Camp Weed Tour Ride
By Steve Wishard
It was 8:30am when just under 20 members of The Historical Motorcycle Society and BMWNEF gathered in the parking lot of BMW Motorcycles of Jacksonville. The plan for the day was a scenic route ride to Camp Weed in Live Oak. A route which also included a couple of stops. One to stretch the legs and one at a location where rally members will be able to do some off-road riding.
Due to the number of riders participating, 3 smaller groups were formed for the trip. A brief period of socializing, a short rider meeting and were were on our way. 285 north just past I-10 and we exited the interstate for the remainder.
St Mary Shoals
If you don't count the train that decided to park across the road in Baldwin - our first stop was St Mary Shoals.
St. Mary's Shoals Park opened in 2009 and has operated through various grant funding including the Florida Communities Trust, FRDAP, and Recreational Trails Program. Fishing ponds, pavilions, restrooms, and water access are available for public usage. There is also public access to nearly 2 miles of the tannin-stained St. Mary's River and white sandy shores.
St. Mary Shoals Park encompasses 2,568 acres consisting of separate facilities and trail systems for OHV operators and "EQU-PED(AL)" visitors. What is an "EQU-PED(AL)"? "EQU-PED(AL)" refers to equestrian, pedestrian, hikers, cyclists and any other foot traffic.
For more information, visit their website: St Mary's Shoals Park (bakercountyfl.org)
St Mary Shoals Park Trail Map
St Mary Shoals Park is a short ride from Camp Weed and provides an excellent opportunity for rally attendees to log some off-road miles.
Following the brief stop at the park - during which Larry filled us in on what was available at that location - we once again hit the road. We made a brief gas station stop along the way to stretch our legs before continuing on the final stretch to Camp Weed. Once there, Larry provided an informative tour of both the camping and rally central facilities. The video above includes the sights and information we received during our visit.
Camp Weed was founded in June of 1924 near St. Augustine Beach, Florida. The Diocese of Florida sponsored its first summer program with 40 children attending. The camp was named in 1925 for the late Rt. Rev. Edwin Gardner Weed, who was the third Bishop of Florida. The Camp Weed website includes a wealth of information: Home (campweed.org) Visiting the site may answer many of the questions you might have.