This ride is meandering, generally flat with frequent roots in the trail. Some spoil piles have been incorporated to add elevation features and wooden shielding has been applied to areas that are frequently wet.
Halpatiokee crosses several fire roads and incorporates them as short connectors. Spots where trail leaves fire roads are typically marked with signs and observing trail flow and wear indicators can help as well. The MTB trail is designated for biking only, but watch for hikers and runners, they like to use the the MTB trail due to its well-maintained nature, generally solid tread, and non-linear layout.
This route should be avoided after periods of heavy rain, long sections of the trail will be submerged and/or very muddy.
A curtailed "dry lap" is possible by following the sign to "Steve's Trail
" shortly after entering "The Dips
MTB Trail is considered to begin and end at Pavilion #7, where the bike wash station is located. From the pavilion follow the mowed grass access road SE. A locked vehicle gate will be observed at the tree-line. The trail begins about 20 feet to the left of the gate and drops back onto a fire road just before it splits in two directions. The trail enters the woods to the right at the start of the left fork of the fire road.
section begins at this point and the trail passes through pine giving way to saw palmetto. Follow a technical section through a wood-reinforced low spot where you'll eventually find a sign post. Bearing left continues on the main trail. Taking a right toward Steve's Trail
curtails the ride and is a good option for a wet weather short loop.
The trail continues on with more of the same and a few more fire road crossings and then enters the River Section which is characterized by a heavy oak and pine canopy. This section comes close to the S. Fork St. Lucie River at a couple spots and alligators might be observed in the water.
The River Section ends at another fire road crossing and the 40 Acres
and Root Canal
sections follow. The trail through here has minimal overhead cover and features tight, erratic turns with plenty of roots.
Another fire road crossing marks the transition to a flowing section of trail with a reprieve from the high-frequency roots. A wooden climb/descent feature follows, and drops out onto a fire road which is ridden for a couple hundred yards before re-entering the singletrack to the left.
At a short wooden bridge the trail turns right and then left onto a fire road. The trail follows the fire road straight and to the right before a dogleg berm signals the start of the Ridge section of the trail. The trail goes over and down the spine of a series of spoil piles left over from lake engineering. The final series of features includes a dogleg around the end of the lake.
The trail then enters the Palmetto Express
area with its fast flowing turns and sporadic roots. Palmetto Express
ends at a fire road which the trail follows right then enters the Western Corridor
singletrack on the left. The palmetto cluster encountered immediately followed by the smooth section is characteristic of the Western Corridor
. There are three palmetto cluster sections of trail, each of which have bypass trails.
The U-turn Trail
section begins at a spot where the trail makes a nearly 180 degree turn to the right. This section has good flow, sporadic roots, some straightaways, and a short technical section which combines a sharp turn, elevation change, and palmettos.
ends at a fire road which the ride follows to the right along the lake. Pass through some trees for a short distance before dropping back onto a fire road which is a straight shot down to Steve's Trail
. The entrance to Steve's Trail
is on the left, just beyond the junction with a fire road that heads left.
is yet another flowing section of trail interspersed with roots. There is one fire road crossing followed by a fire road connector to the right which leads to Zig Zag Trail
Zig Zag Trail
entrance is to the left at the large tractor tire. This section of trail exhibits both exceptionally good flow and fewer-than-average roots. There is one fire road connector that bears left and two fire road crossings on Zig Zag Trail
The trail dumps out onto a fire road and continues straight to the T, head left. The exit singletrack trail leaves the fire road at a 30 degree angle at a point just prior to fire road split observed previously at the start of The Dips
. At the end of the exit trail, go left back to Pavilion 7.
Park sits on land marked as Al-pa-ti-o-kee Swamp on an 1839 map of the area. The current name is thought to derive from a Muskogee term meaning Big Alligator or Alligator Water.
MTB trails sections were built by mountain bikers and in 2004 were linked together in their current form by Airborne Mountain Bike Club. Airborne has made various upgrades and performed maintenance on the MTB trails from that time through current.