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.  Fortunately, it hasn’t changed much in those 30 years, so I wasn’t too late.

off the beaten path in Florida
Ormond Scenic Loop. Photo by Bonnie Gross

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, 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.

Dummet Plantation Ruins in Bulow Creek State Park are lovely, evocative and tell a fascinating story.

 Larger map available here.