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Pine Island Conservation Area (PICA)

Average Rating:    (3.27 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 11

Trails traverse through "spoil" lands left over from mining operations in the 1960's. The area doesn't compare to Ocala's quarry parks, but it offers a suprising amount of elevation and unique terrain for east central Florida. The singletrack contains numerous 5 to 10+ foot drops and climbs with some rocky areas. I guess the trails could be described as a narrow BMX type course that winds through the woods. Currently there is 2 to 3 miles of singletrack with more in work. There are also about 4 miles of doubletrack to explore if you want. If you come in the summer bring bug spray. The ground here is very hard packed and doesn't drain well. If there has been a lot of rain the dirt road near the entrance can get flooded. The trails handle the rain much better than the road, so if the road is passible, the trails should be in good shape.
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Latitude
28.492380520394192
Longitude
-80.73062896728515
Trail Directions
Take Hwy 528 east to Merritt Island. Turn left (north) on State Road 3. Continue north on SR 3 for approximately 5 miles then turn left on Pine Island Road (this is the last paved road on the left before you hit Kennedy Space Center property). Follow Pine Island Road for 2.5 miles and it ends at the entrance to PICA. Directions to Trails: From the PICA entrance, head north on Marsh Run Road. This is the first dirt road on the right approximately 50 yards from the PICA entrance. Head north on Marsh Run Road for approximately 200 yards and go left at the intersection (if you go straight it dead ends at the lake). Proceed another quarter mile or so (past the sand dunes) and start looking for trails along the side of the road. Trail entrances are marked with orange blazes.
Trail Length
2 - 3 + miles
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Singletrack & Fire Roads
City/County
Merritt Island
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
April 26, 2011

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 1 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: kathy ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
I just want to give a heads up cause i was pretty shook up this am. I walk here a lot, not cyclist. I came thru the gate at the end of Pine Island Road, parked, took the trail to the left all the way to the end. There is a vehicle path to the right that runs along the lake. I was walking only a short distance and a gator in the brush along the water let out a huge growl. I froze. It sounded 2 more times. i backed up and ran. It was long and low and loud, almost like a bear. there are many huge gators in this lake, some 10-16+ ft. I know it was a big gator cause i checked youtube and it sounded exactly the same.



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Review Date
January 29, 2007

Overall Rating
 1 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 1 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: traceeworel ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
I've been looking for fun trails in the area, and I found a few sites recommending PICA, and the descriptions sounded great. However, we could not find any trails past the sand dunes, no orange markings, either. All we could see was a lot of land that looked like it had been destroyed by brush fires or a controlled burn. Does anyone know if these trails are no more? I am hoping we missed them somehow, as the earlier reviews sounded pretty good. However, the last good review I see is from 2003, so I'm thinking they probably burned, and were not restored. If any one has any info, please let me know!

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Ulamay



Comments
Acme54321 (02/25/2008)
The trails were OK at best. They ran/run through an old sand mine or some sort of strip mine. I have only been there once but this is what I remember. You come in down the entrance road and there is a limerock road on the right. Take that and you will be on the west side of a rectangular lake. You will pass a large pile of dirt on your right. THe trails were a little farther down the road than that on the left side of the road.
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Review Date
April 4, 2005

Overall Rating
 1 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 1 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: trulies ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
You guys are smoking crack or just retarded.

There are no bike trails at this location...at least not sanctioned and maintained. There are a couple short hiking trails of 1.0 to 2.0 miles each. Park rules do not allow bikes on these trails...they blow chunks anyways. They only allow riding (multi-use) on one short road.

There are dirt roads that are pitted by trucks so you will need a vehicle with ground clearance to get down the roads after a heavy rain.

...and don't even get me started on why the hell anyone would want to preserve a muddy mangrove mosquito haven or why people want to live within 6" of being flooded with the slightest rain.....

Riding any random roadside and jumping potholes > this crap

Take the ride to LittleBig Econ in Orlando or go to Ocala for some properly setup trails.

rating <1

Recommended Route:
turn-around and go home

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Take the ride to LittleBig Econ in Orlando or go to Ocala for some properly setup trails.



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Review Date
June 25, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

Visitors rate this review
1.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Dave , from PSJ, FL

Summary:
I first heard about this trail in March but didn't ride it until April because I didn't think there could be a trail this good in Merritt Island. Boy what a mistake. These trails are great. If you like honest to goodness 5 to 10+ foot elevation changes then this is the place for you because its got plenty of them. Previous reviewers described them as a rollercoaster in the trees, which I think is a pretty good description. The dirt road leading to the trails gives you no clue of what is to come. The first few trails are short and pretty mellow, but after that the trails seem to get better and better the further you go. I suspect poor Lance from Lauderdale must have missed the better trails. These trails are definitely not for beginners. One word of caution. If you live halfway accross the state (like Lauderdale) and want to drive to Pine Island in hopes of an epic ride - don't do it. The trails are great, but there is only about 2 to 3 miles total. The length is fine for after work rides for locals, but I wouldn't drive a couple of hours to ride here. If you happen to be in the area though it's worth checking out. Hopefully they will add more trails cause there looks like a lot of potential out there. When we started riding these trails in April it was great - no bugs and weeds. Now the bugs are killer and the weeds are getting thick at the trail entrances. Some buddies and I plan to clear out some the of weeds soon. The trails need to be ridden more. If you go out there bring some heavy duty bug spray. A buddy tried to tough it out sprayless last week and mosquitos almost carried him away every time we stopped. I think these trails are a 4, but based on potential and to offset Lance's review I'll give it a 5.

Recommended Route:
Follow the dirt road north just past the entrance and look for orange spray paint that marks the trails

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Econ, Spruce Creek



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Review Date
June 18, 2003

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Tim , from Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

Summary:
I'm pretty much a newbie at this sport but of the trails I've ridden, this one is the most technical. Good ups and downs, tight and a fair dose of rocks and roots. I lost about a quart of blood to the mosquitos so, do yourself a favor and bring some good bug spray. Encountered a pack of feral hogs and an alligator laying in the trail yesterday which was pretty cool. These trails need to be ridden! Many of the singletrack trail entrances (the trails criss-cross the jeep trail) are badly overgrown and its real easy to miss them if you aren't paying attention. Its also easy to get turned around on some of the trails so, pay close attention or you'll find yourself covering the same ground twice.
I think this place has a lot of potential - just needs more trails.
I think its a 4 but I'm giving it a 5 to make up for that last review.

Recommended Route:
Park at the gate and take the first jeep trail to the right, just inside the gate. A couple hundred yards down, take a left. Look for orange spray markings on either side of the jeep trail. The trails enter and exit on both sides of the jeep trail.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Ulumay, Spruce Creek (the only others I've ridden!)



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Reviews 1 - 5 (11 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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