The Fern Trail is a short easy to intermediate mountain bike trail in Tallahassee that could make for an interesting ride if you’re not sure you’re up to something longer. It connects two of the city’s parks, i.e., Governor’s and Tom Brown, with the latter having a bigger trail system that you can combine with Fern Trail if you’re looking to keep cycling a bit longer once you’re done with it.
Notably, it doesn’t offer much in elevation changes but is root-filled, so Fern Trail should fit the bill if you’re looking for something slightly techy.
The Fern Trail is accessible from two points. The first is near the Governor’s Park entrance off Blair Stone Rd. There should be a small parking area here, but finding it isn’t easy. The other access point is just outside Tom Brown Park for those already riding this trail system. You’ll need to take the Gun Range Trail Weems Rd, turn north, and ride for about 20 meters, then turn west.
Follow the road for about 300 meters, but instead of turning south, take the trailhead at the west edge of the road. It’s also worth noting that there’s a small parking area on the right side of Weems Rd if you’re traveling northeast from Easterwood Dr.
The trail will take you under Capital Circle, from where you’ll encounter a section of singletrack in a fairly woody section. As such, there are plenty of roots to go over, making for a relatively techy ride. You’ll also encounter small logs and drops that make the ride more interesting.
About halfway through, you come across a section of wide double track that snakes along a drainage easement. However, it’s not long, and you’re back to the singletrack in no time at all. You’ll also parallel a section of train tracks before you make it to Governors Park.
Once you’re at Governor’s Park, the trail loops back to itself near Victory Garden Ln, and from there, you can make your way back to the start point.
The trail is bidirectional, so beware of other mountain bikers coming straight at you. Oncoming riders are unlikely to surprise you since the trail isn’t twisty, and you can see pretty far ahead.
There are minimal elevation changes, so you don’t have to worry about sustained climbs.
Notably, the trail doesn’t drain well, making it unsuitable for riding after a rain storm. However, it is well-shaded, making riding easier in the summer.
Also notable is that some sections of the Fern Trail are on private property.
Leashed dogs are allowed, although a fenced, off-leash dog park is nearby. Other trail users may include runners and hikers.
Given that this is an urban trail, you will hear cars on the road and the hustle and bustle of the city. However, if you want a more serene riding experience, the Tom Brown Park trail system is nearby.
Given that the trail is in an urban setting, there’s not much to see except for Tom Brown and Governor’s Park.