Biking the Guana Trails
Circling a peninsula of land between the Guana and the Tolomato Rivers, the trail system at GTM Reserve is one of North Florida’s most beautiful places to explore.
Brimming with wildlife and vegetation, the GTM Research Reserve is a great option for hikers and cyclists offering an extensive trail system with five different trails to choose from – Yellow (2.2 miles), Orange (2 miles), Blue (2.1 miles), Purple (3.3 miles) and Red (5.8 miles).
As you explore, be mindful that you’ll be sharing the trail with other cyclists, hikers, dog walkers – maybe even riders on horseback. Opportunities to view wildlife may be plentiful. Keep your eyes open for deer, owls, gopher tortoise as well as some avian species including snowy egrets, wood storks, roseate spoonbills, pelicans and more.
You can easily experience much of the Guana Trails by bike. Parking is available on the Dam or at the Trailhead Pavilion for $3 a day, cash only. After you pay your fee, you’ll cross the Guana Dam (an excellent fishing spot!) to an unpaved road and the Trailhead Pavilion where you'll find a map of the trails.
Your adventure begins on the Yellow Trail and traverses a variety of habitats including freshwater savannas, scrub, live oak hammocks, and salt marshes. There are a series of benches along the way for resting and taking in the scenery of this unique environment.
At a Glance Information for the GTM Reserve
Type of Trail: Loop, choose from five options!
Fees/Permits: $3 day use fee, cash only
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Bug Factor: Moderate, bring bug spray.
Restrooms: at Guana Dam, Trailhead and Environmental Education Center
Open: Daily from 8 AM to sunset
Tips on How to be a Sustainable Ponte Vedra Beach Guest
- Stay on track. Staying on designated trails to prevent biking on sensitive plants and animals.
- Keep it natural. By packing out what you bring in you’ll help keep the “natural” in our “natural areas.”
- Share the trail. Keep your eyes open for other cyclists, hikers, dog walkers and horseback riders.
- Stay chemical free. Stick to sunscreens that are free of oxybenzone and octinoxate, two of the most common ingredients found in chemical formulas.
- Education is key. Stop by the GTM Environmental Education Center to better understand these unique ecosystems.
- Donate. Become a member of the GTM Research Reserve. Funds go directly to protecting, researching and teaching others about the Reserve.
Nearby Things to Do
Eight miles down the road from Ponte Vedra Beach is the beachside town of Vilano Beach. This vibrant emerging community offers plenty to do. Here are some favorites:
- Watch live music during Evenings on Airstream Row held the 2nd Friday of the month.
- Set Sail on the High Seas on a luxury yacht with St. Augustine Sailing.
- Explore the area via kayak. Florida Water Tours offers rentals as well as sunset boat cruises aboard the Osprey.
- Pedal it out with Old Town Cycle Cruise. This 35-ft party pontoon offers BYOB cruises with 12 cycle stations and a lounge area.
- Recent recipient of the USA Today, Reader’s Choice 10Best award for “Best Boat Tour," Red Boat Tours offers sightseeing tours and sunset cruises.