That length is not too long for rivers. I have a Tampico Hurricane that's 13-1/2' and a Perception Carolina that's 15-1/2' and I use them both on rivers. Obviously the shorter the better for winding rivers but the longer the faster for the open water and straight runs.
I got a wild hair today and scooted up to Gilley Creek Tract after work with my bike and hit the trails and went from the parking area to the far corner and back before dark, 14-1/2 miles of lots of grassy tracks, sandy paths, field areas and some nice places. SWFWMD hasn't done much in the northern section since we were out in January. It's a tough ride, not a test of tactics, but definitely a test of endurance. It's a really raw bit of land that has some potential for development into some decent biking tracks.
Has anyone had luck working with SWFWMD on devloping biking trails on their lands? Not sure of how to approach them about this. Actually, not sure how things work to evolve some former farming land into a decent place to bike. Some places are soft sand and need something to make it bikeable. Some areas are old farm roads overgrown with grass, mowed and packed but still tough to ride thru. But some places are really awesome oak hammocks with little creeks and streams. Even has potential spots for a canoe launch in the south area.
We're off to Suwannee this weekend but I'll try to set something up to get some people together sometime and make a day touring the place to see what might could be done. Anyone have a problem making it a weekday? I have some vacation time to burn and our weekends are usually pretty full. Rode Sunday at Alafia, really impressed with what you guys have done with that place, the trails are incredible and while some people fly thru like it's nothing, it's pushing my limits. Also makes me wish for some extra income as my jealousy glands were pumping seeing all the great new bikes running all around those trails
Gilley doesn't have the terrain to become something like that, but it has the space to be a nice long ride, we need that down here.
Thanks for all the input here, very much appreciated!