Nationally Recognized Mountain Bike Trails
Ocala/Marion County is receiving national attention for its mountain biking trails.
The area has a variety of mountain biking trails, some of them stretch as long as 60 miles and cover the beautiful diversity of the county’s terrain.
Twenty years ago, Ocala/Marion County became home to the Ocala Mountain Biking Association that launched a concentrated volunteer effort to construct biking trails that extend across the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, now a world-class greenway.
The Cross Florida Greenway is a 110-mile corridor that encompasses diverse natural habitats where adventurers can observe Florida’s native flora and fauna on a wide variety of trails and recreation areas. The corridor stretches from the Gulf of Mexico on the west coast to the St. Johns River on Florida’s east coast. These trails challenge all levels of mountain bikers and run through the heart of Ocala/Marion County
The Ocala Mountain Bike Association’s volunteers dedicate their time offering biking experiences, both social and educational that leave lasting memories with riders. With more than 200 members, the OMBA hosts three annual events that are heavily populated with bikers and riders from all over the country. The Santos Fat Tire Festival (traditionally held in March), Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (traditionally held in October), and Ride of the Living Dead (held in October) are popular events that solidify the mountain biking presence in Ocala/Marion County.
Because of Ocala/Marion County’s Central Florida location, mountain biking is a year-round sport. Here is a list of the top trails in Ocala/Marion County.
The Santos Mountain Bike Trails are the most popular mountain biking trails in Ocala/Marion County and are considered the best of the best in the area. Named as an International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Bronze-level Ride Center, the Santos Trails are one of only six in the U.S. and are recognized as a large-scale mountain bike facility. The trailhead offers more than 60 miles of off-road area; bike trails and obstacles fill the entire ground, accommodating bicycling skill levels from beginner to expert. Mountain bike enthusiasts can access the Santos Trailhead Mountain Biking trails between Ocala and Belleview at 3080 SE 80th Street in Ocala, Florida.
The Vortex Bike Trails are for more experienced mountain bikers, as it is home to a vertical drop that measures an estimated 20 feet. Experienced riders can enjoy higher jumps and more challenging trails at Vortex. Vortex Trailhead is near the main entrance of Santos Trailheads and is located at 9150 SE 25th Ave. in Ocala, Florida.
The Baseline Road Bike Trails feature a five-mile, paved multi-use trail that is situated along former pastures and is managed by Marion County Parks and Recreation Department. Baseline Trailhead is located at 4255 S.E. 58th Ave. in Ocala, Florida.
Land Bridge Trail
The Land Bridge Trail offers several miles of loops and side trails for mountain biking and other leisure activities. The trail is located in the central region of the Cross Florida Greenway and also is home to America’s first land bridge. The bridge connects the east and west areas of the Greenway, providing a safe passage above I-75. Land Bridge Trail is located at 11100 SW 16th Ave. in Ocala, Florida.
49th Ave. Trails
The 49th Ave. Trails are on SW 49th Ave. and lead to the Land Bridge region and provide access to the west entrance of the I-75 trail and wildlife overpass known as the Land Bridge. The area is the site of historic ship canal “diggings” that are remnants of former canal projects, and today, exist as small-scale valleys. The “diggings” offer challenging terrain for all trail users. The 49th Ave. Trails are located at 12555 SW 49th Ave. in Ocala, Florida.
The Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau is the official branding, sales, and marketing organization for Marion County responsible for generating brand awareness, increasing travel to the area and booking sporting events, conventions and meetings. For more information, contact us here.