I found this run in Roadrunner magazine and since we were not far from Green Cove Springs we figured we would give it a try. The original run as listed actually starts in Jacksonville but since we were meeting a friend we decided to meet halfway and start in Green Cove Springs.
We met at a Speedway gas station on the corner of US-17 and Co Highway 315. It has all the essentials to start a ride. Gas, coffee, and a bathroom. So after the essentials and some catch-up conversation, we were off.
Heading down US-17 is a combination of moderate traffic and water views. There are a few places you can pull over to get some nice water pics. We took US-17 to I-295. I-295 also has some nice water views. The unfortunate thing is there are no safe places to pull over. So just enjoy the views as you ride by.
Big Dollar Condos $$$
When you get to A1A you will find numerous stop lights. The houses and condos on the right sit on the edge of the water. From this section of the trip to the ferry, you will find big dollar condos and houses on the right and shopping centers on your left.
Since we got a late start we decided to stop into a Dairy Queen for a quick bite to eat and an Orange Julius. Back out of Dairy Queen we shot up the rest of A1A to Florida Blvd. Although it was a heavily traveled road it was moving well. When you get to I-10 you will go straight under the overpass and the road will change to Mayport Rd.
Time To Take A ferry Ride
Follow Mayport Rd until you get to A1A and make a left. Now you are back on A1A. Take this straight down to the St Johns River Ferry entrance. It will be on your left side. The ferry runs every half hour. The Ferry ride is only about 10 minutes long and will set you back about $5. You pay the attendant on board.
Exiting the ferry to the right puts you back on A1A. This was probably my favorite part of the ride. The traffic disappears and you follow some beautiful scenic roads along the St Johns River. You will ride over small bridges with nice water views and travel past Little and Big Talbot Island State Park. Crossing over another bridge will have you riding through Amelia Island State Recreation Area.
The 4th Roundabout
You will follow this until you get to the 4th roundabout at which time you will take the first exit out to continue on A1A. This section of road will have you traveling past big dollar houses that are backed right up to the water.
When you get to the end, you will make a left to continue on A1A. You will make another left a short trip up the road on S. 8th St (200). Approx 12 miles up the road make a right on US-17. As you travel down US-17 you will pass the Welcome To Georgia Sign. It’s a tight squeeze but if you are careful you can grab a quick picture. 13.5 miles down you will make a left on 40 (W. King or Kingsland Rd).
Folkston Funnel Viewing Platform
Stay on this road for about 22 miles and make a left on 3rd Street and a right on Oakwood. It can be a little confusing here so be careful. If you take Oakwood to the end you will see a parking lot on your right side. On the other side of that is the Folkston Funnel Train Watching Platform.
The Museum Is On The Other Side
If you love trains this would be a good spot to hang out for a while. There are picnic tables, bbq grills, and a unisex bathroom. Every train that comes in and out of N. E. Florida comes by this platform. There is a museum on the other side of the tracks. It’s open M-F 9am-5pm and Saturday 10 am to 3 pm.
When you are all trained out, you just head back up Oakwood St and make a right on 2nd St N (301). Follow 301 64 miles to I-295. You will pass the Welcome to Florida sign along the way if you want a photo op.
Head south on I-295 for about 18 miles and take exit 10. Stay right at the fork after exiting and then make a right on US-17. Take US-17 12 miles back to Speedway gas station where you started. As you do your final stretch down US-17, there are multiple restaurant chains like Chilis and Longhorns where you can stop and eat if you have not eaten anywhere.
Approx Miles: 234
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