Located in the scenic town of Malabar, Florida, the MTB trails at the Malabar Scrub Sanctuary offer a unique blend of wildlife, natural beauty, and a decently challenging terrain for biking enthusiasts.
- Trail Diversity: The MTB trails are primarily situated on the NW end of the sanctuary, nestled opposite the Turkey Creek "Ho Chi Minh" MTB trail. The paths are rife with tight turns, bridges, switchbacks, and a few jumps. Although these jumps are not particularly dramatic, they add a touch of excitement for riders.
- Sandy Surprises: Venturing onto the horse trails will introduce cyclists to patches of sugar sand. This gives riders both a workout and an opportunity to test their speed.
- Trail Length & Type: Spanning 10 miles, this intermediate-level network-type trail winds through saw palmetto and scrub. The trail, suitable for novices and slightly experienced riders, remains relatively flat, with no substantial elevation changes.
The Scenic Bounty
- A Sanctuary of Diversity: The 395-acre sanctuary encompasses a myriad of habitats, from xeric hammocks and pine flatwoods to ponds and marshes. The trails allow bikers to immerse themselves in these natural communities.
- Witnessing Nature's Rebirth: Prescribed fires have recently rejuvenated parts of the sanctuary. Visitors will marvel at the fresh, verdant regrowth in areas that were recently charred.
- Wildlife Encounters: As a refuge for the Florida scrub-jay, gopher tortoise, and Eastern indigo snake, cyclists may spot these creatures during their rides. All benefit from the sanctuary's controlled burns.
- Getting There: The sanctuary is accessible via Malabar Road, with turnings on Malabar Woods Boulevard leading to the trailhead. Convenient kiosk and stabilized parking are available.
- Facilities: For those in need, restrooms are available at the neighboring Malabar Community Park.
- Safety Notes: The red trail is bidirectional, so riders should remain vigilant for oncoming cyclists.
The trails seem to resonate with riders of varying experience levels:
- Most found the sanctuary's trails to be suitable for beginners, emphasizing its flat terrain.
- Regular riders appreciate the combination of Malabar Scrub with the Turkey Creek and Cameron Wildlife Preserve trails, lauding the network for its exercise potential.
- Families find it a hit with children, fostering their competitive spirits.
- A word of caution comes from those who have noticed the sandy areas becoming more pronounced. It's essential to be prepared.
Malabar Scrub Sanctuary is not just about the ride but the overall experience. The meeting of natural beauty, diverse habitats, and well-maintained trails makes it a must-visit for every biking enthusiast in Florida. Whether you're seeking a leisurely ride or a workout, this sanctuary promises a memorable journey.