Florida Springs Bike Tour
Camping fourth night:
O'Leno State Park, Route 2, Box 1010, High Springs, FL 32643, (904) 454-1853. Reservations recommended.
The route travels from Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center in a southerly direction for 45 miles to O'Leno State Park. The majority of the day's route is on a beautiful country byway, County Road 137, traversing the length of the eastern edge of Suwannee County. The road rolls and jogs through farmland and countryside for almost 25 miles. The roadsides are ablaze with phlox and other wildflowers during April and May.
Ichetucknee Springs is 30 miles from the ride start and makes a wonderful stop for a picnic and swim. If you are a strong rider, you may even have time to float the spring run by raft or tube. Shuttles are available to return you upstream. The southern entrance has an excellent tube run with a return boardwalk. Tubes are available for rent outside the park.
O'Leno State Park is about 15 miles from Ichetucknee. The route travels easterly over county roads for most of the distance with two jogs necessary on busier highways. At O'Leno the Santa Fe River disappears underground for three miles to resurface again at River Rise State Preserve.
Swimming areas and hiking trails highlight the area.
The day's ride is on quiet rural byways. Watch for speed bumps on the approaches of many intersections. Three sections of busier roadways had to be included: 0.1 mile segment of US 41 in White Springs, 2.1 mile stretch on SR 47 into Fort White, and a 0.5 mile section on US 441. Use extra caution on these busier roads, riding single file in a steady, predictable manner. Be sure to wear bright colors, so you are easily visible to other highway users.
Most of the route is in rural farmland with no services available, so plan and pack accordingly. Convenience stores are located in White Springs, Wellborn, near the north entrance of Ichetucknee Springs, and at Fort White. The last opportunity to purchase food and supplies before you reach O'Leno is in Fort White.
Directions from Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center to O'Leno State Park
0.2 Turn right onto SR 136.
0.3 Suwannee River, enter Columbia County.
2.5 Enter Suwannee County.
3.3 I-75 overpass.
4.0 Turn left onto CR 137.
10.2 Cross SR 250 (old US 90).
10.9 Cross US 90.
15.4 Cross CR 252.
22.2 Turn left at '"T" intersection onto CR 137/SR 240.
22.7 Turn right onto CR 137.
23.3 Cross SR 247.
28.7 Turn left onto Bomar Rd (at sign for Bomar Farms). Follow signs to Ichetucknee Springs, North Entrance).
32.7 Ichetucknee Springs State Park.
32.8 Continue straight as road becomes CR 238.
36.5 Turn right onto SR 47.
38.6 Turn left onto US 27 in Ft. White.
38.9 Turn left onto SR 18.
42.9 Cross CR 131.
45.2 Turn right onto US 441.
45.7 Turn left onto park frontage road.
46.5 Turn left into O'Leno State Park.
46.7 Park Entrance Station.
Total Trip Mileage to date: 206.3
As well as these directions, you should bring along your own map, in case you miss a turn, get lost, a road changes, or for any of the other thousands of reasons that you may need to vary your route.
Many thanks to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for this tour description.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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