AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Bike riding has become one of the most popular activities on Amelia Island enjoyed by visitors and local residents alike.
Fernandina Beach has been awarded “bronze” as a “Bike-Friendly Community” 2013-2017 by The League of American Bicyclists.
Riding The South End
The “Amelia Island Trail,” an off-road paved, 10-feet wide pathway, is a trail to ride bikes on Amelia’s southend. The Amelia Island Trail is 6.2 miles, passing by the island’s largest resort, Omni Amelia Island Plantation. The trail runs between the Nassau Sound bridge at Amelia Island State Park on the island’s southend, all the way to Peters Point Park beach access (in the vicinity of the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton and Golf Club of Amelia).
The Amelia Island Trail is part of Florida’s section of the East Coast Greenway.
Fort Clinch State Park
A favorite spot for bike riding on Amelia Island is at Fort Clinch State Park. Bike riders can pedal along the main paved park road under lovely, shady tree canopy, all the way through to the rear parking area at the historic fortress itself (a 3-mile route one way). On hot Florida summer days, shade is coveted, so Fort Clinch is one of the best places to ride. Skilled mountain bike riders can take rougher wooded trails through the maritime forest. Fort Clinch offers bicycle rentals near the fortress/welcome center. Park entry fee is $6 for one vehicle with up to eight passengers ($4 if driving solo). Those biking or walking into the State Park pay $2 per person. If you want to actually tour the historic fort itself, there’s an additional $2 fee paid at the gift shop where you enter the fortress. Call Fort Clinch for more info at 904-277-7274. Enter Fort Clinch State Park at 2601 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach.
Amelia Island Bike Rentals
For visitors staying overnight, ask your lodging establishment about the availability of bikes. Some places, such as the bed and breakfast inns, offer complimentary bikes to guests (or will rent them). Omni Amelia Island Plantation, near the Amelia Island Trail, rents bikes. In Fernandina, across from Seaside Park and Sliders Seaside Grill, Hall’s Beach Rentals and More rents bicycles, (904) 310-6124, (2021 South Fletcher at the Sadler Rd. roundabout). Pipeline Surf Shop 904-277-3717, is another bike rental shop, located at 2022 First Avenue (also near Seaside Park). Besides offering paddling tours, Kayak Amelia rents bicycles as well (with an office in downtown Fernandina Beach), call 904-261-5702.
Where Else To Bike?
Leisurely bike rides on Amelia Island’s wide, flat beaches, best around low tide, has really caught on in popularity these last few years, a favorite pastime for some locals. Note that riding at ocean’s edge (with tidal puddles, salty air and sand), takes a toll on bicycles. Beach biking shortens a bicycle’s lifespan and results in more maintenance/upkeep. Some bike rental shops may not permit this use, so ask.