General James A. Van Fleet State Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The James A. Van Fleet State Trail runs 29 miles through some of Florida's most scenic rural landscape. If you are looking to immerse yourself in wetlands and wildlife, it will not disappoint; at least one-third of the trail crosses central Florida's 322,690-acre Green Swamp.

The trail stretches from Polk City north to the town of Mabel on State Route 50. The Polk City trailhead offers ample parking, picnic and restroom facilities, plus an expansive field of clipped grass, perfect for a game of pickup soccer. From the Polk City end you can also head south to Auburndale along the Auburndale TECO Trail.

The flat and arrow-straight route, with one slight curve around Mile Marker 5, have made it a favorite among time-trial bicyclists, though thanks to its remote setting, you'll likely encounter only the occasional speedster.

The Green Pond Road trailhead, near Mile Marker 10, marks the boundary of the Green Swamp, one of Florida's protected wetland and wildlife areas. From here on watch for feral pigs, armadillos, buzzards, tortoises and possibly an alligator or two basking on the trail's warm asphalt surface.

While the Bay Lake trailhead signals the end of the protected reserve, the final 10 miles of the to the Mabel trailhead are every bit as scenic. The decision is yours whether to race back to Polk City or savor the return trip along this beautiful, serene trail.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Polk City trailhead from Lakeland, take I-4 east to Exit 38/Polk City, and follow Route 33 north to Polk City. The trailhead is at the intersection of Route 33 and Route 655/Berkley Road.

To reach the Green Pond Road trailhead from Clermont, take Route 50 west to Route 33 south. Follow Route 33 about 16 miles to Green Pond Road, turn right and continue to the trailhead.

To reach the Mabel trailhead from Clermont, take Route 50 west; the trailhead is at the intersection of Route 50 and CR 772, on the left about 5 miles west of the Route 50/Bay Lake Road intersection in Mascotte.

Contact:
General James A. Van Fleet State Trail
7305 US Highway 27
Clermont, FL 34711
(352) 394-2280

Reviews

Excellent

   May, 2015 by bparken

Rode the trail between Green Pond and South Bay Trailheads & back ...no civilization except the trail, just cruising thru the Green Swamp. Be sure to stop at all the bridges and wildlife viewing areas, we (safely) saw many gators, snakes etc at these ...read more

Excellent Trail

   May, 2015 by reyone

I have ride this trail several times this year, at least 3 times a month, mostly on weekends. A lot of wild animals to see. Very flat and with shadows and places to rest. Please take a lot of water/drinks with you as well as repair/spare tubes, CO2 etc. ...read more

Response to jtd515

   March, 2015 by rabner

I have ridden this trail fairly frequently, and 3 times during the month of March. My favorite part of the trail is between Green Pond Road (mm 10) and Bay Lake Road (mm 20). There are many 'gators this year. (Look carefully, there are lots of small ones.) ...read more