Local Flavours: The Complete Guide to Riding in Tallahassee, Florida

Dec 1, 2020
by Brice Shirbach  

Local Flavours

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO RIDING IN
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA
Words, photos, & video by Brice Shirbach

Presented by Visit Tallahassee

Note from the author: COVID-19 cases have begun to surge once again, which obviously makes the timing of a travel guide to Florida a bit inauspicious. While producing this I took several measures to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus, which included no involvement of any additional riders, and basically spending the entire week either on the trails, grabbing takeout, or working in the apartment I rented. The good news is that this guide will be especially useful once things settle and safe travel is an option for all of us. Check it out, make some plans for the future, and stay safe.


Whenever I travel to the mountains out west, especially to places above the 8,000 feet line of demarcation, I typically need a couple of days to really feel like myself on the bike. Once I've acclimated, it's game on, but up until that point usually feel a bit off. The same can be said anytime I travel to the deep south in the summer, especially Florida. It obviously has nothing to do with the altitude either, as Florida's highest point is a hair under 350 feet above sea level. It's not the heat, it's the humidity. As a native east coaster, I am very familiar with that refrain, but Florida can lay claim to having the highest relative humidity levels behind only Alaska (go figure) in the United States. While many of us who call the east coast home are pretty familiar with that high dew point life, it's on another level here.

It only takes a day or two to acclimate, and much like adjusting to the mountains, it's amazing how good the absence of discomfort can feel. But the reason for that humidity can be directly attributed to the Gulf of Mexico, where water temps occasionally top 90 degrees Fahrenheit and prevailing winds keep things damp throughout the Sunshine State. While all of that humidity make take a little getting used to, particularly for those coming from drier climates, there are some real benefits that come from it. First, Florida is an ideal winter riding spot as it is exceedingly rare for a freeze thaw cycle to occur, even in those places that are hours from the coast. It's also green year-round, which is quite a respite from the dull grays and browns that dominate winter throughout most of the country. And there's the light show that comes at the end of each day. I arrived in Tallahassee with just enough time to get an hour-long ride in before catching an incredible sunset. Sure, the humidity takes a day or two to get used to on, but it also delivers the kind of oversaturated light show you'd normally need a filter for, so I'll take it.

Brice Shirbach // Local Flavours
Age: 38
Location: Wilmington, DE, USA
Industry affiliations: PEARL iZUMi, Pivot Cycles, Maxxis Tires, Julbo, Shimano, Dialed Health, Stan's NoTubes
Instagram: @bricycles
Favorite Ride in Tallahassee: West Cadillac to East Cadillac


Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL


A Bit About the Region

In April of 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon found himself wading in the shallow surf of what is now Florida's Atlantic coastline. He famously explored much of this new territory, and inspired many Spanish expeditions even after his death in 1521. Eventually as the Spanish moved west across the region, they encountered one of the most advanced indigenous civilizations in the southeastern portion of the continent. While the Spanish troops mistakenly called them Apalachee, the indigenous people called themselves the Alachua. The next few centuries would be defined by a Spanish and indigenous cohabitation before the English, aided by Creek Indian allies from the Carolinas, would eventually ruin everything. That violent and bloody site is now a 260-acre subdivision east of Tallahassee called Mission San Miguel, and the indigenous history of Tallahassee is preserved throughout the region through archeological sites and museums as a stark reminder of what once was.

Tallahassee serves as the capital city of Florida, and as such the State Government is the number 1 employer for the city. Florida State University and Florida A&M are the two major universities in town, with the former being one of the largest and most successful collegiate athletic schools in the country. Home football games are massive revenue events for the city as well, and the latter provides numerous cultural celebrations for the black community including the Harambee Festival which kickstarts Black History Month. Because of the city's legislative role for the state as well as the prominent universities on either side of town, the energy in Tallahassee is constant, with numerous restaurants, bars, concert venues, and a really cool art district, all of which seem to have a ceaselessness about them.

