Alafia River State Park Trail (Lithia, Florida)
Trail Work Day: Saturday before the 3rd Sunday of most months, 8:30 am (see calendar) State Park fee waived for volunteers who RSVP early.
Guided rides: 9:00 am on the 3rd Sunday of most months. See ride calendar for details.
Street View: Park entrance view from the street.
Fee: $5.00 per vehicle, 2-8 people. State Park Pass with ‘beat-the-heat’ early bird gate code here.
Trail Map: Alafia River State Park Mountain Bike Trail Map (Jan 15, 2014)
Trail Rating: EasyEasier- entry level riding skills required. Trails feature good line-of-sight, only small elevation changes, and a minimum of roots, rocks or technical obstacles., Intermediate Intermediate - basic riding skills required. Trails may have limited line-of-sight, pronounced elevation changes, quick direction changes, challenging roots, a scattering of small rocks, and naturally occurring technical obstacles. and DifficultDifficult- advanced riding skills required. Trails may have limited line-of-sight, extreme and or quick elevation changes, quick direction changes, large roots, baby-head sized rocks, and constructed technical obstacles.
Facilities: Parking$5 Entrance Fee (2 - 8 people) for parking applies. Pay as you enter the park., RestroomsFull Restrooms, Bike WashBike Wash Station available, PavillionsSeveral Pavillions with picnic tables available, CampingCampsites for cars and primitive cabins available. Backcountry camping, and separate primitive camping areas for individual and equestrian camping available.
Events: Guided rides most months and Alafia River State Park Fat Tire Festival in November.
Rain: Heavy rain is extremely erosive to any trail. However, most trails drain very well within 1 to 4 hours. Please avoid the high clay trails, MoonScape and GatorBack, for at least 24hrs after rain.
View Alafia River State Park Mountain Bike Trails in a larger map
SWAMP hosts Alafia trail work days at 8:30 or 9:00am on the Saturday before the 3rd Sunday of most months. (See calendar and Trail Building Tools)
For information check the event calendar or contact the Alafia Trail Boss: Jeff White at: Trails at SWAMPClub dot org
Directions to the parking lot
Click on the "P" (Parking Lot) marker in the map for more information and directions. Click on the bicycle marks for some trail section names. (zoom in on the map [+] or click the link just below the map for a closer view)
View an Alafia FTF 2011 video.
The Alafia River State Park trail is one of the most favored off-road biking choices in Florida. Skilled riders are traveling from all over the state to ride this collection of scary drops, off-camber hillside ledges, high speed banked turns and intimidating ridge top trails. This single-track is built on the rugged terrain of what was once a phosphate mining site. Currently there are about 20 miles of trails at Alafia.
Some riders have a saying as to the best way to make the short climbs: "Pedal down, coast up… Coast down, pedal up… Brake down, walk up."
The easiest (Green) loop is called Sand Pine and can be ridden as an out-and-back three mile ride or as a two mile loop riding back on the levee. The other Green trails are River Loop and Rock Garden, and are for experienced beginners. Although both are only three miles long (with bailouts at one-mile intervals), it feels longer because the trail has technical sections where roots or tight turns slow the pace and challenge the rider.
The intermediate (Blue) sections are Bridges, NorthCreek and RollerCoaster. These are really fun trails with lots of medium-sized hills, some short and steep, with others more gradual, for speedy downhills. There are several very challenging optional sections along the blue trails (for experienced riders) and the sudden drops, climbs, twists and turns are just plain fun to ride. Look for the Hard / Easy signs.
The RollerCoaster and Moonscape trails (Black) form a 4-mile loop. Gatorback and Rabbit Ears (black trails) are very difficult shorter loops off Bridges and Sand Pine, respectively. These sections all include steep roller coaster type dips, technical rocky sections and very difficult climbs and drops. Many of these have a steep, straight line descents followed by a short valley before the trail climbs rapidly up the opposite side. It is a roller coaster sensation that takes your breath away and gives extra "G" forces as your swoop suddenly transitions from a dive into a climb. Not all of these are a straight line down and up. Some drops have relatively sudden turns. Knowing what to expect and controlling your speed accordingly is necessary here.
Several of the trail designers got together and laid out trail so extreme they had to come up with a new designation; "Double Black Diamond." These "extreme" sections are definitely fun for the more experienced rider.
The address for the main entrance is 14326 South CR 39 Lithia Florida 33547. The admission fee is $4.00 per 1 person vehicle or $5.00 with 2-8 people. Camping is $22.00 per night which includes electric. The bathhouse has hot water for showers. These bath facilities are for registered campers only. Visit Reserve America or call 1-800-326-3521 to make reservations.
All trails have been marked, cut, and groomed by SWAMP trail crews and public volunteers.
Please note: With so many trails and so much overgrowth, we can use your help maintaining and repairing the trails. We ride some, work a little, play a lot, then ride some more. Trail work is more fun than you expect, and very rewarding. Find out how you can help, send e-mail to Trails at SWAMPClub dot org.