CroomFest 2024 coming Feb. 1-4
Croomfest 2024, the annual outdoor festival that includes four days of camping, off-road and on-road cycling, hiking and paddling, is set to take place Feb. 1 through 4 at the Silver Lake Campgrounds in Brooksville.
Organized by The Swamp Mountain Bike Club, the main event of CroomFest 2024 is the 35- or 50-mile Epic off-road ride on Croom’s trail system, according to Pat Sanchez, the Club’s Executive Director.
“Swamp is an off-road cycling community so the most popular part of the event is pedaling in the dirt, “Sanchez said. “The epic event is 35 or 50 miles of endurance and challenge.”
To accommodate the skinny-tire crowd, there will also be a 35- or 50-mile pavement ride led by Bike Florida. The ride will tour along the Good Neighbor Trail and the Withlacoochee Trail.
Both rides take place on Saturday, Feb. 3 from the campground at 31475 Silver Lake Rd.
Registration for either of the rides is $80, which includes: The 35- or 50- mile Epic Challenge, an event T-shirt, swag bag, bike number, breakfast, lunch, beverage ticket, entertainment, SAG support, in-ride hydration and a post-ride celebration.
This year, the Sierra Club is on board to head up a paddling trip on the Withlacoochee river starting at Silver Lake on Saturday. The cost for this easy 6-mile paddle is $45.00 and includes: Breakfast, lunch, beverage ticket, event T-shirt, and swag bag.
Swamp will also feature a legacy paddle in memory of Brian Boyle, one of its trail bosses, on Sunday. The cost is $30 and proceeds will go to the Brian Boyle foundation, which is a scholarship fund for NICA, The National Interscholastic Association. NICA is an organization that supports mountain biking for middle and high school aged children.
New to CroomFest 2024, a Nature Walk, hosted by the Hernando Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Registration for the 3-4 mile walk is $45.00 and includes breakfast, lunch, beverage, t-shirt and swag.
“The Withlacoochee forest is rich with Florida plant treasures and what a great opportunity to be educated by the experts,” Sanchez said.
After all the events on Saturday, participants will be treated to lunch, entertainment and more.
“It goes without saying that there will be food offered by local food trucks, beverages of all kinds, catered socials for campers, wine, cheese and desserts under the stars and, of course, non-stop music and entertainment.” Sanchez said.
Bike manufacturers, gear opportunities and massages will be available at the Vendor Village.
There will also be a donation table that will be filled with outgrown but useful bike parts that will be offered for sale. Anyone, participating or not, can donate items by contacting Sanchez.
Raffles from companies such as Trek, Specialized, REI and Tampa-bay based Atomik Wheels will be available.
“Atomik Wheels, noted for building a cyclist’s dream wheels, has provided someone the opportunity to take home a sweet set of very capable and expensive wheels, with an MSRP of $2,500,” Sanchez said.
Swamp has reserved all of the camping spots at Silver Lake and expects upwards of 450 participants. Camping check in is open on Feb. 1 and check out is Feb. 5. The registration deadline for camping and the events is Jan. 20 and can be done from https://www.croomfest.com/registration.
Swamp maintains 50 miles of off-road trails in Croom as well as four other trail systems around the Tampa Bay Area. The proceeds from CroomFest 2024 will be used to maintain the trail systems.
Sanchez said a few volunteers are needed. A signup for volunteers is located at https://volunteersignup.org/YLPQK