Nature Coast State Trail, Trenton, Cross City, Old Town and Fanning Springs FL
LOCATION: Trailheads in Chiefland, Trenton, Cross City, Old Town and Fanning Springs Florida LENGTH: 32 miles of trails TYPE: Three spokes in the shape of a Y RANKING: Easy ACCESS: 7 am - dusk USAGE: Moderate FEES: None MAPS: None SURFACE: Paved FEATURES: Train trestle crossing the Suwannee River PET FRIENDLY: Yes
Fanning Springs State Park Gainesville, FL Manatee Springs State Park
The Nature Coast State Trail in rural Northwest Florida is part of the Florida Greenways and Trails system. This 32 mile paved bike trail has also been designated as a National Recreation Trail and traces the historic route of the Atlantic Coastline Railroad.
The trail is centered in Fanning Springs near Fanning Springs State Park about an hour west of Gainesville, Florida. There are three spokes in the shape of a Y. One spoke to Cross City, One to Trenton and one to Chiefland. An equestrian trail parallels 4.5 miles of the paved trail from Old Town to Fanning Springs.
There are trailheads in Chiefland, Trenton, Cross City, Old Town and Fanning Springs. The Chiefland, Cross City and Trenton Trailheads each have parking, restrooms and a pavilion.
The highlight of the Nature Coast Trail is the scenic train trestle crossing the Suwannee River located about three miles west of Fanning Springs State Park on the route to Old Town. This is a great place to stop and have a picnic while watching the Suwannee River.
We biked part of the trail while camping at Otter Springs Park and Campground in March 2017. We began near the campground and biked to New Town crossing the train trestle. The path is wide and winds through the countryside and farmland with shady areas from trees along the road.
To reach the Fanning Springs trailhead from Gainesville, take State Route 26 west about 40 miles to Fanning Springs. At the T-junction with US 19/98, turn right. The trailhead lies just east of the Suwannee River.