Micanopy Cycling

Eco-Passage Route

US 441 bends around a lake

Let's Go to the Boardwalk

The Eco-Passage route runs north along 441 for about 6 miles to the Boardwalk extending out into Paynes Prairie from the road’s shoulder. The pavement is smooth, the hills are gentle and the cars are fast. About a mile from the end of the route is the Bolen Bluff Trailhead. You can’t take your bike in here, but if you want to actually experience the prairie, I would hop off here and go for a little walk. It is much nicer than the Boardwalk (except for the massive piles of horse poop scattered about everywhere).

Route Highlights
Pearl Country Store

The Pearl Country Store is renowned for having some of the best barbecue around. Breakfast is great too and ridiculously cheap. If you aren’t interested in eating you can stop in and get a water bottle for your ride or gas for your car or a book about Florida’s history or…

Paynes Prairie Main Entrance

The main entrance to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is just up around the bend from Micanopy.

Lake Wauberg

This is a particularly useful place to note if you are going biking on a hot day…and are a UF student. The lake, complete with volleyball courts, boat rentals and a dock, is only open to those either affiliated with the university or with someone who is.

Bolen Bluff Trail

Just before you go down the hill to break out onto the prairie, there is a small parking area on the right. This is the entrance to Bolen Bluff Trail, one of my favorite parts of the huge Paynes Prairie Preserve. The trail winds under tall oak trees and old undergrowth. The biggest hazard here are the ever-present piles of poop, left behind by the wild horses that roam the area! There are also wild bison on the prairie, although I’ve never spotted any. The trail along the ridge is maybe two miles long, but halfway through, there is another path jutting out into the middle of the prairie. If you walk down to the end (about another mile) there is an observation platform, where you might have better luck spotting the bigger beasties.

Eco-Passage Boardwalk

The Eco-Passage Boardwalk extends from the shoulder of 441 out into the prairie. It’s really not overly spectacular. You can’t really see much except for swampy land, brambles and brush all around. That said, it is kind of cool to stand and listen to the constant chorus of croaking frogs and calling birds, as long as you ignore the rushing sounds of cars 50 feet away. If you really want to experience this part of the prairie, go to Bolen Bluff.

Route Directions
1. Take Cholokka Blvd 0.5 miles to US-441.

Cruise along scenic Cholokka Blvd to the mighty 441.

Paynes Prairie
2. Turn left onto US-441 and ride for about 6 miles until you arrive at the Boardwalk on the right.

I do not like riding along this road. I don’t like it. There are way too many cars going way too fast. And yet, this is where I see most bike riders. I don’t get it. The shoulders along 441 are particularly wide north of Micanopy. Like six or seven feet wide, so there is some distance between you. For some reason they are narrower south of Micanopy. I flipped over my handle bars researching this route, and nobody killed me, so take that for what you will.

One-way: 6.4 miles
Round Trip: 12.8 miles
Travel Time: 25-35 minutes one way

Tuscawilla Route
Southeast Micanopy Route
Evinston Route
Lochloosa Route
Shiloh Route
Wacahoota Route
Paynes Prairie Route
Rochelle Route

View Eco-Passage in a larger map