Bicycling the Nature Coast Trail & Tallahassee-St. Marks Rail Trail

Near Gainesville, Florida

We spent a week at Hart Springs RV Campground near Bell, Florida. This quiet campground of fewer than 50 sites was the perfect spot to relax. With walking trails and springs leading out to the Suwannee River, this campground is great for outdoor adventures.

Whether you’re into hiking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, or even scuba diving, this little park has it all. However, if you’re looking for a place with great cell and internet, you might have a problem. Fortunately for us, our AT&T hot spot worked well so Mike could work in the mornings.

As you can see the hiking trails go through lush greenery and swampland. The pole near the springs marks the major times the Suwannee River has flooded.

Nature Coast State Trail

Our afternoons were spent riding the nearby Nature Coast State Trail. This 32-mile paved trail goes through several small towns and across the Suwannee River.

Meeting Up With Friends

We were also able to meet up with our friends, Paula and Brad, from Ohio. We ate a delicious lunch at O Sole Mio Cucina Italiano in Newberry. We would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the Newberry area.

We also met our friends, Dana and Carmella, at BubbaQue’s BBQ in Williston for some great barbeque. Carmella had done these beautiful wood-burned and painted plaques for us as a reminder of our time at Sunshine Key, and we wanted to get them before we left the area. This is another restaurant we would highly recommend.

Near Tallahassee, Florida

Our next destination was Crawfordville, south of Tallahassee. We stayed at Wildwood Golf and RV Resort. Another small campground, Wildwood has large paved sites, and if you golf, it’s right next door! Unfortunately, we forgot to get a photo of our site, but we were on Site 55.

Tallahassee-St. Marks Rail Trail

Wildwood is close to the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail. This 20.5-mile paved trail is a wonderful ride from South Tallahassee all the way to the town of St. Marks.

A short ride from St. Marks is San Marcos de Avalanche Historic State Park. There is a boat launch located here, as well as a museum retelling the history of the site. Admission to the park is free, however, there is a $2.00 fee to enter the museum.

St. Marks River Preserve State Park

After our ride, we drove over to St. Marks River Preserve State Park. This large area is home to wildlife; waterways for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing; and, trails for hiking and biking.

Riding to FAMU & FSU

On another day, we went to the north end of the trail and picked up another trail that went north into Tallahassee. This trail dropped us off at Florida A&M University and near Florida State University. We enjoyed riding around both campuses.


Of the two locations, we thought the riding was better near Tallahassee. However, the scenery at the campground was better near Gainesville. And, of course, catching up with friends was also a plus.

We would recommend both Hart Springs and Wildwood if you’re looking for locations near outdoor activities.

Next week – one last look back at Florida when our friends invited us to Sea World!

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