19 miles (Mostly asphalt but includes concrete and brick)
Rating: 6 (out of 10)
365 Road/Driveway Crossings (1-way) (19 crossings per mile which is a high number)
280 People Encountered (Both Ways) (7 people encountered per mile - a busy trail)
Pros: The Timpoochee Trail is located by the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches stretching from Topsail Hill Preserve State Park to Camp Helen State Park and it crosses several scenic lakes. There is plenty of lodging, camping, food, and drink available near the trail. The approximate 40 mile round trip is perfect for an out and back day ride for me allowing time to stop, explore, and enjoy. Bicycle rentals can be found in multiple locations. The smells of restaurant cooking will make your mouth water. Once away from the main beach areas trail congestion abates. Dangerous turns are well marked. For such a busy trail, there was very little litter. The scenery is constantly changing making for a enjoyable ride.
Cons: Not a trail for the serious cyclist trying to get from point A to point B. The Timpoochee Greenway trail is basically a glorified 8' wide sidewalk which is too narrow for a busy multi-use trail. Some sections are a little wider and on bridges the trail gets so narrow only one person can use it and anyone passing at that time will have to swing out into the busy highway to pass. The whole trail should be at least another 6 feet wider. Pedestrian traffic gets real busy along the Central Square of Seaside Beach and around the densely populated Rosemary Beach community. People jams on the sidewalk are probably worse in the summer on the weekends and during college spring breaks. Expect the trail to be blocked to passing often by people walking or riding side by side, not to mention the people weighed down carrying chairs and other beach gear. Then there are those who are focused on their cell phone oblivious to the fact they are in the middle of a busy trail blocking traffic. The trail crosses busy Hwy 30A five times. Beach views from the sidewalk trail along Hwy 30A are rare because Hwy 30A is too far inland. You have to take side roads if you want more views of the Gulf of Mexico. This trail has a high number of driveway/road crossings compared to most other trails which requires extra vigilance watching out for vehicles. For a beach trail, this one has over two dozen hills with grades up to 5-10 percent, some which may cause people who are out of shape to walk their bicycle up the hill. I did not seen enough public bathrooms located along the trail.
Viewpoint: In a nutshell, yes, I want to ride this trail again. Trail wise, I rate Timpoochee a low 6 out of 10 mostly because it is too narrow for the amount of people using it, however, I give it a 10 out of 10 as desirable destination. It is worth riding the trail at least once. If you open up Google Maps, turn on "Bicycling" you'll see there are many more short trails that intersect with Timpoochee. Plus, with the nearby Longleaf Pine Greenway Trail, the Eastern Lake Bike Trail, and the Grayton Beach Recreational Park Mountain Bike Trail, there is supposedly an additional 35 miles of off-road mountain bike riding to experience, but expect to deal with some sand on the mountain bike trails. Being that this was a half day ride for me, I did not have an adequate amount of time to ride this trail and will definitely be going back during winter when the beaches and trails are not as crowded.
The downloadable GPS track of the Timpoochee Trail, along with the Cr-395 trail can be found here:
Click on any thumbnail below to bring up a larger view photo gallery with commentary.