On a rooftop bicycle rack, perch two upright trail bikes. Inside the mid-size SUV, a couple in their forties is travelling north on the Florida Turnpike to its junction with I 75. Then, just a short jaunt to SR 44 where they turn west. They are on their way to an adventure, cycling in Citrus County, Florida.
Rails to Trails
They’ve read about the forty-plus mile Withlacoochee State Trail, the paved former railroad track. Aptly named Rails to Trails, it’s become a cyclists’ Mecca. As they cross over the Withlacoochee River, their excitement mounts as they marvel at the beauty of the river and the forested shores.
They enter Citrus County and as they near Inverness and view the tranquil, sunlit waters of Lake Henderson as they discuss the other bicycle trails they want to experience while here. Surprisingly, the biggest problem cyclists have in Citrus County is deciding on what trail to ride first. The options are many and varied. It would take more than a few days to experience them all.
Cycling the East Side Trails
On the east side of the county, cycling in Citrus can take you to this major paved trail. If you’d rather take a more rustic unpaved one, try the nine mile multi-use, multi-habitat Potts Preserve Trail. On the other hand, riders can bike the Flying Eagle Preserve. The Flyer Eagle Preserve offers nearly sixteen miles of multi-use trails through a mosaic of hardwood uplands and cypress lowlands. On both of these preserves, cyclists under sixteen years of age are required to wear helmets.
Next, we have the bicycle friendly city of Inverness and its Whispering Pines Park. This park has two and one half miles of mountain bike trails. Then, we have Fort Cooper State Park with its many amenities and a short one half-mile trail. This trail connects to the Withlacoochee State Trail.
West Side Trails
After cycling those east side trails, we move westward. Biking in Citrus County takes us from highlands to lowlands. We now reach the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge and the river of the same name. Here there are several short unpaved trails winding around piney woods and salt marshes.
North Side Trails
Cycling in Citrus County takes us north along the Gulf Coast to the Crystal River Preserve. Here, a number of trails run through a variety of habitats. The cyclist will be biking through pine flat woods, basin marsh, tidal marsh, wet hardwood hammocks and basin swamps. These trails, named the Seven Mile Loop, Crystal Cove Trail at the Mullet Hole, Churchhouse Hammock and the trails at Dixie Shores, Loop Lake Trail, Marsh End Trail and Redfish Hole, will expose the cyclist to a variety of wildlife, many of which will present wonderful photo opportunities.
Moving northward for more cycling in Citrus County, takes us to the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway and the Withlacoochee Bay Trail. Located on the western end of the Greenway, this five mile paved trail runs next to the Cross Florida Barge Canal for the first two and one half miles and then switches to the south side of the berm created by the excavation of the canal. Furthermore, the westernmost two and one half miles of the trail runs through scenic maritime hammocks and salt marsh habitats to its terminus at the Gulf of Mexico. This scenic trail is sure to delight the expert cyclist as well as the novice.
Citrus County Florida is blessed with three incredible paved trails. There are literally hundreds of miles of bicycle trails across the county that you are welcome to take advantage of. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or just want a little fresh air, Citrus County is the place to be! There is something for everyone when you are at your leisure in Citrus County Florida. So if you are looking for an idyllic setting to call home, contact one of our friendly professionals at Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty of Citrus.