Seven Hills to the Sea Bicycle Tour
The hills moderate as the route progresses eastward through Gadsden County. An abundance of rich soil has made this area agriculturally significant with shade tobacco, plant nurseries and many other crops. The very long barns seen occasionally along the way were used for drying and curing tobacco especially grown for cigars. The market has dwindled, but the wooden monuments remain, tributes to the era when Tampa was cigar capital. Another regional tradition is the low grape arbors adjacent to most farmhouses upon which grow the popular scuppernong, a sweet, juicy, thick skinned variety ripe in July and August.
The bridge crossing of the Ochlockonee River affords a good view (up river) of Lake Talquin Dam, generating some of Tallahassee's electric supply. The river marks another change in topography as the route returns to the coastal flatlands. It follows a very straight road, cutting across the northeast corner of the Apalachicola National Forest. Very little shade and not one store will be found on the 15 miles stretch through the "forest".
At the end of the ride, the return to Wakulla Springs State Park with its shaded coolness and crystal clear spring water is usually a welcome respite for road weary travelers.
Some rough pavement is encountered leaving Torreya State Park, but road surface conditions improve upon entering Gadsden County. Most roads on the route are very lightly traveled. A short, three mile section on SR 20 carries more traffic. CR 267 through the national forest is usually very quiet, until it intersects CR 373. Then it picks up more traffic from Tallahassee enroute to the coast.
Very few stores are located along this day's route, so be sure to stock up when you can. The first store is a small deli at mile 11 in the rural community of Sycamore, a welcome surprise in the middle of the Florida farmland, serving great sandwiches. Mile 15, in Greensboro has convenience stores, the only ones to be found until US 319 at mile 60, almost 45 miles away and close to Wakulla Springs.
Directions from Torreya State Park to Wakulla Springs State Park
0.0 Entrance of the park.
1.0 Continue straight on C-1641.
2.6 Turn at first left at "T" intersection, sign to Chatahoochee.
3.1 Turn left onto unmarked road, continue straight.
6.4 Enter Gadsden County.
8.7 Bear right at "Y" intersection (do not follow sign for Chattahoochee to left).
9.1 Continue straight on CR 270 (road joins from left).
10.5 Pass CR 269.
11.9 Enter Sycamore.
12.8 Cross CR 379.
13.6 Stay on CR 270 at angle intersection with CR 483.
13.8 Greensboro Elementary School.
15.3 Turn right to stay on CR 270 (Ernest Rd) at "T" intersection.
15.5 Turn left to stay on CR 270 at intersection of Jackson & Selman Rd cross RR.
15.6 Turn right onto SR 12 (Green Ave).
16.1 Cross RR.
16.5 Continue straight when road intersects from right, cross bridge.
16.8 Pass CR 379.
18.0 Turn left onto CR 65-D.
18.4 Cross RR.
20.1 Turn right onto CR 65-A at "T" intersection (unmarked).
23.7 Turn right onto SR 65 at "T" intersection (unmarked).
24.9 Turn left onto CR 65-B.
30.4 Turn right onto SR 267.
31.0 Pass CR 65 intersection.
37.9 Enter Liberty County.
38.3 Turn left onto SR 20.
40.3 Ochlockonee River Bridge, enter Leon County.
41.5 Pass CR 375 and Smith Creek Rd.
41.8 Turn right onto SR 267.
56.2 Enter Wakulla County.
60.6 Cross US 319.
63.8 Cross SR 61.
63.9 Turn right into Wakulla Springs State Park.
Total Trip Mileage to date: 283.2
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