Few places are more beautiful to bike than Indian River County. Bike trails extend for more than thirty miles along oceanfront A1A from the Sebastian Inlet to the Ft. Pierce Inlet as well as dirt roads in many of our parks.
A popular ride is to start at Wabasso Beach and head north up A1A toward Sebastian. There are bike lanes and sidewalks wide enough to bike on all the way up to the Sebastian Inlet. This ride takes you past the quaint houses in Summer Place, along side the polo fields at Windsor, and along the riverfront of Ambersands. All the while there are glimpses of the vast Atlantic with beach accesses inviting you to stop for a dip. A stop at the McLarty Treasure Museum is a nice reprieve and a chance to stretch your legs while learning about the sunken treasures found off our shores.
Be sure to visit the south side Sebastian Inlet State park where bikers are charged a dollar to peddle to their hearts content. Here you can walk out to the south jetty and watch the waves crash against the rocks. You can also walk on the catwalk under the Sebastian bridge and watch the fisherman reel in their catch. Or you can ride through the waterfront camping area stopping at the fishing museum on your way out to learn the history of fishing in the area.
Experienced bikers will be challenged to ride up and over the steep bridge for spectacular views of the inlet. Even if you can't peddle it all the way, it is worth walking the bike to the top! Once on the north side of the park you can head east to the ocean and walk on the beach or pier, or west to the tidal pool where manatees play. Or head west to TM Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area where you can ride on hard pack dirt roads and see every thing from deer, alligators, otter and a multitude of birds.
The historic Jungle Trail. This dirt road is packed tightly for easy biking and takes you to the Pelican Island Observation Tower and the newly dedicated Joe Michael walking trail. It's definitly worth stop to take in the wonders of Pelican Island, the nation's first wildlife refuge. Follow the route of the early settlers down the one lane road to see Florida in it's most natural state. You'll hardly even notice when you pass through the Orchid Island subdivision as it's densely camouflaged in keeping with the historic trail.
Once you emerge on 510 you can either cut back east to your starting point or continue south on Jungle Trail, where you'll ride along the riverfront passing old orange groves and Jones Marina. Take a moment to bask in the simplicity of yesteryear before you connect back to A1A and the mansions of today! Whether you continue south or head back north, there is always something to see along A1A!
By Kerry Firth, Publisher/Editor of InsideTrack Almanac