Cross City Mainline Loop
Location: Cross City, FL, United States
This is an 85-mile loop starting in Cross City, FL on the grade-separated Nature Coast State Trail. The route travels to the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, the town of Suwannee and then proceeds to Horseshoe Beach and returns to Cross City. That portion of the route between the unincorporated community of Suwannee and Horseshoe Beach is unpaved and constitutes the "Mainline" portion of the route. Some roads are subject to closure during wet conditions. Gated roads are closed to vehicles but open to bicycles. Mosquito repellent is recommended, and the route has spotty cellphone coverage. Riders may wish to avoid the dirt road segment during hunting season (generally November through January). Also, Dixie County Roads 351 and 357 do not have bicycle lanes or paved shoulders.
Riders may backtrack from Suwannee to the Nature Coast State Trail via Dixie County Road 349 in order to stay on a paved shoulder. There are several points along Dixie County Road 349 where riders can take off-road loops or down-and-backs. These dirt roads and trails may add one or two miles to the trip. Of special interest is the Weeks Landing side trip, which should be fun for cyclists with wider tires and/or "mountain" bikes. The route passes many scenic viewpoints, including Fishbone Creek.
The road to Fishbone Creek passes through a beautiful oak hammock before meeting the tidal creek. At the end of the road is a parking area, observation tower and a small boat launch. Swallow-tail kites nest in the area and are often seen between March and August. Also along the route is an unmarked 1/2 mile walking trail at the end of Duck Pond Spur. It extends into a scenic natural pine forest before reaching a wet area. The route visits Horseshoe Beach via Dixie County Road 357, where riders will find food, lodging, and Gulf views. After visiting Horseshoe Beach, the route completes its loop by returning to Cross City Main Street/Dixie County Road 351. For more information about the area, check out VisitDixie.
The Original Florida Tourism Task Force (dba Visit Natural North Florida) and the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council do not warrant the safety of the routes on this map for use by bicyclists. Bicyclists should use these routes only if they have the adequate skill level as bicyclists, and bicyclists must make that determination. All the roads shown are used by automobiles and trucks, and bicyclists assume the risks for their own safety when using the roads and/or routes indicated on this map. The Original Florida Tourism Task Force, the local governments in which these bicycle routes are located and the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council are not responsible for any damages whatsoever from its use.