April 21, 2016
Itchetucknee Springs State Park, FL to Gainesville, FL
Day: 46.6 miles; Total: 3,037.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,447′
Map Link: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/8623143
We got complementary coffee at the camp store and met the owner’s mom who told us about how popular this river originating from the springs is , when in full season. Kayakers and canoeists are on the chrystal clear waters now but come summer, it sounds like non stop tubing takes over. We headed out to go check out the Headspring and the Blue Hole, near the north end of the river, set in very pretty lush green forests.
We rode through the farmland and reached High Spring where we stopped for an early lunch. Like many of these small Florida towns, the central area is typically where the historic buildings are and where non chain places still continue. This downtown had a short few blocks that included Jim Gabriel’s nice Sante Fe Bicycle Outfitters, a bike shop where I got my tires pumped with his equipment and I also got to stroll around the farmers market going on by the old railroad station. Fresh produce, baked goods and nice local handcrafted items were for sale. In a small world coincidence, the first person I spoke with had lived near where we do in Marin County at one point. She had great looking breads for sale but too big to carry on our bikes. I settled for two small brownies for later- yum!
We were headed past luxurious looking horse farms into Gainesville ( home to the Univ of Florida Gators) and as we approached town, there were defined bike lanes and we saw other day riders. It’s nice not to feel alone out there on the road! We met Peggy and Cliff, experienced cyclists who have done some great organized tours, and they gave us very good advice on how to get to our downtown motel. Their advice got us nicely here, near the University, for tonight.