Santos Mountain Bike Park, Ocala, Florida
Locals joke that the area surrounding Ocala is so flat, on a clear day you can see the back of your own head. While it’s true that the land around Santos Mountain Bike Park is mostly devoid of natural elevation, the park is built in a former limestone quarry, giving trail designers about 1,000 feet of ascent and descent to play with. Adding to that, Ray Petro, of Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park fame, has built dozens of kick-ass wood features, from skinnies a foot or so off the ground to mammoth corkscrews and jumps. Marshmallow Trail is sweet, fast fun, while trails like Sinkhole and Rattlesnake Ridge force riders through tight corners and chunky limestone. No matter your skill level, you’ll find plenty to ride in this 25-mile trail network.
Must-Ride Trail: Vortex is a white-knuckle two-mile thrill ride over fast and flat singletrack, jagged limestone, and down a dizzying wooden corkscrew descent.
Best Place for a Post-Ride Beer: Just across the street from the park, Greenway Bicycles sells a great selection of cold craft and domestic bottles and cans. Infinite Ale Works serves Belgium-inspired beers at its downtown Ocala brewery.
Best Place to Get Some Sleep: The Santos campground lets you roll from your tent to the trail in a matter of minutes. Reserve a spot early, as in-the-know riders flock here in the winter months. If you miss out on a spot there, you can likely find an open spot at the nearby Shangri-La campground, located just off the Cross Florida Greenway.