Ride at Rye

On the northern edge of the 320-acre Rye Preserve, I recently rode the singletrack Red Trail, as it turned, dipped and alternated from hard-packed shell to dirt. RyeTrailsMap

At this Manatee County preserve, about 2.5 miles of unpaved trails loop through four distinctive ecosystems, and many of the trails and singletrack. Here bicyclists can see the occasional alligator, in addition to a variety of songbirds (a wren sang from a scrubby oak as I sipped from my water bottle during one rest), and the rare gopher tortoise and Florida scrub-jay. The preserve, about 15 miles east of Bradenton, is a good nature ride for the two-wheeled, off-road explorer.

I just found out about Rye, as I was researching an article on bike trails and paths in Sarasota and Manatee counties, and the MTB trails here are something of a best kept secret. I’ll be sure to come back!

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