Florida: Bike Big Shoals Country – Beyond the Edge

Florida: Bike Big Shoals Country

Way down on the Suwannee River is Big Shoals State Park and its Class III rapids that surge and gush through a tangle of limestone and cypress; Photograph by John Moran, Getty Images
Down on the Suwannee River is Big Shoals State Park and its Class III rapids that surge and gush through a tangle of limestone and cypress; Photograph by John Moran, Getty Images

Tour the diverse terrain along the Suwannee River on bicycle.

What Is It? This ride combs through the hidden gem of Big Shoals Conservation Area and can be 5 to 25 miles, depending on your energy level. We definitely recommend cycling at least the ten-mile loop along the Suwannee River that starts from the Little Shoals entrance to Big Shoals State Park and proceeds on the Woodpecker, Mossy Ravine, and Palmetto Trails.

Why Do It? This ride has a smattering of everything. You’ll travel through stands of huge hickories and oaks, cruise across pine flats, ride next to rushing rivers, and wind around wetlands. You’ll enjoy single-track, double-track, pavement, an old wagon road, and even some uphill climbing, a rarity in largely flat Florida. But the big reward comes when you reach the biggest attraction—the Big Shoals—where the river flows over a series of giant limestone ledges, creating a section of loud, powerful, rushing white water.

Make It Happen: For detailed trail info check in with the Suwannee Bicycle Association and Big Shoals State Park.

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More: See America’s 100 Best Adventures and Long Weekends Like a Local

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50 Best Summer Weekend Adventures: Great adventures are all around us—and summer is the ideal time to seek them. To give you some ideas and inspiration, every weekday we will be sharing a different U.S. summer weekend adventure, state-by-state from A to Z. We invite you to share your favorite summer weekend adventures in the comments section below when your favorite state is featured. Report back after the weekend to tell us about the outdoor adventures you had.