No one wants to discover that their fun day in the great outdoors has the capacity to turn into a fright-fest, especially when checking out the best mountain bike trails in Florida. Doom, gloom and horror seems so far removed from this sunny state, where everyone loves to vacation and create fun memories.
There’s something around every corner on these trails, making it difficult to enjoy yourself, if not downright terrifying. Discover swamp monsters, sand demons, evil curses and more in places where you’d least expect them. Time to cross yourself and get a hold of some Holy Water, if you still decide to take the plunge.
Table of Contents
- 10) Gilligan’s Island Trail, Oleta River State Park – North Miami Beach
- 9) Croom Trails, Withlacoochee State Forest – Inverness
- 8) Snake Bite Ridge, Markham Park – Sunrise
- 7) The Abyss Trail, Balm-Boyette Scrub – Riverview
- 6) Misery Trail, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park – Jacksonville
- 5) Challenge Trail, Rock Springs Run State Reserve – Sorrento
- 4) Santos Mountain Biking Trails, Belleview-Santos Trailhead – Ocala
- 3) Indian Trail, Morris Bridge Park – Thonotosassa
- 2) Blue Trail, Spruce Creek Park – Port Orange
- 1) Lake Apopka Loop Trail, Magnolia Park – Apopka
10) Gilligan’s Island Trail, Oleta River State Park – North Miami Beach
The amusing name of this trail doesn’t detract from the horrors waiting in the trees, if the locals are to be believed. Some say that if you stop on this trail, you will see dead bodies hanging from the lower branches. What’s more terrifying is that they are animated and still struggling against the ropes and chains.
Witnesses reported the feeling of inescapable dread, especially when they saw several bodies break off, fall onto the ground and begin to stumble after them while they flee on their bikes. One woman told of how she couldn’t get away quick enough, especially when one spirit with a broken neck followed her for several miles.
9) Croom Trails, Withlacoochee State Forest – Inverness
The woods throughout the Croom Trails have an eerie vibe that makes visitors think twice about returning. Local rumors about witches in the woods tell of a curse placed on the area, affecting only those unscrupulous and nefarious souls passing through. One young woman saw it with her own eyes.
She advises that she went riding with a boyfriend she wasn’t sure of one afternoon and once they were halfway along the trail they saw a mysterious woman chanting on the side of the track as they rode by. She felt okay but her boyfriend had a bad accident later that night. He turned out to be quite nasty, so she left him.
8) Snake Bite Ridge, Markham Park – Sunrise
Many consider this one of the best bike trails in Florida but protective gear is needed because of the sharp rocks and shells in the soil, seeing as the site was built on a prehistoric coral reef. Few like to repeat the stories of a serpentine spirit who strikes unsuspecting riders on dark, stormy afternoons – in an effort to possess them.
One man advised that he powered through a few minutes of rain before he saw a winding mist heading straight for him, in the shape of a snake. When it came over him he felt intense hissing in his ears. After he arrived home he said his family were afraid of him and it was days before he could shake off the nightmares of being a snake.
7) The Abyss Trail, Balm-Boyette Scrub – Riverview
Thought of as some of the best Florida tracks and trails, these were built on a former phosphate mine. Some who tried the Abyss Trail reported feelings of acidic burning not only on their skin – but seeping into their bloodstream. It could be psycho-somatic, but witnesses advise that there’s more going on than a chemical reaction.
It’s reported that evil is so concentrated here that spirits were polarized once they crossed over. Now they will do their best to cause spiritual corrosion from the outside in – haunting the needy and desperate who dare to venture into their trap. It’s not known why but a few believe that it’s an ancient evil Hell-bent on infecting humans.
6) Misery Trail, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park – Jacksonville
One witness says that this isn’t called the Misery Trail for a hard days’ biking. He says that he was enjoying himself until he came across what he thought were the usual roots seen now and then on the trail, coming out of the ground. He was mortified when he realized that he was looking at murky, dark skeletons.
One by one he saw them hoisting themselves out of the soil, arms, elbows and then freaky skulls and torsos. The moaning was so chilling he thought he’d died or passed out. He turned around and rode off, vowing never to return. Some say that it used to be an ancient burial ground, filled with burn victims.
5) Challenge Trail, Rock Springs Run State Reserve – Sorrento
Not many have experienced the terror that lies in wait at the swamp section of the Challenge Trail, according to one witness who reports that he’s amazed he got away. He advises that he assumed he was looking at snapping turtles from a distance, but when he got close – his blood froze when he saw black heads in the swamp.
Stopping his bike, he crept over – trying to see if he had been hallucinating. When the soil softened under his feet and he half-slipped into the swamp, several heads started bobbing and streaming towards him with milky white eyes and mouths wide open in silent screams. He himself screamed as he scrambled out and pedaled away.
4) Santos Mountain Biking Trails, Belleview-Santos Trailhead – Ocala
Florida trail riders warn to stay away from the Blue trail from twilight onwards, as the dead rise up and they have a taste for human flesh. At least, that’s what some say happens and go further to explain that since the location used to be a limestone quarry and limestone magnifies paranormal activity, the paranormal activity is rife.
One man advises that he was riding along when he felt sudden, excruciating pain. When he fell off his bike he looked down and saw a bite mark on his calf. He could not explain how it happened and was even more terrified when he heard evil laughter all around him. It was also strange how the bite mark disappeared later that night.
3) Indian Trail, Morris Bridge Park – Thonotosassa
Witnesses say the faint-hearted should stay away from this trail above all other biking trails, as there are reported to be demons hiding in the trees. An older couple advised that they heard screams near their picnic spot and when a woman came riding towards them she looked like she had been through Hell.
She told them that she’d seen dark figures rushing through the trees and at first thought she was seeing things, until one of them jumped on her back. She was scratched deeply and in need of medical attention. The couple thought she was hallucinating until the nurse confirmed that she’d heard the stories about the demons and their attacks.
2) Blue Trail, Spruce Creek Park – Port Orange
Try not to fall off your bike near the sandy spots on this trail. Witnesses have reported seeing odd movement under the sand and some say they are sand demons waiting to drag their victims into their dry, tortuous realm. Starting with strange winds and piercing whistles, the demons start stirring when they smell fresh blood approaching.
Sandy fingers reach up and grab you by the ankles, scratching and breaking the skin as they pull with all their might. When victims have been pulled out of the sand with lacerations on their skin, the event is explained away as a mere accident, but those who’ve seen the demons swear that it’s far more sinister.
1) Lake Apopka Loop Trail, Magnolia Park – Apopka
Don’t be surprised if you come across an apparition of a confederate soldier on this trail, appearing out of nowhere. Locals say that at first he seems harmless, but then his true identity is revealed. Starting in a crouching position in the scrub, he slowly stands up and soon transforms into something unholy, like a creepy mirage of a zombie.
Some believe he is angry with the living and only wants to switch places. They say that there’s a feeling of disorientation that comes over you and then you find yourself standing in the scrub while he rides away on your bike. The rumors state that if you can’t shake it off, you’re stuck for good and the soldier continues to stalk the living.