25 June . 2015
Mountain Bike enthusiasts don’t have to search too far from FishHawk Ranch to enjoy the thrill of the sport. The Tampa area has some of the most single-track bike track locations in the state, and some of the most popular are just minutes from your doorstep.
For your next off-road ride, why not visit the trails at Alafia River State Park? Riders from all over the state flock to the 20 miles of bike trails at the park, which appeal to beginners and highly skilled racers. The beginner trails are also appropriate for children and can be ridden on city bikes. For expert riders, the trails have drops, hillside ledges and ridge top trails.
A local mountain bike club, SWAMP (which stands for SouthWest Association of Mountain bike Pedalers), has helped design some of the trails and volunteers assist in the upkeep. The group hosts weekly rides, socials, trail building and maintenance parties, and has agreements to help support 5 bike trail systems throughout the state.
SWAMP charges a minimal, yearly membership fee, which goes towards trail building, support and club activities. Members also earn discounts on bike rentals and repairs from an approved local bike shop. The SWAMP website provides public information on all of the are bike trails they support.
So grab your bike and hit the trails!
Here are testimonials from two FishHawk Ranch residents:
“When you think about mountain biking one of the last places you'd think of is Florida. However, right here in our backyard are two of the best single track trail systems on the east coast. Alafia State park, with its reclaimed phosphate terrain, has miles of trails from beginner to advance. It's an especially attractive place to ride when it's hot due to the dense tree canopy providing shade from the hot FL sun. Ranked by numerous biking magazines as one of the best single track trail systems in the US Alafia SP also has water, restrooms and a bike washing station at its trail head.
Many local riders actually prefer the trails at Boyette, myself included. The trails are similar to Alafia with something for everyone from beginner to expert. Ridge line is recognized as one of the best trails in the southeast (advanced riders only), and there are even more miles of trails at Boyette than Alafia. The one thing to be aware of is that Boyette currently has no water so make sure you bring plenty of your own!
Go enjoy two of the best kept secrets right here in our backyard.”
“Who knew this was in my backyard?
I was not a mountain biker until my husband convinced me to go out to Alafia State Park, now I am hooked. I bought a bike and ride the trails as much as I can. This park has world class mountain biking trails for the beginner to advanced rider. The harder courses are not for the average person, but I have managed to work my way up from to more advanced trails, with tons more options to try in the future. When out riding I regularly run into people who have traveled from all over the world to ride these trails, yet my travel time is a short 15 minutes!”
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