Spend the day biking on one of the longest paved rail-trails in Florida.
The Withlacoochee State Trail is one of the longest paved rail-trails in Florida, running for 46 miles on the former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. This one-day 25-mile bike itinerary is perfect for cyclists of all levels to get a taste of the trail and make stops in some of our unique communities along the way. Take the trail out-and-back for a 50-mile ride, or arrange for transportation and ride the trail one way from Citrus Springs to Floral City. With parking at each trail head, you can also enjoy the trail on segment at a time.
Start at The Withlacoochee State Trail Gulf Junction Trailhead
The Gulf Junction Trailhead in Citrus Springs offers restrooms, a gazebo with a picnic area, plenty of shade, maps, and parking. It’s the perfect place to kick-off your ride. The first section of the trail itself is heavily-shaded for a comfortable ride. Keep an eye out for wildlife and birds as you ride!
Stop 1: Hernando, FL
About 11 miles south of Citrus Springs, you will reach the town of Hernando, FL. There are restrooms and picnic facilities at the Hernando trailhead. You may wish to leave the trail to visit Lake Hernando Park for a view of the sparkling water or stop along the way at the adorably quaint Hernando Produce Market where you can pick up a piece of local fruit, or a locally made, fresh-fruit popsicle.
Stop 2: Inverness, FL
Continuing on the trail for six more miles, you will cross the beautiful Lake Henderson Trestle, which is an awesome spot to stop and take a selfie. Soon after, you’ll reach the Inverness Depot District, a beautifully designed park and open-air market. Not far off the trail you with find the Inverness Courthouse Square which offers walkable downtown streets, bustling with dining and shopping options. Enjoy locally brewed beer, fresh seafood, coffee shops, and of course ice cream! History lovers will enjoy a visit to the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum in Inverness. The courthouse features a local history exhibit and is famous as a filming location from the 1961 movie “Follow That Dream” starring Elvis Presley.
Stop 3: Fort Cooper State Park
Just south of Inverness, the trail continues to Fort Cooper State Park, another Citrus County must-see. Fort Cooper State Park features miles of trails, including The Seminole Heritage Trail with information kiosks detailing the history of the Seminoles who lived in this area. There are also picnic tables and grills, a beautiful lake, and a playground in the park.
Stop 4: Floral City, FLYour last stop on the trail is Floral City. The Floral City rest area just outside of town offers restrooms. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, the Shamrock Inn offers lunch and dinner and regular live entertainment too!
You can arrange transportation to ride this trail as a one-way 25-mile trip or ride the entire route out-and-back for a 50-mile experience. The trail also continues south of Floral City and terminates in Owensboro, FL.
If you’re looking for bike rentals or repairs, there are several local bike shops throughout Citrus County and along the trail are ready to lend a hand.
FREE PLANNING ASSISTANCE
Be sure to stop by and say hello at the Visitors Center on US 19 in Crystal River. For more information on any of these fantastic activities, contact the Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau at 352-794-5506 for free assistance. We look forward to helping you discover all that The Water Lover’s Florida has to offer! You can download a trail map here, as well as a free printable PDF of this itinerary.
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