February 28, 2016
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 speeds...next 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.
Alafia, Loyce Harpe