Florida Coast-to-Coast Cycling and Hiking

For cyclists and hikers, traveling from coast to coast in Florida has long been a journey of multiple broken and disjointed trails interlaced through bustling streets, but that is changing and will continue to change over the next several years.

In 2014, Florida Greenways and Trails began the Coast-to-Coast Connector project. According to the FLDOT, as of June, 62% of the connector was open to the public with another portion set to open in the fall. Once completed, cyclists and hikers will have access to a roughly 250-mile multiuse trail. The 18-segment trail will run from Titusville to St. Petersburg.

Sunrise Over the Atlantic

Begin your trek across the Sunshine State at the Canaveral National Seashore on the Merritt Island to Atlantic Corridor segment. Here you can start your morning watching the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. Or if you time it right, you may catch a rocket launch from nearby Kennedy Space Center. This portion of the trail also takes you through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to over 500 wildlife species including bobcats, manatees, river otters, alligators, over 350 bird species, and up to 140 freshwater and saltwater fish species.

History in Central Florida

 After crossing over the Max Brewer Bridge into Titusville, the trail will take cyclists and hikers slightly north towards Sanford and Deltona, then back south toward Orlando before trekking west to the Gulf Coast. Just northwest of Orlando begins the West Orange Trail, one of the most popular portions of the trail to date.

The West Orange Trail snakes 22 miles through portions of Orange County. Along this segment, travelers will pass through Winter Garden, Florida, a town that has been heavily revitalized thanks to the Coast-to-Coast trails. For those wishing to learn more about Florida’s history, check out the history museum in town. For sports buffs, there is an old barn along the trail that pays homage to retired Florida State football coach, Bobby Bowden. If cyclists or hikers wish to take in more of Florida’s nature scene, the Oakland Nature Preserve lies along the trail with a short 0.6-mile ride to a pier on Lake Apopka.

Watch the Sunset on the Gulf 

From the West Orange Trail, patrons will continue westbound through Clermont, pass just outside the Richloam Wildlife Management Area, through the Croom Wildlife Management Area, and then turn south just past Brooksville. On the southbound trek, the trail brings cyclists and hikers to the Pinellas Trail Corridor, the final stretch of the Coast-to-Coast Connector.

On the Pinellas Trail, an urban rail-trail, travelers will first pass through Tarpon Springs where Greek eateries abound. Tarpon Springs is also home to the Tarpon Springs Aquarium, which highlights Gulf marine life. From Tarpon Springs, continue south toward Dunedin, but before Dunedin, veer slightly off the trail to Honeymoon Island State Park. The state park is a home to beautiful clear water beaches, excellent shelling, and beautiful sunsets. After honeymooning, head back to the Pinellas Trail and stay south toward Dunedin for fresh New England style seafood at the Lucky Lobster Co. located along the trail.  From here, the trail winds through Clearwater into downtown St. Petersburg and officially ends at Demens Landing Park.

Coast-to Coast Maps

For a complete coast-to-coast map that includes completed trails and coast-to-coast gaps, click here.

Want to see all the cycling trails the state has to offer? Check out the Florida Greenways and Trails System Plan.