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The Rickenbacker Trail (Route #11) is an iconic ride, crossing the Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne with sweeping views of Miami and Biscayne Bay. Starting from Brickell Ave. at the end of the Commodore Trail, the trail runs across William M. Powell Bridge to Virginia Key and then across Bear Cut Bridge to Crandon Park, through central Key Biscayne and ending at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. (Map link and photos below.)
Map link... Rickenbacker Trail
Location: Miami-Dade County (Miami, Key Biscayne)
End Points: Brickell Ave. to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Mileage: 9 miles on trail, more available throughout Key Biscayne
Surface: Asphalt, concrete
Nearby points of interest: Cape Florida Lighthouse, Miami Seaquarium, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, Fossilized Reef
The trail runs as a wide shoulder along both sides of the roadway - in recent years striping and green paint have been added to improve visibility and safety. Road bikers love the long, continuous trail but for recreational bikers, parallel paved paths away from the roadway are a welcome alternative.
From the juncture with the Commodore Trail at Brickell Ave., the green bike lanes mark the route over William M. Powell Bridge and Deering Channel. The trail across the bridge is popular for road bikers but can be intimidating (especially if windy) for the less experienced biker so be aware. There's a parallel pedestrian walkway, but watch for the signs directing bikers to dismount and walk. The first stop over the bridge is Hobie Beach Park North, a separate path here is an alternative to the bike lane. The trail then continues over the causeway to Virginia Key.
Virginia Key is a 1,000 acre barrier island with parks, beaches, mountain biking trails, and hammock plus restaurants and the Miami Seaquarium. There are bike lanes and parallel paved paths on both sides of the road. Parking is available alongside the trail at Hobie Beach Park, and at other Virginia Key parks and beaches.
Going southbound there is both the bike lane and a parallel paved path along Hobie Island Beach. The trail passes the Miami Seaquarium here then proceeds over Bear Cut to Crandon Park and Key Biscayne.
On the northbound side of the road (coming from Crandon Park) is a bike lane and a parallel paved path which runs almost the length of the key with access to Virginia Key parks, beaches and the many mountain bike trails.
Continuing southbound, over Bear Cut Bridge the trail arrives at Crandon Park as a bike lane along the main road, but you can also bike through the park on paved paths. Ample parking is available. The park (once a coconut plantation) is a gem with its 2-mile beach and many recreational activities including golf, picnicking, biking and walking trails, and paddling. There also an amusement center, playgrounds, gardens, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, the fossilized reef view, and much more. Past the park, the trail continues along Crandon Blvd. to central Key Biscayne.
Central Key Biscayne has many shops and restaurants, and is very bikeable with bike lanes and paths throughout. The trail's route follows a bike lane along Crandon Blvd. and ends at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. A 1.5 mile bike path runs through the park which also has parking, restrooms, beach, paddling, picnicking, fishing, and restaurant. The historic 1825 Cape Florida Lighthouse is a main feature.
Historical footnote: Ponce de Leon named Cape Florida (“the Cape of Florida”) in 1513 during the first Spanish expedition to Florida.
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