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Cross Florida Greenway West

Length: 40.2 miles (linear)

In this segment, the Florida Trail follows a roadwalk through the historic town of Dunnellon (founded during the 1890 phosphate boom) before enjoying the protection of the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenway, a broad strip of public space more than a century Land Bridge over I-75 (Diane Dammiller)in the making. Numerous developed trailheads make access a breeze for day hiking and longer trips.

From the Pruitt Trailhead, the FT heads in a northeasterly direction, paralleling the north side of the canal route. You’ll face some rugged walking, including a major switchback and several minor ones, as the trail winds along forested mounds of dirt left behind from the canal diggings. There are several opportunities for scenic views across the remains of the canal, both before and after the SR 200 crossing.

At I-75, the FT joins up with bike and equestrian trails to cross the first land bridge ever built in the United States. On the eastern side of the bridge, the trails diverge again. A loop trail provides day hiker access to the land bridge; the through-trail follows the northern side of the loop.East of the Land Bridge trailhead, the trail continues across a mix of old ranches and young forest, crossing several paved roads as it passes through the horse-farming region of Ocala. At Santos, the trail crosses busy US 27/301/441 with a pause on a forested center island under a set of historic bridge piers. A short roadwalk through the historic African-American community of Santos leads to the next unbroken segment of trail through shady oak forests up to the Baseline Trailhead.