Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail

Mark, Deanne and I met up early at Everybody's Restaurant in Baldwin for our usual country style breakfast and dose of local color and were elevated by our server to the stature of "Darlin's" while she made sure we had everything we desired. Then off to the trailhead, a few blocks north, where Sandra joined us.
This was one of those days that sees a range of temperatures, starting off a little cooler than expected and warming rather rapidly. It was accompanied by a thin layer of clouds that overcast our experience with less than direct sunlight but was unable to mask the natural beauty of this trail. In north Florida, among the paved tails, the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail State Park is this trail's only rival in that department.
It's quite easy to forget to notice the trail surface itself, mostly because the surrounding forest is so beautiful, but also due to its well maintained condition. I was somewhat surprised to see so many people enjoying the trail this time, so I guess the secret is out. There were families, cycling and roller-blading, walkers, runners and horsemen... not crowded, but well used.
At the half-way point, where we are used to visiting the facilities, we were drawn off to the side to another trailhead that had been opened since our last visit. The Harvey House appears to be the central feature, though it has parking, a long, elevated boardwalk nature trail running through a dense pine forest, many acres with specimen Live Oaks planted, and connects via concrete trails to the trailside rest stop. We spent a few minutes there talking with folks and met another recumbent trike rider, John Landress, from Jacksonville.
At the east end, the Imeson Road Trailhead had a nearly full parking lot, unlike our launch in Baldwin which was almost empty.
Photos are posted in the gallery.

Trail Condition: Excellent, facilities clean and available.

Nature Coast Trail

Sandra and Mark were waiting for me when I drove up to the sight of Mark's brand new Rans Stratus, parked and ready. After I took a quick spin on a very quiet, light-weight, new bicycle with superbly stable handling, I slid back onto my tricycle and we were off. There was no difficulty in staying focused on the cold as it was only 49 degrees and hadn't been that cool in quite a while. The idea of shopping for socks crossed my mind a few times, but the wind was light and allowed the sun to peek through a fair amount.

We stopped for a break in Fanning Springs and found some fellas actually doing some welding work on the gas pump island. Considering the concept for just a few moments seemed to hasten our departure... something just didn't seem right about that. There were a few other trail users out this morning, one was particularly interested in our strange craft, but mostly we had the trail to ourselves. In Chiefland, we simply turned about and headed back, but noticing it was still feeling rather chilly at 61 degrees, we began to discuss the warmth we suspected would be associated with that little barbeque joint in Fanning Springs. In less time than the return trip took, it became apparent we would stop there for lunch and that turned out to be a very fine idea, indeed. They even had fried green tomatoes on the menu and do a particularly fine job of not over cooking the collards.

After lunch, it was mostly a back to the barn run. We weren't really pushing it, but didn't dawdle either, finishing up the last of the 36 miles happy to see our warm cars waiting.

Photos are posted in the gallery. I'll be out of pocket this coming weekend, but look forward to the weather at last permitting us to ride the Jacksonville-Baldwin Trail the next weekend.

Trail Condition: Always Excellent, facilities clean and available.