The modest hills and rolling terrain in Northwest Florida serves Tally well, as there are numerous parks throughout the region, as well as the sprawling Apalachicola National Forest, the largest in the state. The national forest covers 573,521 acres and includes 2,735 acres of water. There are a number of city and county parks as well, all of which have helped Tallahassee lay claim to over 700 miles of trail in the region, which includes both water and land trails. The area geography lends itself to some truly unique outdoor opportunities and the city knows it, which is why they have been making significant investments in the trail infrastructure and outdoor resources in recent years. For mountain bikers in particular the rapid expansion of trails has been impressive, and it's clear that there's a very high ceiling for Tallahassee mountain biking that will be fun to watch come to fruition in the years to come.

Like the rest of the world, Tallahassee is working to mitigate the risk and impact of the global pandemic, and you can stay up to date on the latest CDC instructions regarding COVID-19 to the safest experiences and dining options available to better explore everything Tally has to offer by checking out their dedicated website.


Getting to Tallahassee

Tallahassee is an easy city to get to and from. For much of the southeastern United States, driving is the simplest and. most viable means of getting to and from town. The primary highway that serves the region is Interstate 10, which runs east to west. Tallahassee is only 10 minutes from the Georgia state line as well, and is easy enough to navigate while driving in and around the city. Drive times to other cities in the Southeast include: Jacksonville, FL - 2 hours, Atlanta, GA - 4.5 hours, Birmingham, AL - 5 hours, and Charlotte, NC - 7 hours.

Flying into Tallahassee is also an option, with Tallahassee International Airport (TLH) ten miles southwest of downtown. TLH is serviced by American Airlines, Delta, United, and Silver Airways. Daily direct flights are available to Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. Car rentals, shuttles, taxis, and buses are all available to help get you to and from the airport as well.


Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL


The Best Trails to Ride in Tallahassee

The area in and around Tallahassee is primed for sweet Florida singletrack. The relative proximity to the Gulf does mean that many of the trail surface is comprised largely of a sandy composition, but there is plenty of clay here as well, and a surprising amount of roots and rock to keep things lively. There are a few different trail networks that surround the city, but most are comprised of just a handful of trails so I'll refrain from breaking down each network specifically and focus on the trails from the sum total. Tallahassee is really working hard to build out an infrastructure for bikes of all types, and it's great to see that they've been deliberate and smart about it. There's an abundance of greenways that enable access to singletrack for mountain bikers from town, and they're certainly making the most of what the terrain is giving them.

Key trail - Redbug: Redbug is a 4 mile long loop to the north of town at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park. It's an interesting space that is shared with numerous baseball and softball fields, but it only takes a minute or two before the dense forest provides a much needed barrier from the crowds allowing you to really feel the immersion of this place. Technical and punchy, it's a really fun loop with a handful of purpose built optional features throughout.

Key trail - Magnolia: Magnolia is a really great trail with a couple of optional offshoots in different sections of the trail. Located in Tom Brown Park, it starts and finishes adjacent to the Velosolutions pumptrack, although it can be picked up at several different points along the trail, including multiple spots along the Goose Pond greenway. There is a great sense of flow throughout Magnolia, and it's punctuated by several nice corner pockets, skinnies, a handful of small jumps, and a really fun wallride.

Key trail - West Cadillac: West Cadillac is a 1 mile point-to-point trail that connects Tom Brown Park to Lafayette Heritage Trail Park. The trail is rockier than most in the area, and the builders seemed to have a good time creating some really fun and challenging features to keep things interesting in both directions.

Key trail - East Cadillac: This is a two mile loop on the shores of Lafayette and Piney Z lakes. It can be ridden in either direction, but I preferred riding it counter clockwise, which takes riders in the proper direction to best enjoy some jumps and drops about 3/4 of a mile in. Features include a wooden whale tale nicknamed "Nessie" by the locals, as well as a pretty cool natural ravine with numerous gap and drop options.

