100 miles of multi-use trail, but most is soft sand even mountain bikers will find challenging). However, it's a worthwhile escape to nature for camping, hiking, equestrian, and stargazing (an internationally certified "Dark Sky Park").

View Trails, map, and 50+ photos

Oleta River State Park biking Oleta River State Park - Florida's largest urban park, Oleta River State Park is well known for 15 miles of off-road mountain bicycling trails, but also includes a paved 3 mile bike trail that circles the park, a great way to explore.

View trail, map, and 20+ photos

Riverbend Park biking Riverbend Park - This 680 acre Palm Beach County park features 10 miles hard-packed biking trails (rentals at Park), 7 miles of equestrian trails, 5 miles of kayaking/canoeing trails on the Loxahatchee River, and picnic facilities. A popular spot for families on weekends.

View Trails, map, and 50+ photos


Everglades National Park - Multiple Options

Everglades eco-biking Everglades Eco-biking - Overview - Several unpaved biking trails in Everglades National Park (south entrance), plus some historic old roads, and countless miles of dirt and gravel trail on canal levees in Preserves near the National Park.

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Loop Road, Everglades eco-biking Everglades Eco-biking - Loop Road Scenic Drive - 24-mile road paralleling the Tamiami Trail (US 41) through at Big Cypress National Preserve. A top eco-route with unmatched scenery and lots of history. 8 miles paved, the remainder dirt and gravel.

View Trail, map, and 70+ photos

More Information and Resources

A great way to support Florida State Parks and Florida State Forests - both financially and politically - is to purchase an annual use permit. A small financial boost, but perhaps more important, every annual use permit helps to lobby for increased funding from the Legislature. Another great way to help is to become a volunteer.

Florida State Parks
Map of State Parks

Florida State Forests
Map of State Forests

Florida Wildlife Management Areas
Map of Florida Wildlife Management Areas

Principles of Eco-biking:

  1. respect all rules and regulations
  2. stay on trails
  3. minimize impact
  4. hikers and wildlife have right-of-way

Note: Unpaved trail conditions vary from year to year, and trails are subject to changes and closures.

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