8/29/2012 12:24:53 PM
My wife and I ride this trail abut 3 or 4 times a month. Thus we call refer to it as our Habit trail. We start at the Highlands trailhead which has ample parking, water fountains, restrooms and picnic tables under shade.
We usually go Northwest. For the little over 2 and a half miles to Winterlake Road and then back to the trailhead and then go Southeast to Rte. 60 in Bartow. Dicey intersection with the Old Bartow -Lake Wales Rd. There is a Wendy's just a block West of that intersection where we get a water or bathroom break if needed.
Last time we rode it there were construction projects in both directions that caused us to have to walk the bikes through them. Still an enjoyable ride with butterflies, cicadas (noisy little critters) and horses, donkeys and cattle to view. There is a nice orange grove in the Southeast portion that has a wonderful aroma when the orange blossoms come out.
After the ride, there is a small shopping plaza across the road from the Highlands trailhead. Gators Sports Bar has fantastic grilled chicken wings, beer, sweet tea and other great items on their menu. Plus lots of TV's to view during football season. A lot of Steeler fans are there on Sundays.
2/8/2012 1:11:28 PM
Nearly perfectly flat with varied scenery through soccer fields, baseball fields and playgrounds. Street crossings are few and not very busy. Middle of the trail passes through some pasture land with cattle visible. Goes under Interstate 4 and proceeds into Polk City and then joins with the General Van Fleet trail.
Restrooms and water at the Auburndale trailhead. We did not utilize them so "no comment" on them.
We continued on the General Van Fleet trail for a bit to make it a bit longer ride of about 20 miles.
Chain of Lakes Trail
Nice short ride- EXCEPT for crossing Ave. T
2/7/2012 1:03:48 PM
Pleasant urban trail that goes from downtown Winter Haven to Lake Alfred. In Lake Alfred it joins with a sidewalk/path that goes a bit further. We haven't done any of that part so I cannot comment on it.
This trail has several street crossings before it goes into a semi-rural setting for the last half of the trail. A picnic area in Winter Haven about a mile into the trail is frequented by some folks you would not invite home to dinner. It is on Silver Lake across from the Winter Haven PD.
I would rate this as a good trail for beginners or bicyclist that haven't developed the stamina for a long ride, but crossing Avenue T requires a detour of about two blocks up, wait for a traffic signal, then two blocks back to continue the ride. OR...one can simply take one's chances with waiting for a break in. Traffic to continue the ride. Plans are in the works for a bridge to go over Avenue T, but it would require either a steep incline or switchbacks to make it more amenable to biking.