Sunday, August 30, 2009

St. Marks Trail

Aimee and I biked the St. Marks Trail (SMT) this morning from the "trail-head" on Woodville Hwy to the town of St. Marks and back, about 16 miles each way. The trail is part of FL's Rails to Trails program and actually begins in town very near the FSU campus and proceeds S to the point where we accessed it. It's a nice little lot with restroom facilities and a bike wash. The trail is very flat (3' elevation change on the section we did), reasonably smooth, and mostly straight. It runs alongside the highway, but there's often enough of a forest barrier to obscure the sight and sounds of the roadway. On the way we passed several cow and horse pastures and through lots of pine forest. We saw 5 red headed woodpeckers in one copse of trees and a pretty big deer. We stopped at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park at the end to snack and rest up for the return trip. The area, which is at the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla rivers, was utilized by Spaniards in 1528 as the first site of non-native shipbuilding in the New World. It has been the site of numerous wood and stone forts, belonged to Spain, then England, then the US, then Florida, was controlled briefly by Andrew Jackson, and was used by Confederate soldiers to keep the Union blockade from moving any further upriver (Tallahassee was the only state capitol east of the Mississippi River not to fall to the Union). Now it's a quiet grassy area with ruins, picnic tables, and a public water access (that I'll be using shortly, despite the pesky $5 launch fee). After wandering around a bit, we rode thru St. Marks (not much to it, and not all that charming really) and then biked back up the trail to the car. All said we went about 33 miles (Aimee's longest ride yet). We started at 8:30 and got back around noon. Now resting and reading. Cheers.

Locust menage a trois

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