Growing up on the East Side of Tallahassee, I knew everything about the secrets of the East side. From False Chase, Buck Lake, the Vineyards, all the way to Blackcreek, Chaires, the MLC, and Monticello – those were my stomping grounds. But, as I grew, I became more familiar with the other sides of town. By the time I was 17, I had many friends living in the Northeast / North side of town near Killearn Lakes, Waverly, and Betton Hills. I quickly learned how to get to Killearn Estates through Centerville and how to access the Mall from Piedmont.
However it wasn’t until I was an adult, and I purchased my first home in a Killearn Estates neighborhood, that I began to unlock some of the more colorful histories of one of Tallahassee’s largest and most popular neighborhoods.
THE BRIDLE TRAILS
It was my friend Susan, who told me of the Stables that once resided on Shamrock (near what is today the Circle K.) She grew up in Killearn, purchased her first home in my neighborhood, and is now living an updated Mid-century home of Shamrock. She was an avid rider as a child, would visit the stables, and ride the Bridle Paths.
In 1966, the Killearn Estates’ Master Plan included 13 acres of space dedicated to a riding academy and miles of Bridle Trails. (On a side note there are still Stables in Eastgate and horses have been spotted on roads recently in Killearn Acres.)
Today, the Bridle Trails are used for many purposes. For the most part, they serve as both utility easement and recreational trail. I have used the trails as an easy, quick, and safe way to walk/ bike to my office (now relocated to Killearn Center Blvd) off Killarney Way. I have also used them with my kids to visit the Circle K for frozen drinks in the summer!
The trails are easy to spot and run the whole of Killearn Estates. Simply look for the wooden rails/fenceposts and powerlines. It is possible, that by traveling via the paths, you can get from Centerville Road to Centerville without pavement. For the most part, when using the trails, you can expect to cross a street an average of once every 1/4 mile.