News Flash

Mary on a Roll

Posted on: August 4, 2017

Making Friends on the Withlacoochee State Trail

Making Friends

Of course you already know to call out, “On your left!” when passing someone on the Trail. A follow-up “Good morning” or aother logical remark is always pleasant. In my case, if the other person is walking a dog, I might say, “Nice dog!”

Mary on a Roll Blog ImageIf you are already a fan of the Withlacoochee State Trail, have you met anyone new?

Of course you already know to call out, “On your left!” when passing someone on the Trail. A follow-up “Good morning” or aother logical remark is always pleasant. In my case, if the other person is walking a dog, I might say, “Nice dog!” As you continue on your way, you’ll find yourself smiling at the social interactions. Over time, you’ll know more of the walkers and cyclists – during the high winter season I probably know the first names of over 85 people on the Trail.

Making Friends


Here’s a few good spots near Inverness where others are likely to be out enjoying the splendor of the Trail:

  • Apopka Avenue at the Trail – Take a selfie in front of the bright red caboose or while perched on the Cooter bench. The covered picnic pavilion, parking areas and benches around the restrooms also offer chances to initiate conversations, compare bicycles, and talk about the sunny Florida weather.
  • Floral City Gazebo – It is very rare to see the gazebo empty when I cycle past. At any time there may be half a dozen or more walkers and cyclists gathered there.Wallace Brooks Park – With the ample parking and restrooms available here, a lot of bicyclists start their rides from the park. It was here we met a man who not only introduced us to an informal group of cyclists which rides a few times a week, but became a good friend. That was about 15 years ago and here I am, no longer a snowbird but a full-time Floridian!
  • Dave’s World (www.davidsworld.com), Inverness Bicycle & Fitness (www.invernessbicycle.com) and Trailside Bicycles (www.hamptonsedge.com) -- they often know the days when informal biking groups may ride.
  • Downtown Inverness restaurants – The City of Inverness is a bicycle friendly community, and a well-marked bike lane on Apopka provides a nice link to downtown. You’ll see all sorts of bicycles parked in front of the many restaurants. My late husband and I often met friends and even made new acquaintances over lunch or ice cream stops.
  • Railroad trestle – Between Apopka Avenue and Turner Camp Road is the only remaining trestle from the railroad days. Some people fish here, others lean on the railing to look for birds, turtles and other animals in Lake Henderson. A small covered bench area offers a chance to take a break in the shade.

· Interpretive Signs – Up and down the Trail are informational markers which describe flora, fauna and notable historical facts. They’re always worth a stop.

See you on the Trail, friends!

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