Located on the outskirts of Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail is a 14.5 mile biking trail that’s the perfect spot to take the family for a leisurely ride. This Jacksonville park is a hidden gem where kids can ride and families can enjoy some time outdoors.
Biking the Trail
One of the first things you’ll notice when you get to the trail is how wide and flat it is. This is just one of the reasons it makes a great spot for biking with the family. The trail is open to bikes, rollerblades, joggers, hikers, and there’s even an equestrian trail that runs alongside it. The trail used to be a railroad corridor which is why it’s so nice and flat. The Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail stretches from Imeson Road in Jacksonville to the town of Baldwin.
Another great part about the trail is the shade. With lots of large trees, most, but not all of the trail is very shady. This is of course perfect protection from our normally hot Florida sun. Be sure to pack a water bottle and plenty of water on your bike ride. There are no concessions and the only water filling station we saw was at Camp Milton. In addition, bike helmets are required for everyone on the trail, so make sure kids and adults have them on.
Where to Start Biking the Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail
We started our family biking adventure at the Imeson Road trailhead (1800 Imeson Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32220). There is a modest parking lot, bathrooms, and even a bike maintenance facility. There’s no charge to park, making it a great free activity to do with the kids. We biked half way down the trail and stopped at Camp Milton. Since we were looking for a shorter ride we turned around at Camp Milton and then biked back to the parking lot.
Camp Milton is a former Civil War camp and has bathrooms, water fill station, and lots of great spots for a picnic. Camp Milton is also the perfect turn around spot if you don’t want to bike down and back the full 14.5 miles. Since it sits about half way on the trail, you can easily bike in, enjoy a picnic lunch, and then bike back to your car.
Fun for Kids, but Use Caution
While the trail is very kid friendly, I would caution parents to not let their kids ride too far ahead of them. One of the things we noticed was that there are several spots along the trail where the crossroads are heavily trafficked. The car traffic has the right of way and will not stop if you happen to ignore the stop signs.
We were impressed by the amenities at trailheads, as well as at Camp Milton. In the Imeson Road parking lot there was a spot to check your bike tires and preform any other type of bike maintenance. Biking the Jacksonville Baldwin Rail Trail makes the perfect day trip with the kids. If you’re looking to purchase a bike, there are several great locally owned bike shops in Jacksonville Beach to choose from.