Gasparilla Island-Boca Grande Trail is a 12.8 mile out and back trail located near Boca Grande, Florida that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
Florida's first rail-trail. The paved trail travels the length of Gasparilla Island. There is a $5.00 toll to cross the bridge to the barrier island. Paved trail runs the length of Gasparilla Island. Terrain is flat. In the center of town is a park like setting surrounded by quaint shops and local restaurants. Gasparilla Island State Park (fee) with beach access is at the southern end of the trail and is home to the Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum. It is said that the railroad the trail replaced once brought phosphates from the mainland to the deepwater port on the southern tip of the island. On the north end there is also a jogging trail. Be watchful for golf carts that share the trail. Bring sunscreen!
Very easy and fun biking. I parked in boat launching lot at entrance to Boca Grande causeway ($3/bike toll for causeway) and rode south approx 10 miles on bike path to southern tip of island (at lighthouse). Wanted to take alternate route (bayside) back, but had very difficult time finding access - all east bound roads marked "private". Stopped at the guard shack on gated South Harbor Drive to ask and the friendly guard there said to go ahead down SHD and pick up golf cart path on left. That got me there and it was worth the search - very pretty ride past Bayfront and some very exclusive homes. Nice beaches to stop at along the way and a couple of good eateries in the downtown area.