Withlacoochee State Trail, Floral City to Istachatta

Local Places, Local Faces

We had a break in the rain and a sunny morning last week so Terry, Maggie and I headed back to the Withlacoochee State Trail.  This bicycle ride started in Floral City.  We’ve only been in Floral City one other time and thought it was a unique little town.  I intend to go back and check out all the little shops—when it’s a bit cooler.  We also have not yet been to the Shamrock and it’s one of the restaurants on our “chicken wing” list.

We couldn’t find parking specifically for the trail so just used public parking behind the library.  There were a few other vehicles with bike racks already there but we didn’t see anyone else going out on the trail.  This was unusual since we usually see at least a half dozen people headed out.  We never saw anyone using the trail until we had made our turnaround and were headed back to Floral City. 

Withlacoochee State Trail, Floral City to Istachatta

This was the first section of the trail that we’ve been on that we could not see or hear Hwy-41. What we saw were many huge live oaks, beautiful pasture land, and farm animals.  Terry also spotted a peacock along the trail and we are assuming it was an escapee from one of the area ranches.   This section was almost completely shaded and had gentle inclines.  One of the most pleasant rides we’ve had on the trail.

We hoped to make it to the Istachatta Trailhead but it was a little too far.  We did ride about 5 miles and turned around at a placard regarding “The Great Train Wreck of 1956”.  Which I found quite interesting–Alan is an engineer on a railroad in ND plus my dad was a conductor when he was a young adult.  One of the men that died was W.E. Snyder, the brakeman.  That’s my maiden name.  Coincidence?  Most likely.  I did some googling but didn’t get more information other than what was already on the sign on the trail.  If anyone has any more info, let me know!

Withlacoochee Trail, Floral City to Istachatta
Placard about the Great Train Wreck of 1956.  Four railroad workers were killed when two trains were on the same track and collided.  Ironically, if they had used their recently installed radios, they would have known they were on the same track.  But they would not use the radios until they received additional pay as radio operators!  Bad decision!

We’re now over half way through the 46-mile trail.  Our next ride will start at the Istachatta trail head but we probably won’t be getting out again for a few weeks.  After all, Riley’s here and riding 10 miles on a bike that doesn’t really fit him in the heat and humidity might not be his idea of fun!  But we will be kayaking different rivers, doing some fishing, maybe some scalloping and enjoying a few of Florida’s beaches. 

Withlacoochee State Trail

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