Did you know that May is National Bike Month? Is there a better place to celebrate than here in Tampa Bay? We’ve already got the great weather and the beautiful scenery. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate out in the fresh air on their bicycle? Take a look at these great trails in and around Tampa, and take a ride before the weather gets too hot.
Upper Tampa Bay Trail
Image by kellogg via Flickr
The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is in the northwest end of Hillsborough County near Memorial Highway in Westchase. It runs past Ehrlich Road to Peterson Road Park. You’ve got seven miles to enjoy the northern part of Tampa Bay with restrooms and picnic areas when you need to take a break.
Image by sylvar via Flickr
Located on Morris Bridge Road in Tampa, Flatwoods Park is a 5,400 acre park with picnic shelters, grills, and restrooms. For those of you who want to hit the trails, you’ve got two choices - a seven or an eleven mile loop. There are paved trails and, for anyone with a mountain bike, an off-road path to take your ride to a different level.
Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail
Image by kthypryn via Flickr
The Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail allows bicyclists, runners, walkers, and anyone not in a car to get across the bay. The views are amazing any time of day. You can park for free at Cypress Point Park or Skyway Park, and ride your bike one way and then back again, taking in the water and the city skyline all around you.
Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail
Image by PinellasCounty via Flickr
The Pinellas Trail is one of the most unique trails around. It’s part of the Rails to Trail program and follows to the old railroad paths. It’s a 36 miles path that connects St. Pete to Tarpon Springs. As you pass through Tarpon into Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, and beyond, you’ll find trail maps, phones, and restrooms along the way.
Image by dno1967b via Flickr
Head further north, into Pasco and Hernando counties, and you’ll find the Suncoast Trail. At 41 miles long, there’s plenty to see no matter where you go. It’s a nature-friendly ride so be prepared to see plenty of wildlife. Locals and tourists both love it, so it tends to get crowded in the morning. Like the other trails, you’ll find restrooms along the way.
These trails aren’t the only place to take your bike out, get some exercise, and see more of the area. Take a look at this list from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and find your own special place to ride in and around Tampa Bay.