Withlacoochee State Trail, Ridge Manor Trail Head

If you have been following us on our bicycling adventures this summer, Terry, Maggie, and I have been riding on the Withlacoochee State Trail. (Yawn) We started this journey way back on May 4 at the furthest north trail head at Gulf Junction. It was actually a bit chilly on that first morning’s ride–it hasn’t been like that since! My unrealistic goal was to do the entire trail by October 6—the date of the Rails to Trails Bike Ride. (I totally forgot how freaking hot it is here in the summer) But we’ve been taking on manageable five mile sections on each ride (so that’s like a ten-mile round trip). We were over half-way through the trail when we were sidetracked with other life adventures in August. (That would be grandkids and a drive to North Dakota)  We finally made it back to the trail this month, starting our recent trek at the Ridge Manor Trail Head in Hernando County and riding north.

Ridge Manor Trail Head

Maggie at the Withlacoochee State Trail
Maggie’s ready to run!

This section of the trail is very scenic as it goes through the Withlacoochee State Forest. We set out really early, like right after the sun came up and these humongous scary spider webs were glistening with dew in the branches of the trees right above our heads.  Very scary.  I mean, these spiders could stop a small plane.  We also came across a cypress swamp along the trail–can you say alligators, snakes and swamp monsters? This was by far the most beautiful section of the entire trail–only because I like spiders (as long as they don’t get in my hair) and swampy stuff (as long as that swamp monster stay where it belongs.)

Spider Web on Trail
These webs were high in the trees, someone before us already got entangled in the lower webs. Ecccck.
Cypress Swamp
While we didn’t spot any snakes or alligators, they probably spotted us.  Kinda creepy.

We have about ten miles left to complete on the trail–south from Ridge Manor to Trilby and also south from the Lake Townsen Park trail head. (We should have done Lake Townsen Park before Ridge Manor but I needed to go to Brooksville so it seemed like a good idea. And I didn’t even get to make my Bville stop because there was a nasty accident under the interstate.) I thought we’d get out to do another five miles this week but it’s been rain, rain, rain and more rain since Sunday.  Finally stopped yesterday afternoon but there are still huge clouds hanging around.

So eight more days before the official Rails to Trails Bike Ride. So the question is, how many more miles can we get in? Any bets?  Whether we make it or not, Terry and I will still be attending the bike ride next Sunday (the 6th). Watch for more boring pictures and stories from the bike ride the following week!

Terry and Maggie on the trail
Maggie will not be attending the bike ride. She is totally anti-social and told me that she’d rather stay in bed!


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