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Florida spring break alternative – rails to trails hiking & biking

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Melbourne, FL – March 20,2014 - With Mother Nature still spreading a white blanket of snow across many parts of the American heartland, hearts and minds of college students everywhere start to focus on “Spring Break”. Over the past weeks in our local newspapers there have been many articles about how the Florida beaches are still to go-to location for many Spring Breakers. Over the next month or so, thousands of students will flock to our coastal beaches to enjoy fun in the sun.

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That being said, did you know that there are also some great spring Break alternatives besides lying on the beach catching some rays? Florida has hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails ready to be explored by more adventurous Spring Breakers. Spread across central Florida there are hiking and biking trails constructed from former rail lines. These trails are part of a nationwide network of trails created from former railroad track right of ways. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., whose mission it is to create this nationwide network of tails to build healthier places for healthier people.
According to their web site, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy serves as the national voice for more than 150,000 members and supporters, 20,000-plus miles of rail-trail throughout the country, and more than 9,000 miles of potential rail-trails waiting to be built.

The Rails-to Trails Conservancy has a great web site just for finding places to hike and bike. It is called Trail Link. One can use the link to find a trail close to your Spring Break Destination whether it be Cocoa Beach, Panama City, Dayton Beach or Orlando and its theme parks. There is a Rails to Trails location near you. For those more adventurous spring Breakers, that are at home riding along side of cars, why not try the 106.5-mile long Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (FKOHT) that stretches the length of the Florida Keys, from Key Largo to Key West, the southernmost point of the continental United States. This trail runs parallel to US Highway 1.

When planning you Spring Break adventure there are many Florida web sites specifically for hiking and biking. Here are a few where you can find information about hiking and biking in the Sunshine State.

www.railstotrails.org/index.html
www.traillink.com/
www.floridahikes.com/
www.floridatrail.org/
www.traillink.com/trail/florida-keys-overseas-heritage-trail.aspx
www.bikewalkcentralflorida.org/links-resources/routes-maps/
www.visitflorida.com/content/dam/visitflorida/en-us/documents/guides/biketrails_b_v6.pdf
www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/default.htm
www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/new%20trail%20guides,%202014/overallstatepage.htm
www.floridastateparks.org/thingstodo/statetrails.cfm

When selecting the right equipment Backpacker Magazine, Sierra Trading Post and REI are great web sites to get gear recommendations for your adventure.

www.backpacker.com/
www.sierratradingpost.com/
www.REI.com

If you are bringing you road or mountain bike to the Space Coast while you enjoy our sunny beaches, here are four bike shops that can provide gear and bike services if needed.

www.revolutionscyclery.com/
www.infinitybikeshop.com/
www.brevardlocksmithandbicycleshop.com/
www.mattsbicyclecenter.com

Now that you have a few additional ideas about how to spend you Spring Break, it is time to put those ideas to work and make your Florida Spring Break reservations. Better act quickly because the best camping spots in all the Florida State Parks go quickly.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

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