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Reported: January 2022

Safety Harbor Bike Trail... West Florida Biking

Small Town Biking on the Bayshore Linear Greenway

Safety Harbor is a quaint small town on Upper Tampa Bay, boasting restaurants, shopping, myriad recreational options on land and water, and the world-famous Safety Harbor Resort and Spa (a National Historical Landmark). The multi-use Safety Harbor Bike Trail (officially, the "Bayshore Linear Greenway") starts where the Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail ends at Clearwater-Safety Harbor city limits, and runs about 2 miles through Safety Harbor to Philippe Park.  (Map link and photos below.)

Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail

Map link - Safety Harbor Bike Trail

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Location: Pinellas County (Safety Harbor)
End Points: Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail to Philippe Park
Mileage: 2 miles (more at Philippe Park and on Ream Wilson Trail)
Surface: Paved
Nearby points of interest: Philippe Park, Safety Harbor Resort and Spa

Bike Shops / Rentals:
Wheel Fun Rentals (at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa; bike and surrey rentals)

 Page Summary:

  1. Biking on Safety Harbor Bike Trail
    - Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail to Waterfront Park
    - Trail at Waterfront Park
    - Waterfront Park to Philippe Park
    - Philippe Park
  2. Historical Information
  3. More Information and Resources

Biking on Safety Harbor Bike Trail... Comments and Photos

This is an easy ride with scenic Bay views and access to parks, downtown restaurants, and residential areas - a great way for locals and visitors to get around on foot or by bike. Via Ream Wilson are connections to multiple trails spanning Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties and beyond (see links at the bottom of this page). Parking is free along the street and in public parking lots.

Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail to Waterfront Park (0.8 mile)

At the Clearwater city limit, at the end of Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail, a bridge crosses a canal between Alligator Lake and Upper Tampa Bay. The Safety Harbor Bike Trail (Bayshore Linear Greenway) continues from here, roadside along N. Bayshore Blvd. with views of Upper Tampa Bay. At the intersection with Philippe Pkwy. are Safety Harbor Waterfront Park and Veterans Memorial Park & Marina to the right, and downtown Safety Harbor (shops, restaurants) to the left. The trail turns right and runs through Waterfront Park, rejoining N. Bayshore Blvd. at Jefferson St.

Trail at Waterfront Park (0.4 mile)

The trail loops through Waterfront Park behind Safety Harbor Resort and Spa. Other multi-use paths wind around the park and adjoining Veterans Memorial Park & Marina, which together have parking, restrooms, picnic pavilions, marina and fishing pier,  boat ramp, kayak and paddleboard rentals, and the Veterans Memorial. There are a few access points from the trail to the Nature Boardwalk which runs along the Bay about 0.3 mile - walking only, bikes not allowed.

Waterfront Park / Veterans Memorial Park & Marina

Nature Boardwalk

Waterfront Park to Philippe Park (0.8 mile)

Exiting Waterfront Park at Jefferson St., the trail continues north along N. Bayshore Blvd. From Jefferson St., it quickly (200 ft.) crosses a bridge over Mullet Creek - a sign tells bikers to walk their bikes, so instead most bike in the roadway. In another 200 ft. on the right is a pullover with bike rack and fix-it station, an access point to the Nature Boardwalk. The trail continues between the road and Bay, straight with no road crossings. The trail here is especially popular with pedestrians, so biking on the quiet street (marked by sharrows) is a good option. At the end of N. Bayshore Dr., a boardwalk leads into Philippe Park.

Philippe Park

The 122-acre Philippe Park is a gem, with one mile of shoreline on the Bay. Biking is on the park roads, generally light traffic but stay aware for motor vehicles. Amenities include abundant parking, restrooms, picnicking, fishing, boat ramp, playground and rock climbing park, and an historic Indian mound. A paved walkway (about 2/10 mile) near the mound hugs the shoreline, with scenic views. Several breaks along the park road open to the Bay, good for launching a kayak or paddleboard. Of interest was a paddleboard rental station (get a code online to unlock a paddleboard).

The park is named for Count Odet Philippe (1787-1869) who settled here in 1842 and introduced grapefruit and cigar-making to the region. Buried here on the plantation he called St. Helena, today's park was part of his property. The Temple Mound, a National Historic Landmark, was built by Native Americans known as the Tocobaga, and is the largest remaining mound in the Tampa Bay area.

More Philippe Park

Temple Mound

Historical Information

Some History: The earliest artifact unearthed dates to the Stone Age with discovery of a 6,000 year old spearhead at a nearby park. The Tocobaga people were the first known inhabitants (about 900 AD to 1700 BC), visited by Spanish explorers in the 1500's. French nobleman Count Odet Philippe was the first permanent, non-native settler (see Philippe Park, above). The name "Safety Harbor" originated in the 1800's, from this point the threat of pirates was gone.

The Springs: While searching for the Fountain of Youth in 1539, Hernando de Soto named the mineral springs here Espiritu Santo ("Springs of the Holy Spirit"). The water was bottled for commercial sale in the 20th century, then a hotel and health spa was built over the springs. Subsequently, the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa has been named a National Historical Landmark and Florida Heritage Landmark.

More Information and Resources

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