Key trail - Gun Range: Known by locals as "Reach Around", this is a short and directional loop off of the Magnolia trail. It offers up the most creative selection of line options perhaps in all of Tallahassee, with several jumps that can be hit at full speed, as well as some ladder drops, and a bit of natural trail jank towards the end of the loop

Key trail - Munson Hill: Munson Hills is actually comprised of an East and West loop, but they are easily combined for an 8 mile ride through beautiful Apalachicola National Forest. The trails are located on a dry sea bed, which makes for an interesting experience. The soil composition is quite sandy, which is ideal during or immediately after a rain event, which happens fairly often here. You can tack on an additional 10 miles to your ride by throwing in a lap on Twilight Trail.





Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL


Weather:

Tallahassee is definitely a year-round riding location, with summers perhaps seeing the least amount of visitors to the region. Unlike most of Florida, there are 4 distinct season here, though that can vary from year to year. January is typically the coldest month of the year, with average daytime highs in the 60's, with a rare overnight below freezing. Shoulder seasons are quite pleasant, running from March through May, and September through November. Your best bet at staying dry is from November - April, with regular thunderstorms a part of life during summer months.

Bike Advice:

This is easy. It's Florida, and as impressive as the trails are in Tallahassee, anything more than a short travel trail bike is overkill and frankly will diminish the experience. You could also bring your dirt jumper for some pumptrack action and jump lines.


Local Clubs and Advocates:

The Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association is 1 of 46 total chapters under the SORBA (Southern Off Road Bicycle Association) umbrella, 6 of which can be found in the Sunshine State. TMBA has proven to be a powerful collective, advocating for trail access and land conservation throughout the region. They have developed strong partnerships with land managers throughout Tallahassee including the City of Tallahassee and Leon County, as well State and Federal governments. TMBA utilize trail maintenance and construction methods taught and developed by IMBA for the majority of their trails.

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL

Local Flavours Tallahassee FL
Check out my full gallery of images here.

Accommodations and Food:

Tallahassee is Florida's capital city and is home to two major universities, so yes, there are a number of lodging options in and around town. Given the current circumstances, I would heed CDC instructions before even considering a trip, but if you are looking for a place to stay Airbnb would be my first suggestion, as there are countless options and aside from primitive camping or van-life, it allows for a convenient means of reducing contact and proximity to others. There are obviously plenty of other options available, and you can check them out here.

Breakfast:
Maple Street Biscuits is a community-centric restaurant that sources local ingredients and makes amazing biscuits.
Canopy Road Cafe offers up a massive breakfast menu, and has been a Tallahassee breakfast institution for over a decade.
Smoothie Time serves tasty smoothies (captain obvious here), as well as all day breakfast items.

Lunch:
Olean's Cafe serves up soul food for lunch at an old school counter service diner, and is right across the street from Florida A&M.
Mo Betta BBQ is a barbecue food truck that has become a Tallahassee staple.

Dinner:
Lemongrass offers influences from across the continent, especially Vietnam and Thailand, and have created a variety of unique, flavorful, made-to-order dishes including bánh mì and sushi.
El Viroleño specializes in Salvadoran and other Central American cuisine, such as pupusas, tamales, and tacos.
Table 23 is situated under a canopy of moss covered oak trees, and offers an impressive menu and drink selection, and has an awesome covered deck and bar for dining in fresh air.


Local Bike Shops:

Higher Ground Bicycle Company: Florida's highest bike shop at 222 feet above sea level and they're right next to the trails!
University Cycles of Tallahassee: Conveniently located near the Florida State campus, these guys are knowledgable and have a solid selection of gear.
David's World Cycle: A chain of northern and central Florida bike shops, these guys are dedicated to their community and are pretty fanatical when it comes to getting people outside.


