Suwannee River Greenway
Location: 207 Trail St, Branford, FL 32008, USA
This is a 29.0 mile two-way out-and-back paved grade-separated route which starts in downtown Branford. The greenway runs on a former railroad corridor northeast from Branford to County Road 248 and nearby Little River Springs County Park (https://www.naturalnorthflorida.com/blog/spring_trails/little-river-springs/). From here, the route returns to Branford and proceeds easterly to the southern entrance of Ichetucknee Spring State Park (https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Ichetucknee-Springs). (entry fee).
The route can be considered a western extension of the Ichetucknee-O'Leno State Trail (https://www.naturalnorthflorida.com/blog/bike_trails/floridas-ichetucknee-oleno-state-trail) which terminates at the southern entrance to the state park. Both Ichetucknee Springs State Park and Little River Springs provide opportunities for swimming and tubing. The town of Branford has full facilities, including Ivey Memorial Park, which also provides free parking.
The park is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 27 and the Suwannee River. Ivey Memorial Park in Branford has a free public restroom and water fountain, so you may want to start your trip here. Consider a visit to Branford's restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations either before or after your ride. The route starts from Branford by running parallel, but some distance back, to U.S. Highway 129 for approximately 2.5 miles before reaching its northern terminus. This section of the trail is nicely shaded by a mature tree canopy. If you continue west just over one mile along lightly traveled County Road 248, you will reach Little River Springs County Park. Cool off with a dip in the springs at this slice of old Florida on the Suwannee. The park is open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. but is closed from sunrise to 11:00 a.m. every Tuesday for maintenance. The eastern half of the trail from Branford to Ichetucknee Springs State Park is shade-free so be prepared with sunscreen and sunglasses.
The southern segment adjacent to County Road 49 extends to Guy Lemon Memorial Park and provides a nice view of the Santa Fe River. Riders can cross the river to connect to the Bell Loop route (https://www.naturalnorthflorida.com/blog/bike_trails/bell-fl-loop/"). Approximately half-way between Ichetucknee Springs State Park and the town of Branford the route runs parallel to a gopher turtle preserve. Be on the lookout for a gopher tortoise or two, as well as other small trail critters. Those desiring a longer ride can start in Branford, proceed eastward to Ichetucknee Springs State Park and continue eastward on the Ichetucknee-O'Leno State Trail (https://www.naturalnorthflorida.com/blog/bike_trails/floridas-ichetucknee-oleno-state-trail), which is located on the eastern side of the Ichetucknee River adjacent to U.S. Highway 27.
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.