Withlacoochee State Trail, Wallace Brooks Park, Inverness to Floral City

We’ve had crazy amounts of rain since Friday here in Old Homosassa.  It has certainly curtailed any of our outdoor plans!  Last week, before the rains came in Terry, Maggie and I made it back out onto the Withlacoochee State Trail and covered another 6 ½ miles–our longest ride yet.   It helped that this was also the easiest part of the trail that we’ve covered so far.  Flat.  Shady.  Picturesque. We were happy bikers!

Withlacoochee State Trail, Inverness to Floral City
This section of the Withlacoochee State Trail is almost entirely shaded by large trees.

On this ride we started at Wallace Brooks Park, one of Inverness’s many lovely parks.  Wallace Brooks is on the shoreline of the Lake Tsala Apopka chain. It’s a small park but when we returned it was busy with all ages taking advantage of the green space and beautiful large trees.  A plus to parking at Wallace Brooks is that the lot is shaded.

Withlacoochee State Trail, Wallace Brooks Parky
Withlacoochee State Trail, Wallace Brooks Park

 

Withlacoochee State Trail, Inverness to Floral City
Withlacoochee State Trail, Wallace Brooks Park

We always ride as early as possible, but it was already in the upper 80s when we started out. I’ve run and biked on this part of the trail many times there is little elevation change and is shaded with beautiful large live oaks.  We spotted 3 sandhill cranes—2 adults and a chick– –within our first mile. For the first time in my many visits to the trail, I saw a horse and rider on the unpaved equestrian side. In addition we came across many dogs with their people, a few walkers and runners, but mainly bicyclists—and most  them were couples on bikes.  But Terry was the only bicyclist with a dog in his basket.

This portion of the trail goes by Fort Cooper State Park which we plan to visit another day. According to the state park website, there are miles of hiking, bird watching, and– a bonus for us–dogs are allowed!

Rest Area in Front of Fort Cooper State Park
Rest Area in Front of Fort Cooper State Park
Maggie and me taking a break
Maggie and me taking a break

We took a break in Floral City, enjoyed the pretty gazebo that’s right on the trail, tried to figure out exactly where the original train depot might have been, then turned back for Inverness.

Gazebo on the Withlacoochee State Trail in Floral City
Gazebo on the Withlacoochee State Trail in Floral City
Train Depot Marker in Floral City on the Withlacoochee State Trail
Train Depot Marker in Floral City on the Withlacoochee State Trail

Our next ride will be south from Floral City which will be a new section for all three of us. We’re looking forward to our next adventure!

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