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Bicycle Trails, Tracks and Clubs


There are dozens of scenic trails to travel by bicycle and plenty of places to rent or buy your equipment. If you are not an experienced rider consider reviewing the Florida Bicycle Association’s Rules for Path and Trail. http://www.floridabicycle.org/rules/pathandtrail.html

Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club has maps and group rides open to visitors, snowbirds and residents. Look ‘em up at http://www.smbc.us/maps.html. You can also find good info on Sarasota County’s website in the Parks and Recreation section. They post maps of some of the trails and exact locations of the trail heads. One of the newest, Legacy Trail, is a rails to trails linear park http://www.scgov.net/LegacyTrail/default.asp.

Venetian Waterway Trail
Venice has about 10 miles of trail that winds through this charming historic town and along the water. Check it out at http://www.vabi.org/map.htm.

The Sharkey’s Ride
This is a local favorite. Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club hosts an annual 35 mile ride from Sharkey's On The Pier in Venice. If you start from Shamrock Park it is about 27 miles round trip. There are white painted sharks on the roadway mapping out this route (because Venice is the prehistoric shark tooth capitol. Everybody finds shark’s teeth on Venice Beach). Find detailed directions at http://www.smbc.us/maps/sharkeysride.pdf.

If you are looking for something a bit more vertically challenging, head for the dump. Ok, former landfill. Florida is a little short when it comes to mountainous landscape so we make our own hills when we reclaim landfills as parks. Southeast Association of Mountain Bike Peddlers (SWAMP) can tell you which trails are the most challenging.

Sleeping Turtles Preserve
Another great ride to view wildlife is along trails near the Myakka River. Consider a bike n’ hike trip through two of Sarasota County’s most scenic natural areas. Bring your mountain bike (a wide tire bicycle is a must for the dirt trails) and ride to several Sarasota County environmentally sensitive lands along the Myakka River. Begin at the Sleeping Turtles Preserve North parking area to enjoy scenic views of the river viewed through groves of live oaks and cabbage palms. http://www.scgov.net/NaturalLands/documents/NaturalLandsTrailMaps/SleepingTurtlesPreserveNorth.pdf

Deer Prairie Creek Preserve
http://www.scgov.net/NaturalLands/documents/DPCgenBroWEB.pdf Then bicycle on country roads to the Deer Prairie Creek Preserve. It’s an 11 mile ride to two preserves and if you’re lucky, you may hear the great-horned owl, or northern quail, or see evidence of bobcat and gopher tortoise. At each preserve, you will be biking on dirt trails. You must provide your own bike and safety gear. (See below for rental options). We recommend that you wear comfortable walking shoes, bring a light jacket, a hat, sun screen, insect repellant and drinking water. Get moving!

Curry Creek Preserve
1075 Albee Farm Road, Venice
This 81-acre preserve, purchased in 2002 through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program, is named after the Curry Family, early pioneers that settled the area. see a variety of native habitats including mangrove forests, tidal marshes, scrub and pine flatwoods. Pond apple trees, a rarity in Sarasota County, can be found in forested areas upstream along the creek. Visitors may also encounter a variety of wildlife species such as gopher tortoises, alligators, river otters, eastern indigo snakes and an assortment of wading birds such as the roseate spoonbill and wood stork.

Red Bug Slough Preserve
55200 Beneva Road, Sarasota
Red Bug Slough Preserve is a 72 acre remnant piece of natural Florida nestled in the midst of suburban Sarasota. While exploring the preserve’s network of trails, visitors may see diverse natural communities – including hammocks, pine flatwoods, a small basin swamp and Red Bug Slough itself. Visitors can also observe grey squirrels, marsh rabbits, river otters, an occasional alligator and an assortment of song birds and wildflowers, such as, partridge pea and frostweed.  The preserve has several miles of unpaved trails, a small playground, picnic shelters and a fishing pier.

Check It Out!

BMX Bicycle Motorcross

www.sarasotabmx.com

BMX Track
Youth Athletic Complex
2810 17th St.
Sarasota FL
Phone: 941-957-4393

Coastal Cruisers Bicycle Club
North Port FL
www.coastalcruisers.net

Florida Mud Cutters

Phone: 239-997-3111
www.mudcutters.org

Sarasota-Manatee Bicycle Club

Phone: 941-924-6167
www.smbc.us

Southeast Association of Mountain Bike Peddlers (SWAMP)
Tampa FL
Phone: 813-689-5109

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