Hiking & Biking
The Green Mountain Scenic Byway is unique in that the roadway itself is a popular recreational resource. The Byway is an international destination for touring and competitive cyclists and is one of the most heavily used cycling routes in Florida. It is also extremely popular with motorcyclists, car clubs, and Sunday drivers who are drawn to the Byway’s rolling hills and gentle curves.
Additional Trail Info
West Orange Trail
The West Orange Trail is a 22-mile world-class rail-trail, which travels through the communities of Winter Garden and Apopka just minutes from Orlando. Some things to see on the trail are a xeriscape/butterfly garden about a mile east of the Oakland Outpost, the Winter Garden Historical Museum and beautiful views of Lake Apopka. The trail also provides access to Clarcona Horseman’s Park, with an equestrian staging area for their visit.
The West Orange Trail is part of the Coast to Coast Connector Trail under development in Central Florida. A 250 mile connection of local trails will soon cross Central Florida, connecting the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. The Connector will span 9 Florida Counties, countless communities, and each trail has a different manager.
More info: West Orange Trail
Montverde Greenway Trail
The Montverde Greenway trail was built in 2004 by the Town of Montverde with the help of the Green Mountain Scenic Byway Committee and a Recreational Trails grant from the Office of Greenways and Trails. It is a paved bicycle and pedestrian trail that is a little over a half mile and was built on part of the old Tavares and Gulf Railroad track line. In the future the Town of Montverde plans to connect to a larger trail network.
Oakland Nature Preserve
The Oakland Nature Preserves vision is to, “promote understanding of the fragile balances among land, water, mankind, and the environment by EDUCATING present and future generations about the natural systems of the Lake Apopka Basin and by RESTORING and CONSERVING the lands within the Preserve.” Its 128 acres consists of 90 acres of undisturbed forest wetlands while 38 acres are being restored to a longleaf pine-turkey oak plant community. The Oakland Nature Preserve is managed and restored by volunteers. It’s the perfect setting to view the flora and fauna of this region.
Oakland Nature Preserve
747 Machete Trail
Oakland, FL 34787
Sugarloaf Mountain Challenge is a 39.7 mile loop trail located near Clermont, Florida and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for road biking and is accessible year-round. Sugarloaf is the highest point in Central Florida. Because of the challenge that it provides, it attracts many aggressive riders from the area. Rising to the grand elevation of 312 feet, Sugar Loaf affords a panoramic view of glistening Lake Apopka and various smaller lakes. Citrus groves of orange and grapefruit trees, sprawling ranch houses and marinas await you. Terrain: flat to rolling hills.
Here are a few different routes from MapmyRide with notes on how to get to Sugarloaf Mountain:
The South Lake Trail
The 4-mile South Lake Trail connects to the 22-mile West Orange Trail at the Killarney Station Trailhead, which is located on the Byway in Oakland. The trail then connects to the 5.5-mile Lake Minneola Scenic Trail to create a 30-mile system of paved trails. A 1.5-mile spur connects the trail system to the National Training Center in Clermont. A 14-mile connection to the Van Fleet Trail is planned.
Lake Louisa State Park
7305 U.S. Highway 27
Clermont, FL 34714
The park features cabins and campsites and is a popular spot for fishing, canoeing, bird watching and hiking. The 25 miles of trails accommodate hikers and horseback riders.
Clermont Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park is located along Lake Minneola, between East Avenue and Eighth Street. The park is home to almost weekly festivals, such as Pig on the Pond, and a host of triathlons and new water competitions, such as the Champions’ Dragon Boat Festival and Leader of the Lake Regatta. A fitness trail that is part of a 30-mile system, and will be part of Florida’s Coast-to-Coast Connector trail, runs through the park.
Waterfront Bikes and Boards offers rentals of paddleboards, kayaks and bicycles. The park also includes picnic areas, a swimming area, fishing piers and a playground.
Florida Scrub-Jay Trail
The Florida Scrub-Jay Trail is dedicated to increase awareness of the need to restore habitat for scrub-jays, gopher tortoises, and native plant species. A free orientation is offered on the 1st Saturday of each month from 8am-11am, and many other events are schedule there. Check the website above for more information.
The Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive is a one-way 11-mile drive that begins at Lust Road and ends on Jones Road in Orange County, Fla. The drive is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays between sunrise and sunset. The drive is closed other days due to ongoing restoration work. The entrance gate will be open during daylight hours and will close approximately one hour prior to sunset to allow visitors to complete the drive and exit the property prior to sunset.
For your safety, the speed limit is 10 mph and the maximum vehicle length is 25 feet. Vehicles pulling trailers are not allowed. Directional signs are located along the route and gates will be closed/locked for the public’s safety in areas where work is ongoing. Several “pull over” areas provide visitors a chance to stop along the drive. Stopping is limited to the pull over areas. A portion of the drive intersects with a multi-use trail (shown as the Lake Spur on the map inside the brochure below) and visitors are encouraged to carefully watch for hikers, bicycle riders and other users who will be sharing the road.
Visit floridaswater.com for more info about District Lake Apopka North Shore and the Wildlife Drive.