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Orlando FL West Orange Trail, St. Petersburg FL Pinellas Trail and Citrus Springs FL Withlacoochie Trail

I was wondering about trail skating in Orlando and nearby Florida rail trails. Any experience?

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roadskater's picture

Great skating on Florida's Rail Trails

i was down in orlando and tampa several years back and did the west orange trail, withlacoochie trail and pinellas trail. they're all great. north carolina should do so well!

links to photos on roadskater.net classic...

west orange is nice for taking a winding path through the straight rights of way. skate buddy janice took me up there when i was in tampa for several events, including the first miami great esskate (well we rode over there in her fancy car.) this makes it slightly more interesting in my opinion, and probably keeps speeds down a bit. congrats to the designers of the trail who too some special care and the politicians who spent just a little more to make it great.

withlacoohie was fun but it's one of those straight as can be trails (i think the van fleet is king of that genre, with one turn in fifty or so miles, i hear). it's worth doing withlacoochie, and a more solitary experience, unless you bring someone along, of course.

pinellas trail is great too but more urban. as such it has more twists, turns and some nice bridges...some of them long, some with a decent view, some that get you over huge intersections very nicely. with a little extra skating you can skate to the north end from a nearby bus stop, skate the whole trail, and take the bus along the highway back from very near the south end all the way to near enough the top end with no bus swaps. side trips worthy of note are clearwater beach and honeymoon island.

i did pinellas with my friend kim as part of the big celebration they have each year. i kept going off into the weeds trying to do that double push thing. it was a source of good natured humor for kim i know. she later went on to win major skate races, but there was at least one day she waited up long enough for me to tag along.

when i did pinellas alone, i was staying at a small hotel near a bus stop (of course it was, because bus stops are for people with no car and people who work at hotels sometimes have no car, which works out great along the expensive beach hotels in clearwater by the way, meaning you can get to some sweet spots or ride home from them on the bus or the tourist trolley). i think some of the trail goes along us-19 alt and the bus comes back on the more direct us-19, but it will be evident if looking at a good map. i seem to recall an outback steakhouse in tarpon springs after the bus ride back up. i was starving, in a very satisfying way. i think it was: skate from the hotel to the nearby north end, skate 38 miles south, skate to the bus stop, ride the bus home, eat at outback, sleep for many hours, awake with a puffy happy face, hear the news that the supreme court had responded with regard to the florida presidential election vote.

i have photos of all these trips on roadskater.net. hope you have a grand time. also, check the archives of the inlinenc yahoogroup for more on this topic.

hope this helps...

blake

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