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The Amelia Island Trail ("AIT") is a paved asphalt trail that runs parallel to route A1A for 6 miles from Peters Point Park in Fernandina Beach to Amelia Island State Park. To the south, it links to the Timucuan Trail across the A1A bridge over Nassau Sound. To the north, an extension is planned which will connect to the Amelia River-to-Sea Trail. It's also part of the East Coast greenway (Maine to Key West). Amelia Island is building its biking network, with many miles of multi-use trails, path, and bike lanes - and growing, with new trails planned. Amelia Island Fernandina Beach (the northernmost town on Florida's northeast coast) are recognized as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.
Map link... Amelia Island Biking
Location: Nassau County
End Points: Peters Point Park (Fernandina Beach) to Amelia Island State Park
Mileage: 6 miles
Nearby points of interest: Fernandina Beach Historic District, Fort Clinch
Friends of Amelia Island Trail
The Amelia Island Trail is an easy, mostly shaded, paved ride. It follows A1A, with wide medians and several sections having tree-lined buffers. There are numerous driveway and road crossings, and the trail crosses A1A a few times - traffic is moderately light and slow-moving, but bikers do need to remain watchful. The trail can get busy with pedestrians and beach cruisers, particularly at the more developed northern end, so road bikers looking for speed may want to use the bike lane on A1A. The southern end is less congested, running past maritime forest. Access to parks and link to the Timucuan Trail are added bonuses.
Peters Point Park (parking, restrooms, picnicking, beach, showers) is located along A1A (S. Fletcher Ave.) From here a connector path leads to the Amelia Island Trail (1/10 mile). The trail runs along A1A, crossing Amelia Island Pkwy. (future extension northbound), to the roundabout at Buccaneer Trail (3/4 mile). At the roundabout go left to the crosswalk, carefully crossing to the other side of A1A, then continue south (here, A1A is called the 1st Coast Hwy.). The trail runs away from the road with a wide wooded buffer for about a half mile (passing Supercorsa Cycles), to the point where it again crosses A1A, continuing southbound. There are several road crossings and roundabouts where traffic can be busy, so take care - especially when crossing A1A. Note: A bike lane also runs on the roadway, but we stuck to the trail.
Amelia Island State Park offers parking, restrooms, picnicking, beach, showers, fishing, birding and paddling. At the south end the trail connects to the Timucuan Trail across the A1A bridge over Nassau Sound to Big Talbot Island. To the west is the old bridge, now the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park (more below).
The old bridge, now the George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, runs almost a mile before dead-ending. The connection to Big Talbot Island is in disrepair, so the only biking route across at this time is on A1A. Biking is allowed on the pier, but do be courteous of the many fishermen.
The Amelia River-to-Sea Trail (“ARTS”) (aka Bailey-Simmons Multi-Use Trail) is a paved asphalt trail that runs east to west along Simmons and Bailey Roads from Beach Access #30 at A1A to Crane Island Park on the Amelia River. The trail links the beach, parks, and residential areas, and will eventually connect to the Amelia Island Trail when the extension along Amelia Island Blvd. is completed.
Fort Clinch State Park offers parking, restrooms, a Visitor Center and Museum, picnicking, playground, beach, hiking, fishing. Biking is allowed on the park road (3 miles, early or late for less traffic), on an unpaved shared-use trail (5.4 miles), and on the beach (at low tide). Fort Clinch is one of the best-preserved 19th century forts. It lies along the St. Mary's River between Florida and Georgia, built to protect the entrance to the River and Cumberland Sound. First fortified by the Spanish in 1736, the U.S. built the fort after the Second Seminole War in 1847, then it was briefly seized by the Confederacy in 1861-62 before returning to Union control where it was a base of operations throughout the Civil War. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, reenactments of life at the fort are staged by park volunteers.
Other bike routes on the island run on sharrows, bike lanes along the roadway, or sidewalks. Future trail construction is planned in sections.
From the entrance to Fort Clinch State Park, a bike lane (and sidewalk in sections) runs along A1A for 5 miles to Peters Point Park and start of the Amelia Island Trail. This section includes street and driveway crossings, and many crosswalks to the beach, be careful. This route is also part of the East Coast Greenway.
Fernandina Beach is easy to ride on bikeable streets, but we enjoyed strolling through its historic and scenic neighborhoods. We particularly enjoyed the Historic Downtown District along the Amelia River with its restaurants, shops, and interesting architecture. The 50-block district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nearby, the Old Town Historic District is site of the last Spanish city platted in the western hemisphere - it retains the original 1811 plat and historic homes.
Tourist Development Agency - Amelia Island Biking
Florida State Parks - Amelia Island State Park
Florida State Parks - George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park
City of Fernandina Beach - Walking and Biking
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