Christmas Section at Santos: A Scenic Respite for Every Rider
Overview: A Gentle Ride Through Varied Terrains
Situated in Ocala, Florida, the Christmas Section at Santos trail offers cyclists a refreshing cross-country ride. This serene 3-mile stretch is perfect for those looking to immerse themselves in nature without the challenges of technical terrains. As cyclists pedal through, they'll find themselves meandering through tranquil pine and oak forests, and occasionally zipping through a stark, logged field.
Getting There: Setting Out to the Christmas Section
For those plotting their next cycling adventure, the Christmas Section is accessible from the 49th Ave Trailhead. Here's how:
- Depart from I-75 at Exit 341, labeled as CR 484.
- Venturing west for a few miles, take a right onto Marion Oaks.
- Another right on SW 49th Ave will lead cyclists straight to the trailhead, located on the right. For the GPS reliant, punch in: 12555 SW 49th Ave, Ocala, Fl 34473.
What to Expect on the Trail
Feedback from cyclists who've treaded this path provide insights on what lies in store:
- Trail Attributes:
- Distance: 3 miles - a manageable stretch for most.
- Level: Very Easy - inviting for riders of all skill levels.
- Route: Part of a network, offering opportunities to explore beyond just the Christmas Section.
- Insights from Fellow Riders:
- It seamlessly connects the Landbridge Trailhead to the 49th Avenue TH, offering an added layer of convenience.
- The Florida Shrub Jay habitat project has added an element of uniqueness to the trail, with a mile of open terrain that diverges from the surrounding forests.
- Those looking for a mild challenge might find the few mounds near the west end appealing. First-timers, beware! They might necessitate a short walk.
- Essential amenities like a portable bathroom are available at 49th Avenue. However, cyclists should bring their own drinking water.
- The trail underwent a minor reroute in 2015 on its western edge to avoid eroded areas. Although a tad slower post the alteration, regular usage promises to smoothen the trail in due course.
- A section of the trail, previously logged, presents a dramatic change in scenery. This 'wasteland' is laden with lime rock, making it perfect for those itching for speed.
The Christmas Section at Santos is a testament to the beauty of Ocala's landscapes. Whether it's the calming forests, the logged fields reminiscent of a wasteland, or the lime rock patches, the trail promises an enriching experience for all. Whether a seasoned cyclist or a newbie, this trail is sure to be a delightful addition to anyone's biking repertoire.