Monday, January 30, 2012

Bikin' It, Baby!

We decided to check out the General Van Fleet bike trail, a 29 mile paved trail that runs through some of Florida's most scenic rural landscape. It sounded great from reviews posted at the Rails to Trails Conservancy website....

It looks like fall in Indiana, but it's Florida's dormant time
Alligators? I'm in! Wild boars? Cool!  Armadillos? YEAH! More wildlife? You bet! I didn't tell Eldy about the review that said they encountered poisonous snakes laying across the trail the two times they had ridden the trail, 'cuz I haven't gotten a good photo of a snake yet! (And you're not gonna, if I can help it! says Eldo, protectively.) Sigh!

About 1/3 of the trail crosses central Florida's 322, 690 acre Green Swamp, so wildlife viewing was supposed to be interesting, to say the least. We started at one end of the trail, at the Mabel Trailhead, about a 10 minute drive from the Florida Grande RV park where we are staying. There are restrooms at each end of the trail, but not in between as far as we know. The weather couldn't have been better, temps were in the 60's and although central Florida's trees are in the dormant stage, waiting to wake up for spring, there was still some shade to be found.

There are rest stops along the way, but no bathrooms. We did a short stretch today....It was short, because unfortunately, about 5.9 miles into the ride, a bridge was closed and we had to turn around. It was completely blocked off. Rats! (Whew! says E.)

Construction is due to continue through June, so it must be some major reconstruction of the bridge. We rode a total of 10 1/2 miles today, which was GREAT for the both of us, especially E.! This trail is a VERY flat, wide, paved straight trail, and we highly recommend it for anyone. Even if you don't see any wildlife.....sigh!

It wasn't the most interesting ride today, we didn't see any spectacular vistas, just lots and lots of sparsely populated, dried up forests of palms and skinny trees, and no water, but the sky was as blue as blue could be, there was a nice breeze, and we got some  much needed exercise.....It really was a beautiful day and a beautiful ride.....


  1. We biked this trail from Green Pond to Bay Lake Trailhead a couple weeks ago...20 miles round trip. If you drive to Bay Lake, the trail is open south as far as you want to pedal.

  2. Sounds like a lovely trail. The wildlife is a super added bonus. Maybe next time you will get that snake picture.

  3. Bummer that they don't mention the trail is out X miles down the road. But, you can always do what Nancy suggested and attack it from the other end. LOL

    Good to get out and pedaling anyway though right?