Nature Coast State Trail is a wonderful trail in north-central Florida that offers a peaceful setting with scenic views — perfect for a walk with your canine companion! The well-maintained asphalt trail runs just under 32 miles with endpoints in Cross City and Trenton, and it is a rail-trail, meaning it was previously a railroad before being converted into a trail that is open for public use. Because of the trail’s origin, you will encounter some of the interesting historical remnants of the old railroad, such as trestle bridges and the old train depot.
Nature Coast State Trail is an especially good trail for dogs; the paved and grassy surfaces, as well as the numerous waypoints at various communities along the trail, make for a fantastic walk that can last the whole day! And you’ll want to keep going once you’ve started because you’ll find some of the most scenic places available in northern Florida.
The trail follows alongside the beautiful Suwannee River, and there are viewing areas at the old trestle bridges providing vistas that will take your breath away. Nature Coast State Trail is also a favorite location of Florida birdwatchers, and you will probably catch sight of some wonderful birds fluttering to and from the longleaf pine trees that grow in the area.
The trail has plenty of amenities, so you can forge ahead with your furry friend with full knowledge that restrooms and drinking water are never far away. The restroom facilities are located at the Chiefland, Trenton, and Cross City trailheads, and also at Fanning Springs State Park. Water fountains can be found at the trailheads as well.
When enjoying any trail, always remember to adhere to its guidelines. Make sure to bring doggie waste bags with you to clean up after your dog as they are not provided along the trail. Also be mindful of the rule requiring dogs to remain on a leash six feet or under.
Nature Coast State Trail is truly a gem in northern Florida, and you are sure to treasure the time you spend there with your dog!