Episode 108 - San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park Mountain Biking
The hiking trails on either side of CR232 cut through numerous changes in elevation to take you through sinks, upland forests, and prairies. The northern most 2,000 acres have been designated for multi-use purposes including horseback riding, off-road bicycling and hiking. Trails in this section were built by The Friends of San Felasco, Inc. and other interested volunteers. The equestrian trails offer a 3.6 mile and a 4.4 mile interconnected loop system; except at intersections with bike trails, the horse trails are exclusively for equestrian and pedestrian activities.
The bike trails include a one-mile beginner's trail (the Cotton Tail trail) that gently winds around the perimeter of the north entrance, a four-mile intermediate level trail (Cellon Creek Trail) that traverses both sides of Cellon Creek through rolling terrain and across small log jumps, and an eight-mile advanced trail (the Tung Nut Loop) off the back of the Cellon Creek Trail that involves strenuous hill climbing, steep switchbacks, many log bridges, and breathtaking views of the north rim of the Sanchez Prairie. The Park's newest bike trail, the Hammock Hub, connects from the top of the last third of the Tung Nut Loop, just east of the powerline "overlook" at the top of the hill. The Hub is a two-mile loop with challenging climbs and large log bridges. The Hub connects to two other trail systems: the Sweet Gum Loop is a short (approximately 1.6 mile) moderate level trail off the eastern edge of the Hub, while the Ravine Creek trails link off of the southern edge of the Sweet Gum Loop.
The Ravine trails are for more advanced riders. The trails take you far away from the parking lot and feature short, steep drops, strong climbs, and many log crossings. Taken together, you can piece together almost 20 miles of singletrack unmatched for its quality of cross country riding in the state of Florida. Remember that north Florida's high heat and humidity make for difficult riding conditions: bring plenty of fluids on the trail. Due to the remote nature of the Tung Nut Loop, Hammock Hub, Sweet Gum Loop, and the Ravine Creek trails, you should also consider bringing basic bike tools such as a pump, replacement inner-tube, and a multi-tool kit when riding on the advanced trails. To the Equestrian and Mountain Bike Trail head: Take I-75 to U.S. 441 (Milepost Exit 399 - Old Exit 78) and drive south 2.8 miles (through the city of Alachua). Turn right onto Progress Blvd. Drive 0.7 miles to the park entrance. (Continue past the end of the pavement and onto the grade road.)