Other tips:

1. Check out the Murals. I'm a pretty big believer in the power of art, and I've always felt like murals go largely under appreciated by many. They add so much character and beauty to a town, and allow for you to take a moment to stop and tune out the noise in life for a moment.
2. Head to the Gulf. Thanks to The Office, I have spent years assuming that Tallahassee was in fact hours from the Gulf of Mexico, when in reality it's only 45 minutes. The Gulf is a beautiful body of water and it's definitely worth carving out an evening or two for. Catch a sunset at the St. Mark's Lighthouse while you're down there.
3. Treat Your Soul and Your Stomach. Black-owned businesses are an essential part of the Tallahassee culture, and you owe it to yourself to check some of these businesses out firsthand, especially if you've put some miles in.


Presented by Visit Tallahassee.

Tallahassee mountain biking trails

Regions in Article
Tallahassee


82 Comments

  • 34 0
 Plus, its the home of Sabre.
  • 16 0
 "Dwight, I don't even want to live in Florida. It's America's basement - there are bugs, it's damp. Alligators are dinosaurs, Dwight. You know that, right?" - RC
  • 7 0
 I came here for the Office references
  • 6 0
 @Landonmcgauley: Dunder Mifflin is a part of Saaabray.
  • 19 1
 Florida man rides Florida mountains...
  • 1 0
 I didn't know Florida has mountains!
  • 14 2
 Had to rub my eyes when I woke up to my hometown being on the top of PB...! I can't wait to see the sea of idiots rip on Florida who haven't been there much less ridden it. For perspective, I've lived in CO for about 7 years, but I still miss riding back there. Different flavor, but amazing community and amazing trails.
  • 14 1
 I hear FL has done a great job or leveraging what they have for trails and often times that fosters a wonderful community. For contrast, the mtb culture on the Front Range of CO is so toxic and douchey sometimes I want to move to a different place.
  • 6 9
 @fullendurbro: That's the truth about what MTB culture has become. It didn't used to be like this. I actually sold my bike this year and just stick to myself now. It's not the welcoming environment it once once. Not a hard decision to step away.
  • 4 0
 The CO mtb culture has declined substantially over the last long while. I'm not sure what the hell happened but I think it's insecure dudes and their not-so-subtle peacocking. Some people just have so much of an urge to constantly show (post) how cool they are
  • 3 0
 I just moved from Tally to Denver this year and definitely miss those trails from time to time. The riding out here is epic for sure, but dang I could go for a Khol's loop right about now. Cheers dude
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: My take is that people definitely take the trails for granted out here. To give them some credit, it's easy to take for granted if you grew up somewhere where outdoor sports are ubiquitous, and the generations before you were the people who fought for the trails you regularly ride without issue. Not to mention, a lot of riders are just ski resort bros killing time in the offseason.

MTB isn't a resort sport in Florida. Without the community that really started growing around 2002-2005 in North Florida, there would not be the nearly the massive trail systems they have today. More recently, without the relentless advocacy and lobbying efforts of organizations like TMBA/shops like Higher Ground, the extent of the outdoors community in Tallahassee would involve trucks, motorcycles, and mud tires.
  • 4 2
 @moturner: Strava happened. There are a lot of falsely inflated egos out there and endurbros who think they should be sponsored because they are 8th overall on a 27 second segment, while paying no mind to the fact that they would be obliterated in an actual race.

Strava turned everyone into a racer. Even if you aren't fast enough to be in the top 100 of all time, you can be in the top 40 of the day, and that makes people think they are way sicker than they are.

It's also a prereq to be a massive knobhead if you join the Colorowdies. Rude Boy racing won't even consider your app unless you've roofied a girl at a party.
  • 1 0
 These trails look really fun!

