DAY 2: Hanna Park
MORNING: You are headed to the beach for a great ride, so kick off the day with a great breakfast. If you want a hearty meal stop by Maple Street Biscuit Company or Metro Diner (several locations including Jacksonville Beach). If you want a lighter protein-packed breakfast, then grab a smoothie at Fla. Juice & Bowl or Native Sun Natural Foods Market at the beaches. All local options.
Drive down Mayport Road to Hanna Park. This is one of Jacksonville’s best spots to spend all day (or even a whole weekend) on your bike. It’s in Atlantic Beach, right by the ocean, and you can bike through their 13 miles of trail, ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Kick off the day on the E-Line Loop, which gives you 3.8 miles of flowy elevation changes to get you warmed up. This swerving trail is lined with saw palmettos and moss-covered oaks, but the brush isn’t as dense as others trails in Hanna Park. This trail is smooth, and in some places it’s wide enough for two bikes (but not advised). A portion of the trail rides along a stream. This trail is an intermediate ride but will prep you for the sharp turns of the Z trail.
LUNCH: If you need a break, enjoy a picnic at one of the pavilions. You can also cool off in the ocean, and even take your board out surfing at the Poles if you’ve got the chops. You can also rent a kayak and paddle around in the lake in the middle of the park or in the ocean.
AFTERNOON: Two options, you can head out of the park to the Mayport Village, ride the St. Johns River Ferry ($6 per person) to St. George Island and ride on A1A to the Timucuan Trail to Amelia Island. If you would rather stay put, it’s time to take on Hanna Park’s most difficult trail: The Z trail. Z squeezes you through a tree-lined, root-covered trail with a lot of elevation changes. You’ll gain speed, then lose it and gain it again as you’re simultaneously whipping around sharp turns. There are also several log bridges to watch out for. Some of the trail is on a ridge, with portions of it dipping off into a valley dense with brush. Z is only a tenth of a mile longer than the E-Line, but it’s for those who really know their way around a hard bike trail.
EVENING: When you’re exhausted and ready to go, there’s a bike wash station at the trailhead so you can return home spic and span. If you’re not ready to go yet, you can stay the night at one of Hanna Park’s many camping sites to wake up and bike again.
Location: 500 Wonderwood Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32233