A couple of years ago my husband and I were looking for a new outdoor activity and decided to give mountain biking a try. Fast forward to present day and we have now ridden on most of the “top rated” mountain biking trails in Florida, which include Santos in Ocala, Alafia River State Park in Brandon, Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve in Lithia, and Croom in Brooksville.
This weekend we rode the trails in Santos again, so I decided to snap a few pics and provide some information for those who enjoy biking or want to see pictures before giving Santos a try.
The main difference between Santos and other Florida trails that we have ridden is the amount of ramps and jumps available. Santos has more ramps than other parks, so if you like this type of riding you will really enjoy mountain biking at Santos.
Taking a quick run on the ramps near the Twister trail; These ramps are off to the side of the main trail, so it is not mandatory that you ride them if it is beyond your skill level.
Some of the ramps are for more advanced riders, but there are ramps for all skill levels, so you can try whichever you like depending on how bold you’re feeling!
Definitely for advanced riders only; one of the challenging UP ramps on the advanced trails.
The trails at Santos are rated as beginner, more difficult, and most difficult. The beginner trails are consistently flat, the more difficult is mostly flat with a few rocky areas and hills, and the most difficult has many rocky areas and steep hills. We like to ride the “more difficult” trails, but they are definitely not as challenging as Alafia, Croom, or Balm Boyette’s medium difficulty level trails, so that’s something to keep in mind.
The “most difficult” trails are best for those who can handle steep climbs and lots of rocky terrain.
Twister is one of my favorites; it offers lots of smooth, quick turns that allow you to really get some speed!
The smooth terrain is one of my favorite aspects of Santos. Some of the other Florida parks have lots of roots that make the ride less enjoyable when you’re going through at quick speeds. At Santos you can fly through smoothly, which definitely makes the ride more fun!
Another fun part of Santos is the extra hills that are added in areas between the trails, like this one near the Dog Bone trail.
Whether you are biking, hiking, or riding horses in Santos, one thing that is very helpful is the signage. There are lots of signs that help to ensure that you do not get turned around on the trails.
Santos also offers various amenities, including:
- Paved Parking
- Covered and open picnic tables
- Cooking Grills
- Free admission
If you enjoy biking at Santos you can also get involved by donating your time or money to the upkeep of the trails. Santos mountain biking trails are maintained by OMBA, or the Ocala Mountain Bike Association. They hold lots of events and “trail work parties” that are a great way to help maintain Santos and keep it clean for all of us.
Well, that’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed this quick post about mountain biking at Santos, and I would love to hear about your favorite biking trails in Florida; we are always on the hunt for a new favorite!
Until next time!