Familiarize yourself.
Everglades Edge is a Human Powered Eco-Tour business located within Picayune Strand State forest, offering pre-race guided course rides the following weekend times. (free!)

Sunday March 8, 2015 - 9 am
Saturday March 14, 2015 - 9 am
Sunday Mar. 22, 2015 - 2 pm

Meet at Everglades Edge on Snake Rd 1/2 hour before.
Meet at Trailwalker Trailhead for Mar 22 tour.
Please call Wes 1 day ahead at 239 280-8837 or 239 353-1648 to sign up and talk about details. Also please call anytime for directions and specifics or any questions you may have anytime.
e-mails welcome also - wrwa@att.net


*All profits are donated 100%.  Picayune Nature Club (picayunenatureclub.org) will administer all costs and donate all profits to programs dedicated to raising awareness to local residents, especially students and youth; Outdoor conservation practices and how they interface for living practically and restoratively in the Southwest Florida urban and natural environments of which Picayune Strand State forest is an integral part of.
The "Durrwalker" cup is a tribute in the local vernacular to a person who was an important part of the original makers of Picayune Strand State Forest.  Forestor Durrwachter played several major roles on the ground for the Forestry during that time and a main part of the mapping and naming of trails and boundaries while working through the difficult details and politics of the land acquisition phase required for eventual preservation and the restoration of Picayune Strand.
Senior Forester Sonja Durrwachter was her official title, and one most appropriate for a true forester opening the door to the future for the newly defined state forest. The petite blonde had her work cut out for her, often in the field alone, courageously working in a place plagued by raging fires and deemed by many as the last frontier. Poachers, dumpers, hunters, squatters, suspicious residents, fugitives and recreationists of all kinds knew Sonja and her tireless work in getting Picayune Forest off the ground and making it an equal among giants of special places managed by the State of Florida.
It's people like her in the Florida Forest Service that make the world a better place, especially for the future.
       Logo rider-                         "Skillett" .          

         From:  Race Director - Wes Wilkins

Currently, the trails of Picayune are clear and dry and perfect to ride.  The water table has dropped considerable but humidity is up and maybe some foggy overcast here and there early but clears up for typical winter time weather here in Southwest Florida. It's very warm now too, and the trail sand is packed and the plants thick but loosening a little but there's still alot of grass and weeds on the trail so there's a fast ride and a 29er witl 2.3's or so is ideal. But it's wide open as we begin to clear out the trail course a little and mark. Which means we do nothing much at all other than make a wheel way in the natural landscape. Little impact and gone after a year. It's an old time freeride in a generally dry Florida swamp and many trails have been there many decades .
   Every year  one can expect the trails to go dormant in late summer/early fall due to the flooding of sheet flow water. This is good for stabilizing and smoothing out the course and allowing the plants to take over. It occurs almost every season and that's good as this region is within the Big Cypress water basin and essentially a rain driven system and therefore very seasonal and subject to extreme drought. Best time to ride here is in May, June and July and soon after the rains around late October, November, December and often beyond, but who knows when the deep water will actually begin and end and how much will accumulate in August and September and just how hot and dry and worked up the roads and trails become.
   The course is now (January 5, 2015) excellent to ride for abroad range of bikes and just come in from your favorite access point. See the maps or just come and discover for yourself.
At this time the once deep and now receded water from a fairly wet summer have left the trails renewed and nice and usually enjoyable to ride with most any decent trail bike. It's always exciting to go out just after wet times to experience the peaked summer plant growth. Picayune's swamp flora has grown in with a vengence but a bike can slip discreetly between and through all of it- but that will change as the winter season progresses and things go totally brown and whither back.
   After the rainy season the ground remains a sponge well after the water subsides and makes for some interesting combinations of sand consistency. Watch out for suction in low spots. Wide softer tires don't push the sand but ride above. Letting out alot of air is quite helpful. Narrower harder tires can sink in ruts and lose control especially as the dry season progresses and everything changes into barren and sandy stretches that require the right tires, acceleration and momentum to efficiently traverse. Knobby tires can slow and create a glue like traction espeically in wetter sand. Knobs on a rear wheel is great for traction but a significant trade off if not needed.
  But in the end it's all up to each rider's legs and lungs and heart of course.

   Check back for updates! - Wes

 28 and 50 mile (2 laps - 28 &22 miles) marked woodland trails.
Route may change anytime due to Forestry preferences, construction and other factors unknown, so trail layout can change. Stay tuned.
4 Aid stations. Drinks and snacks provided during and after race. Camping is available. Bike rentals available.  See sponsor links for other available amenities.

