The Paisley Woods Bicycle Trail is considered Central Florida’s premier long distance single track off-road trail. Actually, this trail consists of 2 loops joined in the approximate center, forming a sort of elongated figure 8. Each loop is about 10 miles.
Alexander Springs Recreation Area is connected to the north end of the trail, while the south is anchored by Clearwater Lake Recreation Area. Nicely tucked away in the Ocala National Forest, yet easily accessible, this trail is a real treat to ride….and family-friendly.
There are no grueling sections of roots to deal with, no mud holes or stream crossings. Sugar sand can be a bear in some places, especially on long uphills, but volunteers have added pine needles to some of the roughest sections (Thank you!). The downhills can be exhilarating, the uphills long and sometimes strenuous. But throughout, this trail was well maintained and clearly marked.
Paisley Woods is primarily a longleaf pine forest that blankets gently rolling hills, the ancestors of ancient sand dunes. This is not a jungle-like forest at all. Palms and palmettos are all but completely absent. There is very little undergrowth, so you can see for great distances in most areas, considering you’re in a forest.
Check out the Photo Gallery, map and links provided for more on this first class bicycle trail. Looking for more places and activities in Florida’s great outdoors? See our Bucket List and Where-to-Go for great spots throughout Florida.
Alexander Springs Recreation Area: 49525 CR 445, ALTOONA FL 32702 — GPS: 29.07889, -81.58
Clearwater Lake Recreation Area: 24511 CR 42, PAISLEY FL 32767 — GPS: 28.97944, -81.555