Cycling & Hiking

Nature Coast State Trail
This is a rails-to-trails, 32 – mile paved trail “green zone” for walkers, runners, skaters, hikers, cyclists and horseback riders. It connects three counties, the Trail cuts through quaint towns, rustic farmland and unspoiled forests, carrying visitors across the historic Suwannee River on an abandoned railroad trestle. Trail users may start off in Trenton at the Historic Train Depot and follow the trail southwest to Fanning Springs.

The trail also begins at the old railroad depot in Chiefland, Cross City and in Fanning Springs you choose which route to begin and end. All the towns on the route have restaurants and convenience stores within yards of the trail. It’s a wonderful way to stay in shape and enjoy nature at its best.

US Highway 129
This route has bicycle lanes and begins at the county line at the Santa Fe River bridge. At Bell it begins as a cycling club preferred route. It continues south and branches off of US 129 at CR 307 (at Walker’s Curve), and terminates at State Road 26 between Trenton and Fanning Springs. Just before the terminus is the intersection with the Nature Coast State Trail. There are also alternate routes down County Road 341 or CR 232.

East -West Routes
Three east-west routes have been marked out as preferred cyclists’ routes in north Gilchrist County. They all begin at US Highway 129 and head east. The northernmost route is County Road 138 which passes through the Santa Fe River flood plain and a beautiful hunting preserve. That route turns north on State Road 47 and crosses the river into Columbia County near Fort White. CR 340’s route begins at the flashing light at CR 340 and US 129, then continues east into Alachua County. This route takes you past world-famous springs (Ginnie, Blue and Poe) and brings you into the city of High Springs. CR 232’s route begins at US 129 just south of Bell and continues east into Alachua County between Newberry and High Springs.

Hiking (there is an entrance fee for all listed below)

Fanning Springs State Park – This mile-long nature trail takes hikers through an upland mixed forest and floodplain swamp. Along the trail are several large sinkholes.

Hart Springs – Visitors can enjoy a scenic stroll, on the half-mile boardwalk, that takes them down the spring run and out along the famous Suwannee River. Benches are provided for relaxing and observation stations are placed throughout the trail so visitors can enjoy scenic views of the flora and fauna living in the cypress hammock.

Otter Springs – Visitors can enjoy one of three developed multi-use hiking trails. One of the trails accesses the historic Suwannee River. The serene setting is perfect for hiking!

Blue Springs – Visitors can walk the Boardwalk which is a quarter-mile long and meanders along the spring run out to the Santa Fe River. Many hiking Trails crisscross throughout the Blue Springs property and offer a quiet getaway to walk and explore nature. You’ll see flora and fauna in its natural habitat.

Ellie Rays RV Resort – Has many nature trails along the river, through the pines and lush jungle