Land Bridge‘s claim to fame is its “first of its kind in the nation” status — a bridge constructed over busy Interstate 75 in Ocala utilizing the local terrain and materials, including local plants. A bridge meant only for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding…and wild animal crossings.
Part of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, this area through Ocala is a haven for mountain biking enthusiasts, thanks to OMBA.org — Ocala Mountain Bike Association — along with Florida State Parks, dedicated volunteers, and generous sponsors. They have done and continue to do an outstanding job with these trails — good enough for the Santos section to earn Bronze Level Ride Center status from the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).
I rode the Santos and Vortex sections down into the heart of the Spider Kingdom several months ago. This time I decided to start at the Land Bridge section and connect a series of loops that took me west to the 49th Avenue Trailhead, then back east all the way to the very same spot in the Spider Kingdom that I used as my turn around spot from Santos. In all, 18.5 miles of superb trail riding.
My ride was just a couple of weeks after Hurricane Matthew ravaged the east coast of Florida as a Category 4 hurricane. Since this greenway is almost entirely forested I fully expected to find downed trees still blocking the trail here and there. To my surprise and enjoyment, every downed tree and limb had already been cleared. The trails looked perfect. Again, major kudos to all you volunteers.
Check out the Photo Gallery or the slideshow below, along with the map, links and information provided. I think you’ll agree that it’s worth checking out these world class trails. Rather hike? The Florida Trail runs through here, too. Horseback, you say? You can either bring your own or ride with Cactus Jack’s.
Slideshow of my ride:
Garmin Map of my ride:
OMBA Bike Trails Map; I rode the Land Bridge, Christmas, Barns, Coyote Corner and Spider Kingdom Sections on this ride.
Land Bridge Trailhead: 11100 SW 16th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34476