A1A Coastal Route – Mayport to New Smyrna Beach (110 mi total)
This A1A coastal Route runs from the Mayport Ferry down to New Smyrna Beach. There is some route finding involved, especially from Mayport to Atlantic Beach, through St. Augustine, and from Ormand Beach to New Smyrna Beach. Of all the rides in this guide, this one will require the most rider experience and judgement. We’ve broken it up sections to make it easier to digest and included pictures along the route.
I started with the completed sections of the St. Johns River to Sea Loop and filled in with MapMyRide and Google Maps suggestions. It’s complicated, so I included my MyMyRide route as a start, but I suggest you double-check the River2SeaLoop Where To Ride Now page for updates before setting out and using your best judgment when riding here.
The Sections for the A1A Coastal Route are:
- Mayport to St Augustine (38.1 mi)
- Mayport to Ponte Vedra (11.2 mi)
- Ponte Vedra Blvd (7.1 mi)
- Mickler’s Landing to St Augustine (20.1 mi)
- St Augustine to East Central Rail Trail / Edgewater (69.8 mi)
- St Augustine to North Peninsula State Park (37.3 mi)
- North Peninsula State Park to East Central Rail Trail (32.5 mi)
Mayport to St Augustine (38.1 mi)
Mayport to Ponte Vedra (11.2 mi): We’ll start on the north end of the Mayport to New Smyrna Beach route. The Mayport Ferry runs every 1/2 hour, which includes transit and unloading times, so don’t get too hung up over planning the passage. (note: The Mayport Ferry occasionally closes for maintenance during the winter. Check the Jacksonville Transit Page for current status. The alternative route is dangerous -105 to Dames Point Bridge (I-295) to Route 116. Seriously consider using a car shuttle until the ferry is operational again.)
The bike lanes are pretty good heading out of Mayport, and there are even some water views of the St Johns as you turn the corner at Sherman Point. For the next mile or so, until the junction with 116, you might not even have a car behind you if you wait for the pulse of traffic to leave from the ferry, but then things start to get hairy.
After 116 bike lanes get occasionally repurposed for turn lanes, and by the time A1A joins up with Mayport Road, they’re all gone, and you’ll be riding on the sidewalk for about a mile. Between the Navy property and gated communities, the first chance to strike out on a neighborhood bypass is Maritime Oak Drive. This wiggly route takes you to Ocean Blvd/ First St, which is fairly pleasant riding with a beach town vibe but no real views. Make your way down First / Duval until you get to Ponte Vedra Blvd.
Ponte Vedra Blvd (7.1 mi): While there aren’t bike lanes here, riding on slow / low-traffic roads through an ‘Old Money’ section of Florida is really pleasant. The homes and gardens on the southern end are particularly glorious.
It’s nice to cut through Mickler’s Landing northbound and perhaps southbound as well. Although, depending on traffic, you might want to utilize the light at Ponte Vedra / A1A to cross the road.
Mickler’s Landing to St Augustine (20.1 mi): This is probably the single most enjoyable segment of the entire ride. There are bike lanes throughout, minimal cross traffic, and beautiful dunes through the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Preserve.
The elevated Francis and Mary Usina Bridge from Vilano Beach also gives you extraordinary views of St Augustine and the harbor. Be sure to check out the Historic District rides for alternate scenic routes through the city or stops along the way.