The South Trail at the J R Alford Greenway is one of two mountain bike-only trails at the park. While you can ride most of the others, including options like the Wiregrass Loop, Beggarweed Loop, Alford 07, Alford 11, etc., they are all multi-use trails with double-track surfaces.
As for the South Trail, it does cross some of these double-track trails as you go from end to end but is mostly singletrack. The trail is also one of the more challenging trails in the park but makes up for its beautiful views.
You can access the trail at the main parking area of the J R Alford Greenway Park at the end of Pedrick Rd. You'll take Tennessee St heading northeast if you're coming from Tallahassee. The road will eventually turn into Mahan Dr, and you'll keep driving until you get to the intersection with Pedrick Rd just next to Pedrick Pond Park.
From there, you'll drive for about 3 miles to Alford Greenway Park. There will be a few curves along the way, but if you stay on Pedrick Rd, you should eventually get to the parking lot.
You'll take the trailhead from the parking lot at the south end and keep going south until you get to the intersection with the Bridge connector trail. From there, you'll turn to your left and continue down the South Trail.
It runs parallel to Lake Lafayette to your right, so you should experience some of the beautiful views in the park as you cycle along. You'll also be riding next to the CSX RR tracks.
Along the way, you'll come across other trails, e.g., the Bluebird Trail, Alford Loop, and Longleaf Trail. However, you want to stick to the South Trail, which connects to the North Trail after about 1.8 miles of cycling.
For those who feel 1.8 miles is too short, you can hop onto the North Trail and Loop back to the parking lot through Alford 05 and Alford 02, with the three trails consisting of mixed double-track and singletrack surfaces. Alternatively, you can opt to go back the way you came.
There aren't many turns, and for the most part, the trail has a smooth surface. You also don't have sustained climbs and descents, with the gradient at 6% or less. However, there are sections of the singletrack that are full of roots.
Those who aren't satisfied with the South Trail but don't want to get on the North Trail also have the option of taking the bridge over the CSX RR train tracks to the Lafayette Heritage Trail system that includes options like East and West Cadillac, Bill's Trail, Heritage Park Blvd, etc.
Also, depending on whether you explore the other trails in the park, you may see Piney Z Lake in addition to Lake Lafayette.
The park allows for leashed dogs, and you may also encounter hikers and runners on the trail, so remember to be cautious. Also, J R Alford Greenway is home to some wild animals, including several species of snake, so watch out for them.
You can ride next to Lake Lafayette and even Piney Z Lake for those who opt to extend their ride.