The Northerner’s Guide to Southern Singletrack

Brandon, FL: 27.93° Latitude

Alafia. In February.
Alafia. In February.

Now we’re talking! If you can survive the drive down to Brandon, just east of the Tampa Bay area, it’s well-worth the trip. Check this out: the average January and February low in Brandon, FL is 50 degrees and the average high is in the low-to-mid seventies. Heck, I live in Georgia and that sounds excellent this time of year.

When you talk about riding in the Tampa Bay area, it’s really about two main trail systems: Alafia River State Park and Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve. Alafia is surprisingly compact, but the quality of singletrack is excellent. Sure, it’s sandy in places and the hills aren’t tall (though they are steep), but it’s beautiful and warm! Balm Boyette, on the other hand, is a bit more spread out and offers plenty of mileage to get in those winter training miles.

Is deep snow and ice keeping you off your local mountain bike trails this winter? Head down south where the tea is sweet, the faces are friendly, and the trails are free of snow!

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