Roads generally take you places, but this one takes you someplace extraordinary: Into the past.
I had the distinct pleasure of experiencing the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail in a motorcycle sidecar during Daytona Bike Week. Somehow, with 30 years of exploring Florida, I hadn’t been here or even heard of this byway. Fortunately, it hasn’t changed much in those 30 years, so I wasn’t too late.
The route is a 30-plus miles and takes you through roads where live oak trees form cathedral ceilings, along waterways and creeks full of native birds and along the Atlantic Ocean, with spectacular beach and dune views.
It doesn’t take long to make the drive, but you can easily spend all day at it if you stop along the way — and you should! For example, North Peninsula State Park along the Atlantic Ocean is prime whale-watching site from December through March, when the endangered Atlantic Right Whale comes here to give birth. Any other time of year, it’s “just” one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Tomoka State Parks offers hiking trails with abundant wildlife. The Dummet Plantation Ruins in Bulow Creek State Park are lovely, evocative and tell a fascinating story. (These will be subjects of future posts on Florida Rambler.)
Here are lots of links to help you plan your visit to the Ormand Scenic Loop and Trail
- The official site for the road, produced by committed volunters.
- Byways.org provides maps, driving directions and other information for visitors.
- Wikipedia has a detailed history of the road and region