Friday, April 26, 2019

Pedrick Pond Park Trail

There’s no shortage of places to hit the trails on the east side of Tallahassee, Florida. There’s Tom Brown Park and Lafayette Heritage Park. There’s the Miccosukee Greenway and the Alford Arm Greenway. Between the two Greenways, there’s also Pedrick Pond Park.

Pedrick Pond Park Trail
Live Oak along the Pedrick Pond Park Trail

Leon County opened the park in 2006, stating in a press release that the county was “transforming several existing stormwater ponds into passive recreation facilities, including Pedrick Pond Park. These parks are designed for leisurely activities like walking and picnicking.” For walking or running, the park has a loop trail around Pedrick Pond. In this, it resembles Leon County’s Lake Henrietta Park, Martha Wellman Pond Park, Broadmoor Pond Park, and Okeeheepkee Prairie Park. In the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department system, Lake Elberta Park was designed on a similar path-around-a-storm-water-retention-pond model.

The park is at the corner of Mahan Drive (US 90) and Pedrick Road. Leon County lists the address as 5701 Mahan Drive, but there's no entrance on Mahan Drive, or even a spot to pull over. Pedrick Pond Park shares parking with the Eastside Branch Library at 1583 Pedrick Road. The park is bounded on the west by Pedrick Road, on the north by Mahan Drive, on the east by the Vineyards (a subdivision), and on the south by a natural gas pipeline. The Eastside Branch Library, opened in 2011, is south of the pipeline.

Pedrick Pond Park Trail
Trail on the east side of Pedrick Pond

Pedrick Pond itself is roughly what folks in the swimming pool business call "kidney shaped." If your kidneys were shaped like Pedrick Pond, though, you'd be looking for a transplant. Most of the trail around the pond is crushed oyster shell, the same material used for much of the Apalachee Regional Park Championship Cross-Country Course, but the west side of the loop is a concrete sidewalk along Pedrick Road. A lap around the pond is almost exactly 1,320 yards, or three-quarters of a mile (just over 1.2 kilometers for the metrically inclined).

For runners, you'd think this would be a great spot for repeats, the kind of workout you'd do on a track. Not really. For one thing, the circuit includes two bridges, a 40-yard bridge on the sidewalk along Pedrick Road, and a 90-yard bridge on the north side of the loop. These are handsome bridges, decked with plastic planking that should outlast real wood. They are also narrow, only about five feet wide. Imagine that the clock is running and you're trying to run fast across one of these bridges when someone is else is pushing a baby stroller across. Or when a family has paused to look over the railing at the turtles.

Pedrick Pond Park Trail
The longer of two bridges on the Pedrick Pond Park Trail

You also might arrive for a workout and find part of the trail underwater. The bridge on the north side of the trail was added to the park after that part of the trail became part of the lake during several high water episodes. The Tallahassee weather was wet enough during 2018 that the approaches to both bridges were occasionally flooded, as well as a stretch of trail on the east side of the loop.

But it's a good place to log a few leisurely miles or take a stroll. There are several sanitation stations along the loop for dog walkers. There are benches if you just want to pause and look at the water. Bird watchers have observed more than 80 species at Pedrick Pond. For anyone who wants to eat near the pond, there are picnic tables. Pedrick Pond Park has neither water nor rest rooms, but both are available at the Eastside Branch Library.

Pedrick Pond Park Trail
Trail on the south side of Pedrick Pond

For travelers, the Pedrick Pond Park Trail is located less than two miles west of Exit 209 on Interstate 10. I'm not recommending it as a destination, but I've detoured farther while traveling to find a trail to stretch my legs.



  1. Should I do the Okeeheepkee Prairie Park Trail next?

  2. I love the info about these smaller trails in town. Pedrick pond trail is a gem and I've enjoyed a lap or 2 on it when visiting the library. Yes to Okeeheepkee. Thanks Herb!

    1. I like to think of them as short trails, or long tracks. Thank you, and smooth trails to ya!