Central County, Florida

Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail

Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail is a linear state park that stretches 15 miles from the City of Gainesville’s Boulware Springs Park through Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park and Lochloosa Wildlife Management Area, and ends in the small town of Hawthorne. Wooded and quiet, with several hiking trails and paved spurs to scenic overlooks, there are even are some winding hills to challenge you! A link connects to Downtown Gainesville, the Waldo Road Greenway and Depot Avenue Rail-Trail for an additional 6.5 miles of biking.

Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail is a scenic, mostly rural trail that is great for biking or hiking. Check out the connecting La Chua hiking trail, a short walk into the heart of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.

Info: General info link

Map: Google Maps link

Florida Coast to Coast Trail

The Florida Coast to Coast Trail (C2C) was conceived as an ambitious effort to create a continuous paved multi-use path across the state from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, the first state trail of its kind in the United States. It will span approximately 250 miles and is currently more than 80 percent complete. The trail will link communities between St. Petersburg and Titusville along its entire length, allowing residents and visitors to explore Central Florida by bicycle or foot. This corridor includes most of the 51-mile East Central Regional Rail Trail, the longest single rail-trail corridor ever acquired by the Office of Greenways and Trails. The trail links all or part of several existing multi-use trails and will be managed by a broad range of communities and agencies.

Info: General info link

Map: Google Maps link

Cross Seminole Trail

The Cross Seminole Trail begins from the south at the intersection of Aloma and Howell Branch. It meets the Cady Way Trail in Winter Park and heads north for a 23-mile journey to meet the Seminole Wekiva Trail at the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 4 in Lake Mary. Along the way, the trail meanders through the beautiful cities of Oviedo and Winter Springs. A portion of the trail is designated as the Florida National Scenic Trail.

Enjoy park amenities along the way at Big Tree Park and Greenwood Lakes Park, or for an off-road wilderness experience, check out Spring Hammock Preserve and take a stroll through cypress forests on the boardwalk to Lake Jesup. 2020 Seminole County Government.

General James A. Van Fleet State Trail

This former railroad extends 29.2 miles from Polk City to Mabel and traverses three counties: Polk, Lake, and Sumter. Officially designated as part of Florida’s Statewide System of Greenways and Trails and is one of Florida’s most rural, paved rail-trails. Also designated as a National Recreation Trail®, the Van Fleet State Trail runs through the Green Swamp, the headwaters for some of Florida’s most popular paddling destinations, including the Withlacoochee, Hillsborough, and Peace rivers.

Landscapes include the river swamp, bottomland forest, pine flatwoods, former citrus lands, and cattle ranches. With only one curve in its 29.2 miles, you can choose to go slow and view the wildlife or enjoy it at a brisk pace. An equestrian trail parallels the length of the paved path. The trail has excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, especially between Green Pond Road and Bay Lake Road. Hunting is allowed in the Green Swamp and Richloam wildlife management areas, found on the western side of the northern half of the trail. The trail remains open during hunting seasons.

There are four trailheads throughout the 29.2-mile trail:

Polk City Station: Parking lot with picnic pavilion and barbecue grill. There is a convenience store and restaurants nearby.

Green Pond: Parking lot with picnic pavilion and barbecue grill. Restroom facilities north of this trailhead.

Bay Lake: Parking lot with picnic pavilion and restroom facilities.

Mabel: Parking lot with picnic pavilion, barbecue grill and restroom facilities.

Seminole Wekiva Trail

The nearly 14 mile Seminole Wekiva Trail is a paved recreational trail that has been designated as one of Seminole County’s Showcase Trails because of its length, beauty, and accommodation of many users.

The trail that runs west of the I-4 trail overpass to the County line at the Wekiva River is also a designated part of the Florida National Scenic Trail.

HISTORY: The Seminole Wekiva Trail has been built on the former Orange Belt Railway, at one time the longest railroad in the country. Peter A. Demens of Longwood was the driving force behind this railroad and, despite many difficulties, had the railroad built all the way to St. Petersburg.

South Lake and Lake Minneola Trail System

The trails in South Lake are known for some of the most picturesque views in the state. Visitors to the South Lake, Lake Minneola Scenic, and North Hancock Extension trails can enjoy beautiful hilltop vistas, lovely lake scenery, varied elevations, perfect picnic spots, and charming parks. The 9-mile trail system boasts shopping, restaurants, historic sites, conservation areas, and many other amenities.

West Orange Trail

Connecting small communities and suburban neighborhoods, the 22-mile West Orange Trail is one of Florida’s most popular rail-trails, thanks to its reputation and proximity to metro Orlando. Fifteen minutes northwest of downtown, the route serves as a window on the region’s past and present, passing through 1950s communities that grew up around the once-thriving Orange Belt Railway, as well as more developed areas in this rapidly expanding metropolitan area.

Enjoy 22.26 miles of paved Trail from the Orange/Lake County line, the town of Killarney and Oakland, the city of Winter Garden, across U.S. 441, through downtown Apopka to Welch Road. Stop and enjoy the butterfly garden at the Tildenville outpost!