The Best of Alafia River State Park

 19 votes

8.5 Miles 13.7 Kilometers


95%

Singletrack

134' 41 m

Ascent

-132' -40 m

Descent

111' 34 m

High

71' 22 m

Low

1%

Avg Grade (0°)

3%

Max Grade (2°)

Minor Issues

6 days agoUpdate

All the best trails at Alafia River State Park.

Ben Drawbaugh

Overview

Park opens from sunrise to sunset (unless you are camping), it's $5 per car, a day, or $4 for an individual.
This is without a doubt my favorite route through Alafia. It includes all the intermediate and difficult trails, but not easy or extremely difficult (which are definitely worthy of your time as well). It passes by a nice creek, many lakes and will have you coming back for more.

Need to Know

The only water is at the trailhead, but it is never too far away. There are also very nice bathrooms, a bike repair station (complete with tools) and two covered pavilions with grills.

Description

Start off with my favorite trail at Alafia, North Creek Trail, which is best when the creek is flowing. This trail is a solid, fast and flowy intermediate, but there are a few very fun hard options that quickly loop back. The only option that anyone skips is Buzzard Bay, which is probably due to the smell.

Next up is the first fun half of Bridges and Shelly's Loop, which is short but a big rush. Flip on over to Frank's Loop, try the challenging descent through a rock box and don't worry, there's only an alligator infested, algae covered swap in the way if you blow it. Go ahead and hit OAF and Garden Ridge while you're there because they are awesome -- Garden Ridge is two ways, so I'd do it as an out and back instead of looping with an easy trail.

Next, cross back over to the second half of bridges (North Bridges) where you'll cross two long slender bridges before weaving your way to the most fun double you can try to clear at the park and look out for the perfectly placed berm right after (no brakes required...braap!). There's a challenging lattice climb soon after with an optional difficult extension where you'll find some ups and downs and a great step-up jump that I'm sure you'll do more than once.

Finally, head towards Rollercoaster and take a quick detour on the three Rabbit Ears (if you can do all three without taking a break, you're in great shape). Rollercoaster certainly deserves its name, and the only thing that is in question is if it's the best trail at Alafia. It starts off slow through a twisty and well-shaded area before getting to a section we like to call roller flow because of the ups and downs.

Eventually, it leads to what's best described as a pump track through the woods referred to as "The Red Dragon." The dragon isn't red anymore, because I guess they couldn't find any more red clay, but there are more pumps, berms, and jumps than you can handle -- including a 4-foot gap jump, which is optional. In addition, there are three hard options and a table top jump you may have to wait in line for on a busy day.

Bring it all home, to the trailhead, and either do it again, go for more on the extremely difficult trails or cool down on the flowy easy trails.

History & Background

Alafia River State Park is located in Bone Valley we use the terms mountain and valley very liberally in Florida which contains the largest known deposits of phosphate in the world. Located between Tampa and Orlando, Bone Valley has been mined for over a hundred years. Up until the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975, the mining companies werent required to restore the land, and when the Lonesome Mine was determined dry in 1966, the company let nature take its course.

Contacts

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4.8 from 19 votes


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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

May 20, 2017
Kimberly Berger
May 6, 2017
William Frazer
May 6, 2017
Brian Mendez
Apr 9, 2017
Bryce Brunswick
North creek 5mi
Apr 8, 2017
Blake Brown
Great trails. Alot of skill required. 6mi
Mar 20, 2017
Jaime Adams
Mar 10, 2017
Skylar Palmero
4.6mi
Mar 3, 2017
Andres Jamaica

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Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 19 votes

#117

Overall
  4.8 from 19 votes
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#1

in Florida

#117

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1,138 Views Last Month
11,960 Since Jun 18, 2015
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Conditions


Minor Issues 6 days ago
Some Mud
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Photos

The park closes to day visitors at Sunset, which isn't 6 this time of year. The trails don't close but you can't park there unless you are camping, after sunset. Jun 10, 2017


Ok me and a few guys are going out there this weekend we all ride loyce e harp and struggle alot on the fingers so what trails would you recommend to ride here that arnt the flat greens lol Jun 16, 2017


The fingers at Harp would be extremely difficults at Alafia. So avoid Gatorback and Moonscape. Ride the "best of" route and you'll love it. Jun 16, 2017


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