Florida – 11 Curves in 318 Miles

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Twisties? In Florida? On County Road 494.

What better way to end the year than a 430 mile ride for lunch? Along the way I took a short ride to the Gulf of Mexico on what may be the twistiest road in Florida.

Map of route
The route (click to enlarge)

Fort Island Gulf Beach is at the end of FL 44 in Crystal River. It’s on the north edge of the Crystal River Preserve State Park. It’s got a nice small sandy beach, showers and restrooms.

Fort Island Gulf Beach
Fort Island Gulf Beach
Salt Marsh
Salt marsh at Fort Island Gulf Beach

The twisties are found on County Road 494, also known as the Ozello Trail. This road begins a stone’s throw from FL 44 and goes through the middle of the Crystal River Preserve State Park. Twisties in Florida is an oxymoron, but I was able to scrape the pegs. The West coast of Florida north of Tampa just ooooooooozes into the Gulf of Mexico. Lots and lots of salt marsh. The road twists and turns and ends at a barrier island. Lousy place to be in a hurricane, but the other 99.9% of the time it is beautiful. There aren’t too many places where you can ride with the water just feet from your tires.

Map of 44 and 494
Fort George Island (top), Ozello Trail (bottom) (click to enlarge)

The Old Port Cove Seafood Restaurant is at the end but it wasn’t my eating destination today, so I can’t vouch for the food.

Deck overlooking water
Old Port Cove Restaurant at the end of the Ozello Trail.

My destination was the BayPoint Inn & Restaurant. I had eaten here years ago and it has remained on my “must revisit” list.

Baypoint Inn & Restaurant
Baypoint Inn & Restaurant

I had the best fried shrimp that I have eaten in years. The view from the outdoor deck.

Salt Marsh
View from the patio
Don't feed the Aligator sign
No feeding children to the alligators?
Boat
Neverude

This guy hangs around waiting to be fed. The wait staff has named him Charlie.

White Heron
Charlie. He’s a regular.
Hearon eating
Charlie likes fried food.
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A Goldwing rider from Jacksonville, FL.

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