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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 20 mi (32.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,456/1 ft
Total: 630 riders
 

Mountain Biking Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve

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#3 of 281 mountain bike trails in Florida
#23 in the world

by Dana Farnsworth, Outdoor Travels - Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve - the bastard 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.

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
directions to new parking area. https://www.google.com/maps/place/15102 Co Rd 672, Wimauma, FL 33598/@27.7656163,-82.2263982,15.25z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x88c2d55fe45707c3:0x3b05ce80c16990e9!8m2!3d27.7629742!4d-82.2196574
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Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve Trail map

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Trail conditions

Dry (1 week ago)
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Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve videos

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Markham 100
 
Big Drop in HD @ Balm…
 
Ridgeline Trail @ Balm Boyette Clean…
 
Dave on Ridge Line at Balm…
 

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?

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

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Reviews

  • Ron Atkinson
    *****

    It was my girlfriend and mine first-time experience the trail go on an easy trail. Boy, it was fun. We are going back again for sure.

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  • LowDawg
    Reviewing Spider Berm:
    *****

    Great trail, fun, ups & downs, roots, rocks, tight curves, good work out...I'd do it again...

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  • Superfly Lee
    *****

    I've been riding Alafia and Santos once or twice a winter for about 5 years now, but never made it to Balm until last week. These are now my favorite trails in Florida. Not as many jumps and wooden features, but better flow with some nice technical features scattered around. These trails have a much more back country feel than Alafia or Santos and are very scenic too. Must ride if in the area!

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  • Tim Russell
    *****

    Balm is a million times better than Alifia. People just hae the long ride into it. Never crowded go see for yourself

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  • bikeit420
    *****

    First time here and spent about two hours. Trail was dry after the rain yesterday. Green is great for someone starting out. Loved the blues. Some great features and narrow ledges and some bridges. Great place and have to come back and explore some more. Something for everyone from beginner to seasoned rider. I rode clipped pedals and was fine. It is Florida and being from NY it was hot. Bring plenty of water.

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  • dlaido
    Reviewing Ridgeline:
    *****

    Might be the best trail in Florida! Black diamond but not real technical- just some short, steep, fast hills.

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  • CrowSlayer
    ****

    Thank you SWAMP crew for the excellent singletrack. I noticed someone had raked clear and clean one of the blue trails, I think it was Gatorpit and Golf cart. Thanks for all the effort.

    My first time here and the trails are phenomenal. Due to the lack of adequate parking, facilities, running water, the place seems primitive. More signage would have helped, the incredible blues are interrupted by service roads. Although, that may be a good time to catch your breath before diving into the next blue trail.

    If you have conquered Spitfire at Alafia, then you must attempt Ridgeline at Balm.

    ***UPDATE***
    A new designated parking lot opened up 4/21 to the south of the park off CR672 (Balm Picnic Rd). Porta-Potties and it cuts out that 2 mile sandy access road trek to the singletrack

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  • jchild
    *****

    Fantastic ride. Started at Alafia state park and talked to the local riders and directed to the Balm.
    The 2 mile ride in is easy and beautiful. Trails are well marked and maps are everywhere.
    Do not miss this ride as it made the trip for us.

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  • Kenny Argueta
    *****

    First time, had a blast! Will definitely be returning. The 2 mile or so ride back from the trails to the parking lot was a bit rough, but thats mainly because it was 100 degrees out!

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  • Gregory James
    *****

    This is a good trail system for the beginner to the advanced. Some of the intermediate trails are a little narrow with sharp turns and clipless pedals are not recommended.

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  • Florida Shredder
    ****

    Very Fun Trail System, The People At SWAMP Did It Again. The Trails Here Range In Difficulty And Most Of The Blacks Are HUGE Ups And Downs! Especially Ridgeline! The Rain Makes For Bad Conditions, Plus Theres That 2 Mile Fire road, And Thats The Worst! All Around I Give The Trails 5 Stars, But Take One For Those 2 Awful Miles Of In The Sun On Flat Terrain. Overall, Def Worth Checking Out Balm Boyette! 4.5/5!

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  • AlafiaJunkie
    *****

    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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  • mechanicshop
    *****

    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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  • kmb5010
    Reviewing Ridgeline:
    *****

    This is a great trail! Don't use your brakes at all....trust the trail and you will want to do it over and over!!

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  • kmb5010
    *****

    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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