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.
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.
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 Inverness, which offers walkable downtown streets, bustling with dining and shopping options. Enjoy pizza, pasta, 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, FL
Your 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.
More Cycling Resources
Annual Rides on the Withlacoochee State Trail
The Withlacoochee Annual Ride
Join in the fun at the The Withlacoochee Annual Ride in October, which raises money to maintain the trail.
Clean Air Ride
In March, take part in the Clean Air Ride, which offers riders four distance options from 14 to 100 miles!
Download a trail map here.
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