Author Topic: Fort Myers to Key west  (Read 9553 times)

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Offline jfgll

Fort Myers to Key west
« on: February 12, 2014, 03:03:18 pm »
I'm looking into riding from Fort Myers to Key West the beginning of March, right now it is going to be a solo ride, I plan on camping along the way. Any information would be appreciated, is this a good or bad time to ride traffic wise? high tourist season. What is the best route to take?

Thanks Jack

Lucky13

  • Guest
Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 07:35:05 pm »
You have three general options to reach Key West from the Fort Myers area:

1. Take a VERY short bike ride to Fort Myers Beach, then ride the ferry boat to Key West.

2. Ride south on Hwy. 41 (the Tamiami Trail) from Fort Myers. The Trail will eventually curve east across the Everglades region. At the intersection of Hwy. 41 and Krome Ave. (Hwy. 997), turn south and head for Homestead and Florida City. You can then pick up ACA's  Atlantic Coast route to the Keys.

3. Follow ACA's Florida Connector route east to Lake Okeechobee, then south to Fort Lauderdale. Ride east to the coast and grab the Atlantic Coast route.

Peak tourist season runs generally from December thru March. You need to balance the traffic against the weather. The crowds thin out in the summer months - but the heat, humidity and tropical downpours can make for tough cycling.

Personally, option number 2 would present a more interesting trip than that offered by the Florida Connector route. Heading south from Okeechobee is a bit of a slog, followed by the traffic and congestion in cutting east across Fort Lauderdale.

The Tamiami Trail offers a number of campgrounds, the beauty of the Big Cypress Preserve, a taste of Everglades National Park, and the Homestead area.

Your mileage will, of course, vary.

Offline jfgll

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 07:57:37 pm »
Thanks for responding, as I have been researching this I was leaning towards the Tamiami Trail, this is the first attempt at camping while cycling, I have done organized rides but never a solo trip. What should I take along on a trip like this? I know I need a tent, I'm good with the bike and gear. It's Hwy. 41 I'm not sure about it looks pretty desolate


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Lucky13

  • Guest
Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 08:22:10 pm »
Hi there.

I've posted an article over at CrazyGuyonaBike that covers the Everglades region - including the Tamiami Trail. Here's a link:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/glades

For now at least, most of the road work along the Trail has eased off - the new bridge on the east side is accessible by bike. Most of the Trail has a paved shoulder as well.

Overall, this route is not all that desolate. You'll find campgrounds, visitor centers, opportunities for side trips and so forth.

You mentioned a tent. That's a good thing. The dry season extends into April, but it's still good to have protection from insects. The coldest nights happen in January thru mid-February - but we all have our own tolerance for cool weather.

Anyway...

Offline jfgll

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 03:40:07 pm »
Thanks for the link I found it be helpful.

Offline bent4me

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 04:03:44 pm »
I'm leaving in 2 weeks to do ACA  Florida/Connector Loop. First solo trip of this magnitude. I'm excited and glad to get a break from Winter. Hoping for dry warm weather. Enjoy the ride, Jack.
Thejerseypedaler.com

Offline jfgll

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 05:30:38 pm »
Thanks, you enjoy also! I've been trying to leave for almost two weeks, one storm after another. :o

Offline DaveB

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 01:35:57 pm »
The only information I can provide is that you don't want to be on the road on March 31 or April1.  The "Snow Bird" winter leases usually expire at the end of March and the roads are clogged with elderly drivers in cars or, worse, huge motorhomes heading back north.

Offline jfgll

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 02:06:51 pm »
Thanks, that is good to know.

Offline saafrican

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2014, 08:54:29 am »
April 2013 I did Fort Lauderdale to Key West and back  on my recumbent .
The road from Homestead down into the Keys is a pleasure . The bike shoulders are wide ,and in many places you will ride on the old Flagler rails to trails cycle path . There are many places to stop for food and refreshments . Unfortunately I didn't camp , so can't help you there .
DO TAKE lots of sun cream , I stopped and bought a loose long sleeve shirt and a " muff" that fishermen use to protect their faces and lips from sun burn .
I enjoyed the ride so much I'm looking for a few days to do it again
ENJOY !!!!!,

Offline wbst31

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2014, 12:56:15 pm »

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 11:23:24 am »
FYI,

Would highly recommend a re-route around Rt 997 (Krome Ave) either Florida City to Tamiami Trail or vice versa.  Dangerous.

 :)

Offline BikePacker

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2014, 01:13:03 pm »
".... this is the first attempt at camping while cycling, I have done organized rides but never a solo trip. What should I take along on a trip like this?* I know I need a tent, I'm good with the bike and gear..."
jfgll - I am aware that you may well have left by now, if so, Godspeed, if not and still researching *what to take (& not + 'how come,' on both counts :- ), the best single source of information I have ever encountered, and from which benefited significantly, is the text available thru ACA CycloSource entitled The Essential Touring Cyclist - A Complete Guide.... 
At least 40% of what I needed to know when I "converted" from group tours to solo touring was presented to me in that single 'study' text. 
Over the last 20 years I have re-read it about every 4 years and am reminded of 'things' that are good about which for me to be reminded.
If you have further interest, for convenience, here is the ACA link:
 http://www.adventurecycling.org/cyclosource-store/search-results/sp/essential-touring-cyclist/
Best wishes in your current & future expedition(s) !
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 01:16:56 pm by BikePacker »

Offline Ebtbmt

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2015, 01:20:59 pm »
Re: avoiding Krome Ave.  I have been advised of this but really don't know what a good alternate would be.  Can someone suggest a route?  Thaks

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Fort Myers to Key west
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2015, 04:47:58 pm »
Go south to Naples and take the road across the everglades. Someone told me the area from Krome and the Indian casino east to Miami was a high crime area. Use your maps. Follow US 1 to Key West. It is a good ride in March. There is room for safe cycling.