Personally, I think the biggest advantage of living in CO is not the terrain but the amount of sunshine and/or lack of rainy days. I can basically ride 3 seasons, any day of the week, without having to get out a rain kit. It's not perfect but I get to ride more than when I previously lived on the East Coast.
  • 2 0
 @moturner: ya but who gives a shit about those kind of people. They exist in life and has nothing to do with the sport itself. One can choose to be affected by the behaviour of morons or ignore the crap and have fun.
  • 2 0
 @youknowitsus: I feel sorry for you if that’s how the scene is where you’re at. But again there are asshats everywhere in life. I say forget the douches, ride your bike and have fun.
  • 7 11
flag ricochetrabbit (Dec 1, 2020 at 16:12) (Below Threshold)
 Liberals. Liberals are what ruined it @moturner:
  • 6 0
 @fullendurbro: Came here for some hot Florida action, will be staying for more Rude Boys shit talk, what a bunch of rasta-appropriating d-nozzles...
  • 3 0
 @kingpine: Dude. Literally the embodiment of everything that is "bro."
  • 2 0
 Visiting Ocala FL now and it's 30 degrees, high of 52. The summer is forget it hot though. Santos trails were featured on PB many times as it is massive as are the drops/jumps that would make your bike park blush.
  • 1 0
 Ocala is pretty far north central tho. At least to where I’m at in Naples. About a 10-12 degree difference @ReeferSouthrland:
  • 2 0
 @ricochetrabbit: You're in Naples? Which are you? Mafia, or family fortune inheritee?
  • 1 0
 Yes Naples. You don’t have to be a billionaire to live here @fullendurbro:
  • 1 0
 @ricochetrabbit: So then you're mafia. Got it.
  • 1 0
 Lol I actually work for the occupation the mob hates the most @fullendurbro:
  • 1 0
 @ReeferSouthrland: Group ride tonight at Santos trail head...we have lights 6pm.
  • 1 0
 @graham2017: ....well put.......the mtb scene on the gulf coast flatlands is VASTLY different than the rest of the country. For a variety of reasons.
  • 8 0
 I live in downtown Tallahassee and can be on single track in less than a mile and a half and from there do a 30+ mile trail ride that involves only a single road crossing. There are over a 100 miles of single track in and around town. Tallahasee is an awesome place to be a rider.
  • 1 0
 Out of curiosity, what's the elevation profile of a 30 mile ride in Tallahasee?
  • 2 0
 @fullendurbro: About 50ft/mile on the trails. More if you stop to session a freeride zone
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: It is a bit more about on sections in other parks. The builders seem to have found every punchy climb there is and went over it....seems you are either anaerobic or not...
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: 1000' or so.
  • 1 0
 @jmandy772: This is spot on. Unless we go south, we get about 1000 ft per 20 miles. It's all quick ups and downs though. The longest sustained climb might be a minute or so
  • 1 0
 @jimsmart: That's insane.
  • 7 0
 Caddilac will always be my fave from my childhood. I could ride from my parents house and hop on the trail by the transfer station, ride all the way to my buddies house next to the old higher ground spot next to jennys lunch box, and then ride through town, and link up more single track all day long. great time good fun. For the more aggressive side of things, the dj came in super handy for nights out with buddies finding nuggets of fun on both fsu and famu campuses. Stair gaps, ledges, banks, skinnies, you name it they have it. and then you could cruise to the skatepark to finish up as late as you want, they leave the lights on all night, or at least they used to. memories. Its a great place to have grown up riding. and a great place to go visit and get some fast hot laps in and see the progression! also that pump track used to be a full fledged bmx nationals track! have quite the fond memories of that place, and a few concussions as well. Lol
  • 7 0
 I like these kinds of articles PinkBike! good information and I thought Florida was nothing but sandy beaches (and Alligators, and Swamps, and sinkholes...)
  • 1 0
 @JustAnotherRiderHere: I was looking for Santos to make its appearance here! Love that trail system
  • 9 2
 Just keep driving until you get to Ocala
  • 8 0
 Yep. Then out to Tampa area....
  • 2 0
 And all the way to Miami!
  • 3 0
 Lived in Tally for 10 years and LOVED the trail system and local riding community. Recently moved to Denver, but definitely still miss my local Tally trails at times. Loved this article! I'll be flying over to Tallahassee for the annual Urban Gorilla ride that always takes place on Super Bowl Sunday. Epic ride around the city hitting about 45 miles of single track and at least 8-10 brewery/bar stops along the way.
  • 3 0
 Did a few XC races here 15+ years ago. Magnolia was the original trail at Tom Brown, before the Alford Greenway came about with the Cadillac Trails. Doesn't look like it's changed much, except all the new buildings by the Armory.

