Bookend - Coast2Coast - CycleBlaze

November 15, 2021

Bookend

Another bluebird day with highs in the low 70s!

Laura and I started our day at Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey.  Laura joined me on the first 7.5 miles where the Wilderness Park Trail joined the Suncoast Trail.  This section of the C2C is outstanding!  Beautiful FL forests the entire way.

Starkey Wilderness Park. Picturesque 7.5 miles!
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When we arrived at the Suncoast Trail, Laura headed back to our starting point.  There was a part of me that wanted to turn around as well.  Such a gorgeous trail.

The next two legs of today's ride, the Suncoast Trail and the Good Neighbor Connector, were less scenic.  The Suncoast Trail paralleled the Suncoast Parkway for 23 miles.  The trail was in excellent condition and briefly poked in and out of some forested areas.  I do give high marks to the builders for creating a safe route when options are limited.

Suncoast Trail in and out of forested areas with occasional shelters.
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The Good Neighbor Connector was a bit of a surprise.  My research suggested this was in "planning" which meant I would need to ride on very busy SR 50 / Cortez Blvd. for approximately 6 miles into Brooksville.  To my surprise about 4 miles of the trail paralleling Cortez Blvd. has been completed!  As the road narrowed approaching Brooksville, I elected to ride the sidewalk...better safe than sorry.

The signage was spot on and led me to Russell Street Park which serves as the trailhead for the Good Neighbor Trail.  This 10.2 mile trail quickly became rural, passing a number of horse farms, before entering the Withlacoochee State Forrest before joining the Withlacoochee Trail which took me to Nobleton Wayside Park, today's destination and tomorrow's starting point.  As usual, Laura was waiting.  We quickly packed up and headed to Rock Pointe Ranch in Floral City our home for the next two nights.

Love a good sign. Erases any confusion!
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Withlacoochee Forest along the Good Neighbor Trail.
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Wildlife Management Area along the Withlacoochee Trail.
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I choose to label today's ride "bookend" to celebrate the beginning and end of today's ride.  The start through Starkey Wilderness Park and the final 10 miles through the Withlacoochee State Forrest were the highlights of the day!

Today's ride: 51 miles (82 km)
Total: 104 miles (167 km)

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