I've been MTBing for over two years now, and enjoy the more technical aspect of the sport. I've avoided Croom all this time because (for me) it is over twice as far as Alafia and Boyette, and Santos is not much further. I've heard that it is a non-technical sand-pit that only rides well when everything else is too wet to ride.
That last statement is certainly true. Croom rides very
well when wet! I was expecting a sandy version of WTA- never-ending twisty trails through scrub-brush. What I found was much better- elevation change! MTX-style trails with downhills long enough to make and maintain high speeds, series of rollers long enough to pump and/or jump through, banked turns that let you keep speed up, and climbs long enough that I didn't want to simply stand up and charge to the top.
The blue pits were a blast. Sure, they're not the most technical terrain in FL, but they offer a lot of fun without a ton of penalty for failure. No falling off of cliffs or smacking into a boulder. I only rode the main trail through this part of the system (from end to end and back again), but noticed a lot of smaller, less traveled trails that made interesting use of the terrain.
My g/f and I rode through the forest under constant threat of rain. Thunder boomed nearby the entire time, and the clouds gave very welcome shade from the afternoon heat. A storm-fueled cool breeze blew through often enough, and towards the end of our ride a light drizzle cooled us off until we got onto Nobleton Rd. We road Nobleton to Croom and then back to the #3 parking lot. The wide dirt road was the most exhausting part of the whole ride!
Two years later, I finally realize what everyone is keeping quiet about. Whenever it's too wet to ride anywhere else, I'll be riding in that
forest. Maybe even when it's dry, once in a while...