Nestled in the sprawling landscape of Jacksonville, Florida, the Jacksonville Rail-to-Trail offers a flat, well-paved out-and-back path perfect for road bikers, runners, and those seeking an easy yet fulfilling outdoor experience. With 15 miles one-way, or a full 30-mile round-trip, it's not just about the distance here; it's about the experience. Though primarily designed for road bikes, mountain bikers can also find their share of fun on the dirt path running parallel to the main trail.
Brandy Branch Trailhead (TH)
The trail is relatively flat and straight, which makes it an excellent choice for beginners and seasoned cyclists alike. Surrounded by trees, it provides ample shade, a bonus during the hot Floridian days. Several users recommended this route for a casual ride and found it to be a good workout. Some even suggested utilizing strong winds from the west to your advantage, using the ride out as a warm-up and then timing the trail back for added fun.
While the trail is multi-use and generally crowded, it's not the best choice for mountain biking. Road bikes are more suitable for the smooth paved path. Users have reported the smell from a nearby dairy farm, so be prepared for some olfactory surprises. Also, there have been instances of car break-ins at the trailheads.
Mountain bikers can still find a bit of rugged adventure on the dirt path that runs alongside the main trail. It's not an official part of the trail but offers a different experience. Additionally, one user mentioned finding a little skate park near the 12-mile mark, which was empty and offered an interesting diversion.
The Jacksonville Rail-to-Trail is a solid choice for road biking enthusiasts, families, and anyone looking to get in some light cardio. Its easy level and straight path make it accessible for all. Mountain bikers might want to stick to the side path for a more suitable experience. Regardless, it serves as a fantastic locale for both leisure and fitness in the heart of Jacksonville, Florida.