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James Van Fleet Trail from Polk City FL to Mabel FL - Worth a Detour to Do?

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James Van Fleet Trail from Polk City FL to Mabel FL - Worth a Detour to Do?

Old 07-02-19, 05:34 AM
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jpescatore
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James Van Fleet Trail from Polk City FL to Mabel FL - Worth a Detour to Do?

I'm planning a ride in January from Venice FL to Jacksonville, mostly following the ACA route in central FL and credit card style touring - won't be carrying cooking or sleeping stuff.

One of the days is looking like Auburndale to Mt. Dora and I noticed that if I detoured a bit I could ride on the 29 mile James Van Fleet trail, which seems like a nice isolated paved stretch to mix in.

Any opinions from cyclists in the area? I think it would turn a 65 mile day into a 75 - 80 mile day - worth the extra pedaling?

Thanks, John P.
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Old 07-05-19, 10:35 PM
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Better Idea.

Might I suggest the Withalacochee State Trail. Itís very close to the I75 and SR 50. Itís great.
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Old 07-05-19, 10:41 PM
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My bad. Did not read closely enough. The Withalacochee is a good 15-20 miles west of the van fleet. Awesome for you and good on ya no matter what way you go.
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Old 07-05-19, 10:42 PM
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My bad. Did not read closely enough. The Withalacochee is a good 15-20 miles west of the van fleet. Awesome for you and good on ya no matter what way you go.
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Old 07-08-19, 04:19 AM
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Wow, that does look like an awesome trail but would take me too far to the west to make it to Jacksonville in time. I'll file that one away for another ride!

Last edited by jpescatore; 07-08-19 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 07-08-19, 08:33 AM
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It is a nice trail. I've been on part of it. Pretty flat and easy to ride. Mostly rural and peaceful, but does go through some small FL towns. I suppose that is up to you if it is worth the detour.

Last edited by bikecrate; 07-23-19 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 07-08-19, 11:34 AM
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The Van Fleet is just about as flat and straight as a bike path could possibly be. There is never a huge amount of traffic on it, and during the week you may not see another person on the trail. If it has been stormy recently, there will be debris to dodge.
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Old 07-11-19, 11:39 AM
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Florida trails

Originally Posted by pippin65 View Post
Might I suggest the Withalacochee State Trail. Itís very close to the I75 and SR 50. Itís great.
Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
It is a nice trail. I've been on part of it. Pretty flat and easy to ride. Mostly rural and peaceful, but does do through some small FL towns. I suppose that is up to you if it is worth the detour.
Originally Posted by Podagrower View Post
The Van Fleet is just about as flat and straight as a bike path could possibly be. There is never a huge amount of traffic on it, and during the week you may not see another person on the trail. If it has been stormy recently, there will be debris to dodge.
Thanks all for some insight into the trails "down there". I want to plan a day or 2 to hit some trails and breweries, emphasis on the biking. I live between Jax and Gainesville; ride on the Baldwin to Jax (approx 14 mi) and Hawthorn to Gainesville (approx 22 mi). Both trails are fairly flat, Hawthorn more rolling hills and cornering, both cross multiple country roads. I don't usually ride them on weekends due to there being a more family oriented riding environment; both fairly shaded decent rides. Trail-end in Jax sometimes has the smoothie guy on weekends, nice break for the return trip.
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Old 07-13-19, 06:35 PM
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Yeah, the Jax Baldwin trail is pretty nice. I have ridden it several times.
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