J. Van Fleet & Withlacoochee Rail Trails, Florida


 These two central Florida rail trails are very close and nearly connected to each other. A friend and I bicycle them both, before they are paved, as part of a Florida Rails-to-Trails annual "START" event. The Withlacoochee trail is a 41-mile stretch of former railroad, parts of which pass through the Withlacoochee State Forest and parallels the Withlacoochee River. The Forest features hardwood forests and hammocks, pine flatwoods, and lakes. And one point, we needea pick-up truck to ferry us and our bikes over a flooded part of the trail, and we spot a rather large black water moccasin slither across the trail just in front of our truck.

The ride turns out to be rather demanding, due to its unpaved state, the hot weather, the length of the ride, and the lack of refreshments along the way.


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