With winter approaching and freezing temperatures at home it seemed like the ideal time to cycle the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail. This 106.5 mile Rail-Trail offers a scenic tropical bicycling adventure without leaving the continental United States. See TrailLink.com for a trail description and map.
The trail runs on Henry Flagler’s old railroad from mile marker 106 in Key Largo to mile marker 0 in Key West, Florida parallel to US Route 1. While more than 75 miles of the rail-trail were paved, several large sections of the trail and bridges were recently damaged by hurricane Irma. Unfortunately, much of the damage has not been repaired yet. As a result, cyclists are forced on to the roadway on bike lanes or narrow shoulders with the usual road debris and hazards. I was riding a new bike and hadn’t bullet proofed my tires yet and I did experience a flat. See my post on “How I Eliminated Flats Forever!” for more details on how to avoid getting flats.
So, riders beware! Although this trail is classified as a rail trail, it is not for the faint of heart when it comes to riding on the road. Expect a lot of road cycling on a busy highway with cars and large trucks speeding by along side of you. In addition, the trail continually changes from side to side along US Route 1 forcing cyclists to cross the highway.