Exploring a new place can be an exhilarating experience and one of the best ways to do that is by cycling. In Florida, the year-round biking weather, stunning landscapes, and diverse terrains make it the perfect place for cycling. Whether you prefer nicely paved paths or something more rugged, you’ll be able to find the ideal biking trail — including over 66 rail trails — that caters to every level and preference. Moreover, thanks to Florida’s flat terrain, cycling tends to be easy for almost anyone, even recreational cyclists. So, you don’t have to be an athlete or a 50-miler to use these trails.
To narrow down your search for the best biking trails in Florida, we have prepared a list of the top 10 spots that offer exceptional riding experiences and picturesque views.
1. The Legacy Trail (Sarasota County)
Situated on the west coast and nestled in Sarasota County, the Legacy Trail is an 18-mile paved path that takes you on a journey through the historic Venice train depot to the southern outskirts of Sarasota. The trail has many informative boards detailing the area’s history and information about the local fauna and flora. This trail is ideal for cyclists of all levels, offering scenic views and the opportunity to spot local wildlife. Here’s the best part: e-bikes are completely allowed on the Legacy Trail. If you’re looking for options, consider the Heybike Mars folding e-bike — a portable game-changer. This e-bike offers a pedal-assist feature for a smooth and enjoyable journey, even on inclines. Thanks to their off-road capabilities, you won’t have to worry about rugged trails.
2. Sanibel Island (Lee County)
Sanibel Island, located in Lee County, has countless bike paths. These routes accompany nearly all the roads and are great for access to places like the beaches. While exploring the trails, you’ll see many gulf-front mansions, beautiful houses, and the woods. If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable experience, consider the four-mile loop through the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge to watch its world-famous migratory birds.
3. The Pinellas Trail (Pinellas County)
Stretching for nearly 50 miles, the Pinellas Trail winds through urban areas, parks, and coastal scenery. It was created along a railroad corridor and is perfect for those seeking a diverse cycling experience. You’ll discover charming communities, parks, and attractions along the way.
4. Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail (Leon County)
This trail dates back to 1988 and has a lot of history. History buffs will especially appreciate this 16-mile trail that follows the historic railroad route from Tallahassee to the coastal town of St. Marks. This is, apparently, Florida’s first paved rail-trail, offering a scenic experience for running, walking, biking, and skating. Plus, there’s a separate off-road bike trail and a nearby trail for horseback riding.
At the southern end of the trail in St. Marks, you can enjoy dining, fishing, and exploring local history. You’ll find bike racks at the Capital Circle and Wakulla Station trailheads.
5. Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail (Seminole County)
For the more adventurous souls, Seminole County’s Black Bear Wilderness Loop Trail offers a rugged, off-road experience through Florida wilderness. It’s a challenging yet rewarding journey for those looking to test their cycling skills. There’s an approximately 7-mile loop trail next to the St. Johns River. If you’re lucky, you might spot amazing animals like alligators and black bears. River otters are also commonly found in the area.
6. Withlacoochee State Trail (Citrus County)
Florida’s Withlacoochee State Trail is one of the longest paved rail trails in the state, stretching for 46 miles. As you journey along, you’ll pass through friendly communities nestled beside the beautiful Withlacoochee River.
This trail offers numerous scenic routes and a chance to encounter a variety of wildlife, including tortoises, turkeys, and deer. Along the way, you’ll traverse wetlands, longleaf pine groves, and gentle hills, with gradual inclines and easy-to-follow curves, making it a delightful ride. For nature lovers, in particular, this is the best biking trail in Florida. Oh, and there’s also a dirt horse trail that runs alongside some parts of the paved trail.
7. Amelia Island Trail (Nassau County)
Amelia Island has charming Victorian buildings, stunning beaches, and lovely routes to explore. The Amelia Island Trail, stretching more than 7 miles, begins at Peters Point County Park and leads you to the McArthur-Fishler Bridge on Big Talbot Island. It’s a great choice for families and cyclists who prefer a ride away from busy highway traffic.
What’s more, Amelia Island State Park’s sunny beaches make for an ideal picnic spot. After your bike ride, bring your lunch and enjoy it on the sandy shore.
8. Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail (Alachua County)
This trail is great for cyclists looking for a ride through the university town of Gainsville. The route will transport them to the Paynes Prairie Preserve Park, where they’ll find all kinds of roaming horses. You can also stop and try hiking through the La Chua Trail. This 16.5-mile route ends in Hawthorne, where you can find a plethora of recreational activities, like fishing, canoeing, or hunting. This trail offers a refreshing escape from urban life.
9. Sugarloaf Mountain (Lake County)
Thrill-seekers can take on Sugarloaf Mountain, offering a 10-mile loop with stunning vistas and varying terrain. Challenge yourself with the ascent and be rewarded with breathtaking views. Just a word of caution, though: The Sugarloaf Mountain trail is widely considered a tough ride. This trail is mainly for road biking and is open throughout the year.
Sugarloaf stands as the highest point in Florida’s peninsula. Its challenging nature draws in many adventurous riders, especially those hailing from the flatter regions of Florida.
10. The Venetian Waterway Park Trail (Sarasota County)
In order to complete our list, we’re back in Sarasota County to visit the Venetian Waterway Park Trail. This bike trail is one of the best-paved bike trails in Florida. It follows the Intracoastal Waterway and connects to the Legacy trail. There are many picnic spots and rest areas in the vicinity. You’ll also find murals and parks you can explore on foot. The pathway has both concrete and grass surfaces, and it’s the perfect way to cap off your Florida cycling adventures.
Florida’s biking trails cater to different preferences and skill levels, making it an ideal destination for cyclists. You don’t have to be a professional cyclist to enjoy these trails. Most of these are perfectly easy and safe to use for almost everyone. In addition, most of the routes mentioned here are great for e-bikes and permit their use. So, whether you’re a local or a visitor, put the pedal to the metal and explore these top 10 biking trails in Florida.