Goose Pond Trail
Clark Evans, January 15, 2008
The Goose Pond Trail is a series of three short, paved trails on the northeast side of Tallahassee, connecting the Woodgate and Betton/Waverly Hills areas to Tom Brown Park and beyond. The three segments of the trail are as follows:
Segment 1: Hermitage Blvd. to Potts Rd. (map)
This segment is the northernmost segment of the trail, running roughly east-west between Hermitage Blvd. and Potts Rd., and is also the shortest at one-third of a mile in length. Benches are located at each end of the trail but there is no trailhead in this region. The segment heading east from Hermitage Blvd. features a nice gradual hill climb.
To get from the end of this segment to the start of the next segment, turn right on Potts Rd. and head down the hill. When Potts Rd. turns to the left, a short trail to the right of the Centerville Rd. overpass will continue straight. Follow this trail, ultimately bearing to the paved path on the left side of the highway at the intersection of Centerville Rd. and Blair Stone Rd. From here, it is a little more than a half-mile to the Blair Stone Rd. and Miccosukee Rd. intersection; turn left on Miccosukee Rd. and you’ll find the next segment of the trail a short distance on your right. Note that the paved path along Blair Stone Rd. is also a nice path to run along with several steep hills and multiple locations to get water; it extends south to Park Avenue.
Segment 2: Miccosukee Rd. to Mahan Dr. (map)
The start of this segment of the trail is just east of the intersection of Miccosukee Rd. and Blair Stone Rd. This portion of the trail runs alongside a powerline right-of-way corridor and is a great example of adding nice running paths and trails in urban regions. This segment of the trail is flat and extends for one kilometer in length. As with the first segment, there are benches located at each end of the trail but no trailhead at either end.
The easiest way to get from the end of this segment to the start of the third and final segment of the trail is to turn left on Mahan Dr. and run up the hill to Capital Circle NE, turning right and heading to Easterwood Dr. at the National Guard Armory. Turn left on Easterwood, then take a quick left on Weems Rd. and head down the hill. The trail will be on your right just before the railroad tracks. Alternatively, you can cross Mahan Dr. to the Ft. Knox Office Center parking lot, running to its back to a short, unpaved path. This will take you to the Fern Trail, where you can turn left and head to Tom Brown Park.
Segment 3: Tom Brown Park (map)
The final segment of the trail is also its longest, running along the north and east sides of Tom Brown Park from Weems Rd. to Connor Blvd. An out-and-back on the trail from end to end is approximately 5K, making it a good choice for a time trial or a short weekday run. Due to its location, it is also the most heavily traveled portion of the trail. You’ll find a mix of flat terrain and gently rolling hills under a dense tree canopy on this portion of the trail, a contrast to that found on the other two segments that are more urban in nature.
Tom Brown Park is a gateway to numerous trails and trail systems in Tallahassee: Goose Pond Trail, the Magnolia Mountain Bike Trails, a series of fitness trails in the woods north of the Goose Pond Trail, the Lafayette Heritage and Cadillac Trails, and the entire Alford Arm Greenway property. In addition, concentrated hill running may be found in the Piney-Z neighborhood at the end of the Goose Pond Trail. A great place to access these trails is the parking area near the large playground in the center of the park; restroom and water facilities may be found here, the Goose Pond Trail runs right alongside, and the trailhead for the Lafayette/Cadillac Trails is a short distance to the west.
All in all, the Goose Pond Trail and connecting paths provide approximately five miles of running path in an urban setting that can be easily accessed from nearly anywhere in town.