    Tour de Picayune is a cross country bicycle race over the old trails and lands through the backwoods and swamps of Picayune Strand State Forest in Southwest Florida.
Dry sand, wet sand, rocks, soft gravel, hard gravel,  grass, vines, brush, logs and even some rough asphalt describe the range of riding surfaces; Generally variations of soft, sandy trails that can change significantly in accordance to recent past as well as current weather, traffic, humidity, plant growth, water levels, and it's sometimes hard to predict the right tires or even the best bike for overall performance.

    But the main point of this race is the tour, and again this year's course is a 50 mile odyssey of two laps (1 - 22 & 1-28 miles) in South Belle Meade that will be the course determining the 2015 champion. The winner of the Fouth annual Tour de Picayune will have his/her name, hometown and year of victory placed on championship series cup winners roll for historical record and public display. We will also award a great prize for the winner. Last year it was an outstanding Park Tool portable racer's tool kit including a portable repair and tuning bike frame rack. A super prize for any serious rider. One of the best to have for any cross country  and adventure riding events, road rides, hybrid, etc...
- There are 2 distances (Laps) to ride- 28 and 50 miles.However there  are several turn backs over easy tracks back to parking, snake pit, etc. See maps. Each lap is substantially different.
- All riders must be over 12 and sign a liability waiver and wear a helmet.
- 1 champion only - 50 mile course winner.
- First, second and third place recognitions for each distance class.
- Race packet pick-up and sign-in begins 8:00 am.
- Race starts at 10:15 am and ends at 5pm. 
- Registration begins at 8:45 am. Course pick up and shuttle wagon starts at 3 pm.
- Post race ceremonies begin at 4pm. Winner collects prizes and accolades.
- Post race party at Snake pit camp.  Refreshments provided.                                                                           
                                             *Entry Fees
                   Single entrant-    $50.  ($40 early sign up)*
                   Kids 12-16          $25.  ($20 early sign up)*
      Contact Wes Wilkins - Race director or Al Frere - Operations.
    e-mail:  wes@tourdepicayune.com or call 239-280-8837 anytime.


Saturday, March 28, 2015




On soft sand, the wider the tire the easier the roll  with a lightweight bike. Thinner tires need more speed to plane and often cut deep ruts through the surface and thus becoming basically a plow. A power consumer. The object is a balance between terraine and tire. Larger around tires are better for general ground clearance such as a 29er's better ability to cross rough country. Less psi but enough rear tire traction to keep going is also a key to this balance.  Fatter tires work in other ways in terms of traction and comfort. A tire with a flatter ground to surface profile is better, too. What's best on pavement is most likely bad in the dirt. Air pressure is important not to have too much. A softer tire adapts to the surface and it's significant. Each sand condition varies so it's best to start high and work it out lower to a comfortable level as the ride continues. The sand can vary like the weather and other traffic has its effects as well.
  Riding ruts has advantages and puffy sand
 would seem the worst but with  a  morning
 dew, it is a great surface to ride with the right
 Just don't come with a pavement mindset.
 Watch for wildlife at all times and yield, as this
 is their home above all.

    Happy Pippy says everyone is welcome
           to come for the fun!






    2014 Champion Bill Quinsey

A resident of Naples for many years, Bill came from Colorado as a skiier and a mountain biker and is a superb triathlete.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Bill is a Natural resources manager for the City of Naples and a father of two boys.
Last year's race was a little warm and a little humid and the sand around midday went powder dry. Too tough for a second round for many as the ground became the enemy. It was an exciting event as the lead changed several times but Bill prevailed in the end as he hung on and eventually took control in the last part of the trail and came in for the win.
This year he intends to be the first repeat winner and will be back to defend his title.
Second place finisher Joe Boness and third place finisher Steve Baptiste we know will be back to challenge Bill again.

        Finish Line at Snake Pit

                   Rough freeriding trails and paths.

                   Meandering single track through palmettos.

                         Typical log obstacle.

                    Grassy and sandy flatwoods trails.

                                  Sticky tram.                                                                                 Trail through oak hammock.

               Jungle path to Snake pit.                                                   Sabal Palm/Triple G road rock pits.

                        Snake Pit Camp.                                                                                               Rutty road late in the dry season day.

            Oberlin Expressway returns.                                                  Wetland Hammock enter at own risk.

                          This road is usually fast but can be sticky and slick both, whenever it rains and a fall can be expected.