Gear Up for Cycling on Brooksville’s Forest Bike Trails
Whether you are serious about cycling or simply enjoy a short ride now and then, the trails on Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee offer scenic beauty, fresh air and plenty of wildlife.
For a beautiful ride and long-distance cycling, the Withlacoochee State Trail offers 46 miles of mostly flat paved path leading cyclists through the Croom Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest on Florida’s Adventure Coast, before heading north through other parts of Florida. To the west, near Weeki Wachee and Spring Hill, the Suncoast Trail offers 42 miles of paved path for cycling, with the most elevation changes on the north end, connecting to other paved trails further south. For a short ride, visit the 1885 Train Depot in historic Brooksville and hop on the Good Neighbor Trail. From there, this paved trail heads northeast 10 miles and connects to the Withlacoochee State Trail for longer cycling; otherwise, cyclists can choose to turn around at any point, and explore historic downtown Brooksville.
Would you guess that there would be mountain biking in Florida? Although the hills of Brooksville are not relatively high, the Withlacoochee State Forest Croom Tract has an interesting history. Before ecological restoration efforts began early mid-century, years of phosphate mining left a scar in the form of pits in the landscape. Although there are not obvious ‘pits’ today, the elevation changes within the forest are a sign of that past, offering uniquely beautiful landscapes for BMX and mountain biking, as well as ATV Riding, hiking and trial running.
The Croom Tract at Withlacoochee State Forest contains more than 20,000 acres of cypress and longleaf pine forests, a haven for wildlife and outdoor recreation alike. Within this tract are 13 miles of the winding Withlacoochee River; flowing north it forms Silver Lake, a quite spot with nearby recreation area for camping, as well as opportunities fishing, kayaking and picnicking.
Local bike shops and clubs hold regularly scheduled group rides where all are welcome to join, as well as annual events and even volunteer work days to maintain the local off-road trails.
Make plans for the first annual SWAMP Croomfest, February 3-5, 2023!
Outdoor enthusiasts are invited to ride, paddle and play in this amazing natural area at the first annual SWAMP CroomFest, this February 3-5, 2023. A weekend of challenges, fun, and friendship, this outdoor festival offers a 35/50 endurance ride on the Croom mountain bike trails, a paved 35/50 ride, guided tours on the Good Neighbor Trail and the Withlacoochee State Trail, and a scenic paddle on the Withlacoochee River lead by local wilderness guides.
The first event of its kind on Florida’s Adventure Coast, this weekend-long event offers a great chance to experience the Withlacoochee State Forest’s renowned trail systems, with full support provided along the way. Along the bike trails, SAG stops will be provided so you can refill your water, grab a snack and catch your breath. Riders are given the option to tailor their rides at any time, since these are challenges but not races.
At Silver Lake Campground, enjoy live music, food truck options and beverages while visiting with friends. If you still have energy, visit the Vendor Village, play a game or two or bring a chair and relax. Clinics and classes, a jump-ramp track, and a Mix-It-Up Social Parade are all a part of the fun.
Swamp Mountain Bike Club, Bike Florida, Florida’s Adventure Coast, and the Division of Forestry have come together to create this unique experience on Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville – Weeki Wachee. To see a schedule of activities and find out more about this event, visit www.croomfest.com.