Funny story, MX legend Ricky Carmichael showed up to one of those races and actually entered. This was probably 2002 or 2003. When I was on the start line for my heat, I was staring at an attractive woman for an extended period...when I glanced to her side, I realized it was Ricky standing next to her. It was his wife. He just gave me a thumb up. As for Ricky, I believe he won his age category.
  • 2 0
 yeah he edged out my buddy eric at the end with them crushing through the bmx track full sprint! i had just finished my laps, and was puking next to a tree when that happened lol! what a good time! and Todd Mayes, the owner of higher ground, would put together a trials course every year for the kids too!
  • 3 0
 @Johnboy1984: That was before the BMX park was fully paved and still had clay jumps too (not sure when they paved it? there is a span of about a decade when I didn't visit Tom Brown). My teammate John broke his collarbone on the big BMX table during the race a year or two after; was somewhat ironic, as his occupation was helicopter medevac.

What stood out to me at Tom Brown during those years when the FL XC scene was at its peak, were the trails appealed to everyone. Yeah, it's flat by those who live in the mountains, but to the guys who lived in South Florida, it was definitely hilly - but they were able to be pretty competitive on gradual gradients. It wasn't the steeps of Haile's Trails or old Razorback.
  • 4 0
 Yay Florida! It's riding season here now. Cudos to all the trail builders who make the most out our limited terrain. Tom Brown is a great ride in Tally.
  • 2 0
 both my parentals went to FSU, & my dad did his post-graduate work there during the mid '70s/early '80s. i remember going to Tom Brown park back then - the ice cream truck was always there selling slushees. it was hot, humid & rained ALL THE TIME...not something i miss now
  • 2 0
 I'd be lying if I said that didn't look like an awesome place to do some lower-stakes fun riding and exploring, sort of like a baby Bentonville. Shame about the 'rona and humidity...maybe winter 2021-2022 would be a good time to check it out.
  • 2 0
 Nice article! I lived in Tallahassee for 12 years and learned how to ride a MTB there on my Gary Fisher Sugar which I bought at the Great Bicycle Shop. Then I moved to Vancouver, BC., what a change. Tally is an alright place to live, nice college town just about the right size, not too much traffic and It used to have some decent bikes shops. Keep articles like this one coming, I really enjoyed!
  • 3 0
 My mom lives in Tally and I've ridden the Tom Brown and Red Bug trails a few times. Some fun trails to hit in winter where most everywhere else is damn cold.
  • 4 0
 thats alot of trail jammed into a really small area. Pretty cool i guess mountain bikers will find a way.
  • 1 0
 If you gotta live in Florida, at least you can still ride a mountain bike... course living in Florida kinda sucks so why anyone would choose to live there is beyond me.

When I finally got out of the South after twenty years, I wouldn’t consider going back for money or love.

Hot and humid in the summer, wet and humid in the winter, bugs, bugs, bugs. Did I mention bugs?

But yeah, if you gotta live someplace that’s not mountainous, at least you got some XC trails to ride in between dreaming of the West Coast.

Of course it’s not that far to Arkansas, North Carolina, Georgia ....

