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Bike touring in the US southeast: where to go?
December 26, 2010 10:56 AM   Subscribe

Bike touring in the US southeast: where to go?

Three friends and I are doing a 3-week tour in January, starting in Savannah, GA. We don't have a route yet, but the general idea is to ride southwest into Florida. We will mostly be camping, maybe spending some time indoors with friends or through Warm Showers.

Apalachicola National Forest looks good, and just looking at Google Maps I see lots of little state parks, conservation areas, etc. What other places can you recommend that are good for biking and camping this time of year, within 500 miles of Savannah? Are there some good gulf coast spots? What route would you take from Savannah into northern/gulf Florida?

I'd appreciate other advice related to this tour, but I am mainly looking for help in planning the route.
posted by domnit to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Marjorie Harris Carr Cross-Florida Greenway covers the original plan for the cross-florida barge canal. It's 110 miles long, has an incredible array of bike trails (often separate from ped and horse trails but not always) and goes through an amazing variety of geography and habitat, from hardwood forest to pine savannah to southeastern wet sink prairie. It starts at the last locks of the St. John River (southwest of Jacksonville), crosses I-75 on an overpass southwest of Ocala and goes through the delicious Ross Prairie on its way to Yankeetown/Inglis on the Gulf Coast.

Cross Florida Greenway

Florida Trail Association
posted by toodleydoodley at 11:25 AM on December 26, 2010


I haven't camped there myself, but I understand that Ichetucknee Springs State Park is very nice. The town of Monticello FL, not too far away, is very pleasant, and there's a beautiful ride connecting it to Tallahassee along Capitola Rd (aka Co Rd 158) and Old St Augustine Rd (aka (Co Rd 2196).

You could cobble something together from Map 7 of the ACA's Southern Tier and map 6 of its Atlantic Coast. I'm guessing that following the AC route for Savannah to St Augustine, and then the ST to (say) Tallahassee, and then cut through Valdosta on your own would work out about right. I found that the state highways and county roads in Florida generally made for very good riding, even off the ACA's routes.
posted by adamrice at 11:35 AM on December 26, 2010


I don't know much about the area, but when we biked through Florida, we used Adventure Cycling maps. Their Florida Connector route might be of some use to you.
posted by aniola at 4:00 PM on December 26, 2010


Go inland a bit and you can ride the Natchez Trace. I rode it last March and it was fantastic.
posted by pmb at 8:19 PM on December 26, 2010


Thanks, all. It looks like we'll be passing through Tallahassee, so perhaps we'll ride Capitola or Old St Augustine Rd, and maybe check out Ichetucknee. I'll hang on to the rest of the suggestions for another day.
posted by domnit at 9:58 AM on December 27, 2010


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