I currently live in south jersey. mostly flat with some nice roller coaster areas if you know where to find them. My wife and I will be moving to the Clermont/Winter garden area in just over a year. I have been in that area a few times and can see the nice rolling hills. I was wondering if there are and mtb spots around there. I have heard all about Alafia and Balm Boyette. Will definitely make numerous trips to the Lithia area. I have also heard of some little known spots around Croom/Withlacoochee which I will explore. Just wondering if there are any more local spots closer to my “home”.
That is a good central area,, Santos in Ocala is probably the best place in the state, Alafia is probably second, and Markham Park down by Miami probably third. But there are a ton of other nice places. Mt Dora has a nice, but short, trail with some elevation change, and has a nice historic town. Chuck Lennon over by De Leon Springs, FL is nice and right next to the state park where the Old Mill restaurant is a great place to get all you can eat pancakes. Mala Compra and Graham Swamp up by Palm Coast, FL Mala is where I ride the most, Graham is 6.2mi with very little flat ground, maybe the most hilly in all of Florida. There is an easy trail at lake Apopka, and tough trails at Loyce Harpe park (carter rd) by Mulberry FL. And I have not ridden there but Snow Hill, at Little Big Econ state forest is supposed to be decent. There are lots of trails in Florida. Between checking out the trail search function here, Trailforks.com, and mtbproject.com you can find lots of places to ride.
And yes now I am looking at the trail map of Florida on this site. I haven’t been on this site in a long time and forgot they had it. It mentions most of the areas you are talking about. I have plenty of time to research and read more threads from Florida. Thanks again.
San Felesco in Gainesville, non-technical and the best hills you’ll find in Florida–Conquistador trail will give your lungs a good workout. Paisley woods in Ocala National forest, nice rootless cross country style, no navigation needed just straight out and back. Mostly pine-needles over sand, ride after a rain and you’ll never know your on sand. Croom in Brooksville, more cross country that you can put some miles in, mostly non-technical. Santos, a little of everything for all riders–the trails stretch east and west between the towns of Santos and Dunellin, take a look on the map, it’s quite a distance. Alafia and Balm Boyette and Carter road ridge-lines are okay if you like tight and technical, they’re basically like giant pump tracks, gets a little boring after a while but are a good workout for sure, don’t fall off the ridge-lines as there’s gators in them swampy pits. Like all Florida trails you’ll find the roots among the oaks and the smoother areas around the pine trees. The heat, humidity and bugs are oppressive during the summer months, some like that–for me mountain biking is winter season only. Cold fronts start pushing into Florida by late October and we have nice riding weather until March-April. Last winter I did a ride in Gainesville, hitting the trails at 7:00 A.M. and 34 degrees–SWEET!
Clermont and Winter Garden share the same rails to trails path that is popular with roadies. Both have historic downtown areas directly on the paved bike path, friendly to cyclists, and are great destinations even without the bike. A rumor I heard at a Clermont bike shop was that their Commission are exploring the possibility of a mountain bike park similar to the one in nearby Mt. Dora. Both Santos and Alafia are well recognized and impressive parks maintained by the OMBA and SWAMP clubs respectively. Reach out to me with questions when you get closer to your move.