As a man who simply loves the outdoors, Patrick Dwyer is the ideal person to recommend a few biking trails in both Miami and Tampa. In this article, you will find 5 wonderful places where you can go to practice mountain biking. These South Florida open spaces offer the chance to be part of a wonderful experience full of adrenaline and excitement in Tampa.
This particular preserve has no budget assigned from the county that owns it. It is literally maintained by riders who love the scenery, and the challenging trails with diverse terrain. It was once a phosphate mine, and the area where it is located is a bit hidden from any major road.
In the Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve, you can find about 25 miles of single-track, plus about 12 miles of double-track used to access or connect the single-track. If you are driving there, you can find a parking area 2 miles away from the single track. There are at least a dozen lakes in the area, surrounded by land covered with scrub oak and pine.
From basic to advanced, in this preserve, you will find all sorts of challenges to suit anyone’s need for adventure.
This 2-mile long trial belongs to the Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve. It has natural mounds that vary in height from roughly 10-20 feet. If you keep your speed up you can make it up the climbs and then go down as fast as you can, just like you were riding a roller coaster. The trail itself doesn’t offer the condition to practice a more technical sport, but it definitely offers a fast and flowy trail where you can go bananas with adrenaline.
This trail is for sure unique compared to other trails in Tampa. Its climbs are quite strenuous, curves are banked, and most roots and rocks have been removed to keep the surface as smooth and fast as in can be. It is considered to be an advanced trail because of its steepness and speed.
In Ridgeline you will find four short, optional offshoots called The Plunge, Corkscrew, Oh My God, and Max G's. They include some of the steepest drops in Florida where you can reach 35 mph without even pedaling.
3. Trout Creek
With almost 30 miles of flat single track, this trail system is the easiest to get to from Tampa and is also the easiest trail system to ride. It belongs to the Wilderness Park and has a 7-mile paved loop with multiple entrances and bailout points.
This trail has been built and taken care of by The Wilderness Trails Association in cooperation with numerous volunteers.
In the Southwest Florida Water Management District website you can find all the information you need to know related to this trail.
It also belongs to the Wilderness Park and it is best known for its seven-mile paved loop road where beginners can easily ride their bikes. There are too a few single-track trails within the park and several miles of rideable two-track access roads overlapping the center of the paved loop. Some single-tracks are heavily shaded by oak and pine.
5. Morris Bridge Park
This park also belongs to The Wilderness Park. This riding are is known as the "Hole in the Fence", and contains some of the most technical trails in the Wilderness Park system.
The trails are a bit sandy in some spots and tend to flood during heavy rains. The bike trail begins behind the restrooms, and then follows the footbridge under the road and the two-track south. During summer, it is recommended to use anti-mosquito spray.
Here you can find a challenging mixture of trails crossing three distinct ecosystems. There are areas with plenty of shade from pine and oak trees, other spots with high ground trails, packed with dirt and sand, and of course the typical Florida forest ecosystem. Along most trails you can see gorgeous scenery depending on the season. This park has areas apt for beginner and intermediate riders.