Description: Big Shoals Public Lands is a very large area of more than 4,000 acres, which is managed jointly by SRWMD, Florida Division of Forestry, Florida State Parks and Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission. This area has varied terrain with scenic vistas from high river bluffs. The land is noted for its mature pine forests, diverse plant communities and forest types, including swamps, pine flats and mixed hardwood forests. Many gopher tortoise burrows can be found in the state park, where FWC has had an on-going project to reestablish the population. During the hunting season the area hosts limited hunts only. Be sure to check the hunt schedules in the spring and fall.
One of the major natural attractions of the area is the Big Shoals of the Suwannee, where the river flows over a series of bedrock ledges and drops to create a spectacular section of white water. At most water levels the roar of the water cascading over the shoals can be heard quite a distance away.
The traditional ride through this area starts at the Little Shoals Entrance (water available at check station) and follows Road 7 to the "Ravine Trail," a singletrack that follows an old wagon road over Bottom Bay Creek and along the bluffs to Road 6. From Road 6 (Pignut Hickory sign) the trail descends the Cody Scarp and winds through levees and flatwoods to Little Shoals. From these shoals, follow Road 4 to Road 2 (triple gate intersection). Take Road 2 to the Palmetto Trail. Look for this segment's beginning near the river, where Road 2 takes a significant bend to the north. The Palmetto Trail is a windy single track, developed by Suwannee Bicycle Association volunteers north to " The Big Shoals." From the shoals, retrace trail to the "Palmetto" sign and follow the path away from the river to the "Beaver Dam Boardwalk" and Road 18, which leads back to Road 2. From the Road 18/2 intersection, you can follow Road 2 south back to the triple gate and old field/live oak picnic area or north to Road 1. Road 1 also goes to the old field/live oak picnic area and back to the Little Shoals entrance. You can also reach the Godwin Bridge entrance by turning right at the major intersection where Road 2 becomes Road 1. This entrance has water, toilets, and a large picnic area.
Directions: The official trailhead kiosk is at the picnic area in the Big Shoals Conservation Area. Follow County Road 135 (Woodpecker Route) for 3.6 miles north from its intersection with US 41 (flashing light in town). Turn right on Godwin Bridge Rd and follow it for 1.5 miles to the entrance of the tract.
Description: The bicycle route through this area has been enhanced with quite a bit of singletrack. A good ride through the area is to follow the marked jeep roads through the area, then return by way of the singletrack trails. Gar Pond is a shallow lake surrounded by marsh land. Many types of water birds can often be spotted. A second lake, known as the "Pit Pond" is man made and was left after excavation for the embankment for the Highway 41 Bridge. A few large sinks also contain water holes. Many blackberries line the jeep roads and bear a lot of fruit in season. Titi and sparkleberry bushes are also abundant in many areas and give a magnificent show of blooms about mid to late May. If both double track jeep roads and single track trails are ridden, the area currently has about 7 miles of bicycle trails. Gar Pond now includes signage.
Description: This trail is located in the Anderson Springs Tract of Twin Rivers State Forest, along the Suwannee River, just south of Ellaville. Anderson Springs is about four miles from Suwannee River State Park. This trail is ridden during Dog Days in August and at our other events. It lies across the river and south of the South Ellaville Tract. The entrance to the tract is on River Road, just south of the I-10 crossing. The tract has a long section of river frontage and a first magnitude spring, Anderson Spring, at the edge of the river. When water levels are high, the spring is covered by brown river water. But when the water in the river is at lower levels, the spring pumps large quantities of clear water into the river and makes a great swimming place. The Suwannee Bicycle Association has developed singletrack trail along the river for a couple of miles. The trail affords spectacular views of the river, and large gar fish can often be seen making incredible splashes in the murky water. The return trail back to the trailhead at the spring is quite technical with lots of hillocks and tree roots to traverse.
Description: Foster's Hammock Loop Trail is an eight mile single track mountain bike trail within Stephen Foster State Park. It includes Catfish Hole, the Suwannee River Overlook, “Beavor Crossing” and other unique areas along a scenic trail to allowing riders to experience the Upper Suwannee River Valley’s diverse topography.
Description: Located just behind the White Springs ball fields and cemetery, Bridge-To-Bridge Trail is a short, but challenging singletrack with plenty of sharp turns, climbs and descents. It follows the river for more than a mile with many scenic overlooks. Experienced off-road riders with good technical riding skills enjoy this trail. The whole loop is approximately 4.5 miles long. Bridge to Bridge now includes signage.
Description: It’s not called the Beast for nothing. This challenging single track includes a wide variety of terrain. Several access points allow riders to vary their mileage. This trail is signed. Enter under the bridge on Hwy. 41 or across the railroad tracks (Little Shoals) from the Ag. Station by the entrance to Gar Pond). The Beast now includes signage.