A Cadillac of a Trail!

by: Doug Alderson, Outdoor & Nature Expert

After reading Internet reviews that the Cadillac Trail is "awesome" and "a must ride trail," I had to venture over to Lafayette Heritage Trail Park just east of Tallahassee. I was not disappointed. Who would have dreamed that an off-road biking trail in Florida could be so well-developed and challenging!

I joined my friend Dean Rogers to ride the trail and soon after passing the vintage Cadillac hubcab that marks the 2.4-mile East Cadillac Trail, we encountered optional technical challenges such as rocks, logs and jumps. We tried a few of them, albeit slowly, but decided to leave the eight-foot jump at the east end to the experts. A highlight was cruising along the wood ramp that steeply dips and rises several times-a mountain biking roller coaster!

The 1.35-mile West Cadillac Trail is equally challenging, given the dips and rises along Lake Lafayette and the large tree roots in the path. The overlook of Upper Lake Lafayette atop a high ridge is one of the best views in Tallahassee, especially with the fall colors! Don't forget your camera.

The Cadillac Trail has an overall intermediate skill level, with several optional expert features. The park also features the .9-mile beginner level Loblolly off-road bike trail along with about 3 miles of shared-use trails that are ideal for beginners as well. If you start getting winded on the Cadillac Trail, you can take an easy shared-use trail back to the parking area, so you can have the best of both.

For cyclists who just can't get enough, the West Cadillac Trail connects to trails in Tom Brown Park, which, in turn, connects to the Fern Trail, so you can string together several more miles of off-road cycling excitement. From the East Cadillac Trail, you can connect to shared-use trails in the J.R. Alford Greenway on the north side of Lower Lake Lafayette. We are extremely fortunate to have this impressive assemblage of connected parks and greenways, allowing for trails such as Cadillac to be developed. Kudos to all who have worked so diligently these past years.


For more information about the Cadillac Trail and other outstanding trails in Lafayette Heritage Trail Park, log onto http://www.talgov.com/parks/parks/trail_lafayette.cfm.


Doug Alderson. Outdoor & Nature Expert from Tallahassee, FL Author:

Doug Alderson

Outdoor & Nature Expert


Doug Alderson is the author of several books, including Waters Less Traveled: Exploring Florida's Big Bend Coast (University Press of Florida 2005), The Vision Keepers: Walking for Native Americans and the Earth (Quest Books 2007), New Dawn for the Kissimmee River: Orlando to Okeechobee by Kayak (University Press of Florida, 2009), Encounters with Florida's Endangered Wildlife (University Press of Florida, 2010), and his newest book, Wild Florida Waters: Exploring the Sunshine State by Kayak and Canoe (Earthways Press, 2011). Additionally, his articles and photographs have been featured in magazines such as Sea Kayaker, Coast and Kayak, Wildlife Conservation, American Forests, Sierra, Mother Earth News and Shaman's Drum. He has won several state and national awards for his books and magazine features. Doug also works as the paddling trails coordinator for the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails.

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