Monday, May 2, 2011

New Rail-trail to explore - Nature Coast State Trail Florida

We arrived about 9:30am at the Trenton Fl trail head, which is the old rail road station. Unlike Hawthorne, this trail head is the definition of easy to find, right on the main street of Trenton.  The old rail station had one functional restroom. Better one then none:) Within a mile or so there was a tree blocking the trail. Luckily I could lift the trikes over the tree near it’s base. This is where the Catrike wins in spades! Currently the Catrike only has front fenders, water bottle and cateye bike computer to add to it’s mass. My TS2 carries three bottles, rear rack, fenders, cateye and a rack bag filled with the ‘essentials’. Of course the Catrike aluminum frame really helps in the weight department also. On the way out lifting these two over the tree wasn’t a problem. After a 36 mile ride the TS2 fought me a little and Donna need to stabilize me as I stepped over.  Past the tree we got up to speed on the sunny trail that parallels Rt 26. The traffic is somewhat noisy, but it is well separated from the trail. It’s a wide trail, the guide book says 12 ft. We’re were easily able to ride side-by-side.

Trail near Trenton Fl

We were here to see the Suwannee river, which the trail crosses a few miles past the turn to Chiefland. I wanted to see this simply because it’s part of the Water Tribes Ultimate Challenge. The challenge has small boats circling Florida. But I didn’t get there, the next obstruction on the trail was due to bridge work. The sign did say we could use the equestrian trail, we choose not to.  The bridge is supposed to be reopen mid June.

Trail blocked, detour on equestrian trail.

Our, my, goal was a 40 mile day, so we headed back the Fanning Springs to Chiefland trail and then rode south to Chiefland. The trail to Chiefland was away from any busy roads and had more tree coverage. The first couple miles are the best of the trail that we rode, it was quite and wooded.  But later the trail passed thru some depressed areas and I would not want Donna riding alone. Once in Chiefland we could have ridden a few blocks to be on main street, but it was getting too hot for our taste and decided to head back to Trenton without making it to the trail head.
Heading south to Chiefland

Trenton trail head

This trail is a great resource for locals but it didn’t hold anything that made it worthwhile for us to travel to ride the trail. It’s just like the Baldwin/Jacksonville trail in that respect. Since we visit Jax often the Baldwin/Jax trail is great and we’ve ridden it dozens of times. But if I lived say in Tallahassee the Baldwin/Jax trail would be a pass.

No trike issues, just my personal regret that I didn’t buy them yeas ago. Donna is loving the Catrike and gaining confidence that RAGBRAI 2012 can be done in style on her trike!

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