Dig the murals!
  • 1 0
 I’m the opposite: lived up north for over 30 years and got tired of freezing temperatures, low humidity and snow shoveling, then moved to central Florida and enjoy the hot temperatures and humid weather. It was 36F last night. Besides decent local trails and great bike clubs I get to occasionally catch a few waves from a Hurricane swell or Northeastern.

Can’t afford living in California so this will have to do for now. And like you said GA and NC aren’t too far away.

There is one thing I hate in Florida: the drivers. Smile
  • 2 1
 Go farther south and you can ride through old phosphate mines at Balm Boyette and Alafia River State Park and then there is Santos with their new flow trail. Boyette has a trail named Ridgeline, which is one of the best trails in Florida. Plenty of YouTube coverage of these epic trails.

Not sure about the comment on short travel bikes, I wouldn’t ride any of these trails without an enduro bike. Many of the riders in the area ride enduro bikes, which is helpful on the black diamond and double diamonds.
  • 4 0
 Agreed, there's some great stuff further south for sure. As far as bikes go and trail ratings go, I think it's a bit relative, but I've been to all of those places and just feel like there are no sustained descents that would warrant an enduro rig compared to what you would find in so many other parts of the world. Shorter travel bikes have the progressive geo needed for hits, etc and the snappier suspension you want when you're constantly going up and down.
  • 3 0
 You can ride all of Florida reasonably on a hardtail, save for an odd big feature. Short travel bikes are the best for our terrain, respectfully.
  • 4 0
 @TwoNGlenn: I also agree with you on this. I've ridden FL trails on bikes ranging from XC hardtails to bikes as "big" as 130-140mm rear travel and all have worked very well. There definitely seems to be a sweet spot around 120mm of rear travel, give-or-take a bit. My theory is shorter travel bikes excel due to the often very punchy nature of trails around FL. Of course, that is all my personal opinion and I do see why some people like longer travel bikes.
  • 1 0
 @briceshirbach: been riding MTB for over 15 years and thought the same about only riding hardtail or short travel on the trails I listed. However, came across a great deal on a 2015 Giant Reign and got it down to 28lbs with Vorsprung coil conversion. Only thing I run into as being an issue around here is the low BB. Use every inch of travel... Also, my back is shot with spinal stenosis, herniated discs, etc., so maybe that’s one reason I enjoy it.

Likely buy a shorter travel bike since they are getting more progressive, longer, slacker, etc.

Link below has some of the bikes being built for local trails:

m.facebook.com/ajsbikesandboards
  • 3 0
 Ive actually heard good things about the riding there (all things considered)
  • 1 0
 FL really has some great spots to ride! Of course you won't get big elevation changes, but there really is such a great used of the terrain that is available at a lot of these trail systems.
  • 3 0
 I love this kind of article, PB!

Glad to see someplace other than the PacNW/Colorado/Asheville getting attention.
  • 2 0
 @briceshirbach Nice content on our local trails. These are some great photos. I hope you got the chance to ride Kudzilla and Kohls while you were in town.
  • 3 0
 I can feel the humidity form here.
  • 4 0
 But you live in Atlanta? Isn't that the same humidity wise only no ocean breezes?
  • 1 0
 Tallahassee! I went to school there (FSU) when I was 8yrs old, 1967.
Hopefully no more shabby shags there today and black-white separation...
  • 5 1
 Much has changed in 53 years.
  • 3 2
 @blieb: ehhhhhhh
  • 3 0
 Thanks for putting some of the local trails in the spot light, Brice!
  • 2 0
 Way to make the most out of what you've got. Looks like a fun place to visit.
  • 2 0
 Pretty sure you’d get your ass kicked in Tallahassee if you spell it “flavour”.
  • 2 0
 That bike sounds like a sack of nickles. Is it really that noisy?
  • 1 1
 Just came to say I thought the name of the town would be a longer read than the riding. Wink

I'll come back tonight and actually read it.
  • 1 1
 Here is some additional history of these trails youtu.be/cUNeZNXRhwg
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