Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve

4.62 out of 5
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↑ 500 ft
↓ 300 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
by Dana Farnsworth, Outdoor Travels - Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve - the b****** stepchild that doesn't get the attention it deserves. No matter how wonderful the cross country riding, no matter how pretty the scenery, no matter how diverse the terrain and the trail personalities, Boyette seems doomed to live in the shadow of its more popular neighbor Alafia State Park.

One would think that Boyette offers little to the mountain bike rider, based on the limited traffic of knobby tires on any given weekend. After riding Balm Boyette off and on for a couple of years now, I can tell you that most riders have no idea what they are missing.

Boyette does itself no favors with its location. Once a phosphate mine, the area is somewhat hidden from any major road and can be hard to find. My first attempt ended in mad frustration when the directions in my guide book were incorrect!

What are you missing if you haven't ridden Boyette before? Well, first there is the 12+ continuous mile Forested Loop Trail. Almost a separate entity from the rest of Boyette, this loop offers up a long and winding, uninterrupted stretch of oak and pine shaded single track that one can really stretch their legs on. As the trail winds back on itself over and over again, it's easy to fall into a hypnotic-like trance.

Boyette also features some of the best cross country type riding around. Miles of unobstructed single track weaves its way along the edges of lakes, through pretty and unique prarie-type fields (which are better explored in the non-summer months), and forested canopy with brilliant green ferns lining the trail. There are a couple of short climbs here and there as well as some nice intermediate level challenges.

See for more information, photos, maps and more!

Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
Get Directions
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Trail Q&A
Rider Questions


Q: We are just beginners to biking for exercise and dont want to stay in the typical neighborhoods. Are there trails for beginners where we wont kill ourselves? -Guest

A: These trails are perfect for that. Just stick to the "green" trails.

Guest answered on July 30, 2016. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No




Q: Was on vacation in FL last week and I thought Boyette was awesome---did break a chain on the stupid rental after 10 miles of riding, climbing out of upper meadow... -armyslowrdr

A: oops--sorry posted this as q instead of review....

armyslowrdr answered on March 31, 2014. Did you find this helpful? Yes | No

Answer | See all 2 answers

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System Trails (2)
System Trails (2)
Spider Berm
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Photo & Video Gallery (130)
Trail Photos & Videos (130)
Reviews (103)

Granny Gear

February 5, 2017
Review: Balm is in great shape - thank you SWAMP volunteers. Like Alafia, something for everyone here. If you can grind the two mile service road to the trail system you won't be disappointed with what you find here. Except for the true novice, regardless of your skill anyone can ride most trails, but.... you have got to be focused. Balm trails do not have the same margin for error as Alafia. Lots of tree splitting and riding ridges, some unexpected bridges, and - if you are an early morning rider - the sun will be in your face as you navigate east into these hazards. Again, something for everyone - flat, fast sweeping, roots/rocks, climbs/descents, aerobic/anaerobic. Just don't get complacent!

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Granny Gear

December 31, 2016
Review: I live in Largo so it was a drive but well worth it. I'm just getting into this but "wow" this is a beautiful area. A couple close calls by the swamp lol. It did what I wanted it to do and that was to get my heart pumping. I did a total of 7 miles but will come back very soon to explore what I missed.

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Granny Gear

November 4, 2016
kmb5010 Granny Gear  
Review: This is a great place to ride. So under-rated!! Get your cross country fix in or ride the blacks. The ridge line trail is so fun!!!

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Granny Gear

October 25, 2016
Review: Great trail

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Granny Gear

August 6, 2016
robkiser Granny Gear  
Review: Awesome cant waot to go back

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Granny Gear

July 14, 2016
shensley27 Granny Gear  
Review: It was a fun fast Single track. They do their best to add pads and things at the sand turns, but every so often you'll be slowed down by a sand pit. It didn't kill the experience, but it's certain not like trails you'd find in mountains. ALSO WATCH OUT FIR TORTOISES! I nearly hit four of them.

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Granny Gear

May 24, 2016
Review: Excellent trails for all skill levels; plenty of swoopy greens, flowy blues and nice range of challenging blacks. A great place to log miles. Ridgeline is great. When (?) a nice trail head/picnic area gets done, this will complete a great park. Thanks SWAMP!

Similar Trail: Alafia

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Bunny Hop

May 23, 2016
Review: This trail is my absolute favorite
Loved the flow it had! Great descents and multiple options to choose from

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May 16, 2016
Review: Beautiful trail system. Lots of nice trails connected by fire roads. The intermediates have a real nice flow to them.

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February 28, 2016
Review: Wow! Planned to go to Alafia as I love to when I visit, but got there early and Alafia doesn't open until 8, so thought I'd go for the double. But then I got so engrossed in this trail system that I didn't want to leave!

I first tried the green trails in the south, they appear not to be ridden as much as they're really leaf covered and not as dialed as everything else. But still fun, a good warm up if 2 miles in doesn't do the trick. The east meadow is beautiful, pretty ordinary riding-wise. The Woods trail started to make this really fun then some Swamp Thing and Garry's Loop is a great warm up to the reason you're here, Ridgeline! I only did it once (I was still planning on Alafia) but that trail is dialed! Lots of heart pumping from steep hills and lots of adrenaline from fun downhills and rollers but so well manicured that it never felt scary/sketchy. I feel like if I would've done that trail a few more times I'd get more comfortable and be able to get some air and some faster time for sure! So it'd be a let down after Ridgeline right? No way! I went and did almost every other trail with South Abyss and middle spider berm multiple times. They are just excellent, flowy XC trails, fast, grippy and fun! Once I got a grasp on the system I was riding all over the place! Saw a few gators and a couple other riders. The other thing I like about this is the solitude. It's a truly beautiful place, the meadow and then the ponds and it's not near a road so you don't really hear much background noise, definitely an oasis of mountain biking so close to such craziness! Never made it to Alafia this trip. For the true XC rider looking to get away and ride buff singletrack you can't get much better than this!

PS- If you have friends or your partner is a runner, the grass trails in the meadow would be awesome for trail running. Also found a couple geocaches here too.

Similar Trail: Alafia, Loyce Harpe

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Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve MTB Trail 4.62 out of 5 based on 103 ratings. 103 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
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