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Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in Winter Haven, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
It’s right next to a major highway…what else do I have to tell you?
Walking it is better than taking a lot of time to unload a bike!
Not really sure why the lack is signage on this trail has not yet been improved. Has the county not read the reviews mentioning signage issues? It’s not like it hasn’t been a issue very long. The trail is nice. I rode from the Minneola Trailhead to the Winter Garden Station today. There were no maps of the trail that I could find at Minneola. When heading to West Orange you come to what is sort of a fork in the trail at Hancock Road. There is signage at the intersection but no arrows or plain direction to West Orange. I first took a right on Hancock and followed that trail which clearly wasn’t correct because it takes you to the very busy area in of Highway 50. I back tracked to the fork in the road then went left. Correct way. Still poor signage. Please Orange County fix this issue.
I usually park off of markham roads road but honestly the trailer is really nice and a lot of nature. I really appreciate how smooth the asphalt is, no bumps or anything besides sometimes leaves (as to be expected). Pretty solid trail though, I’m trying to find more like it.
It was such a beautiful ride but I couldn’t follow the bike path with street crossings and all. I wish I had an app that could serve as a guide…I loved the trail so I’ll do it again.
This was a relatively flat sidewalk run that circumnavigates the lake. I started on Golfview Drive and went left. From here, you have the lake on your right and constant traffic on the left. Fortunately, there was a burst of rain as I started my run in the mid afternoon when it was really warm. At about three miles I was hot and needed to cool down. With the shore so close to me, I was seemingly deterred from approaching the shore because there were "private property" signs posted at every boat dock along the way. Nevertheless, this did not stop me from cooling off at the third mile.
I approached the clear water and made sure there were no dinosaur-type creatures lurking below before sticking my hand in the water. After dousing myself with cool water, I was able to carry on again. I am not a road runner and the concrete was a challenge for me as I was running in my Nike Terra Kigers. I walk a few times but this was primarily due to the heat. I didn't bring any water to drink and no calories to ingest. I pushed on, though. At the half way point, the lake is well behind giant houses with lavish exteriors and sprawling yards. This portion was rather delightful to see.
I saw a few runners going in the opposite direction and I waved. They waved in return. At the six mile point, I steered myself to a small beach and again doused myself with water. This was refreshing. Then I cruised again on the concrete pathway. At mile eight, the houses disappeared and the lake returned. The wind pushed against me and the sun burned my face, but I kept running. Up ahead, a street sign said, "Golfview Drive at next light." Hopeful, I pushed on. I reached the finish line, but realized it was about 9.8 miles, so I kept going until I got 10 miles. Time 1:39.
Feels very unsafe
These reviews are pretty dated. There are two sides of this trail separated by a bridge in the middle. The Clearwater and the Tampa side. The Clearwater side up to the bridge is nice and peaceful. Not a lot of pedestrians. There is a place along the beach to park on the Clearwater side, but it's expensive like $3 for one hour.
After the bridge, you're on the Tampa side. Here's where it goes downhill (no pun intended). It didn't used to be like this. I've lived here for 7 years.
When I first started riding on these trails, their wasn't too many people on them. They understood trail etiquette. You could get a good workout.
The Tampa side was always a little busier, but lately, it's gotten ridiculous. Tons of walkers and SLOW bikers who won't move over no matter how many times you call out. No trail etiquette. Kids play in the middle of the trail and their parents could care less. They let their kids run out in the middle of the trail no matter who is flying by.
Those two parts of the trail are only 7 or 8 miles long before you have to cross traffic. The park at the end on the Tampa side is dangerous if you're not paying attention. Cars do not watch out for pedestrians when turning into the park. In Tampa, in general, cars have NO respect for bike riders or pedestrians.
The trail continues on, but you have to cross a few dangerous intersections. You get to a concrete trail alongside the bay. It's hard to see around the corners, so you can't ride too fast. Again, not the best for road cyclists. It continues after the intersection that goes to the Hyatt. This last part of the trail is very bumpy. Not a smooth ride unless you have a cruiser or mountain bike.
If you're a serious road cyclist, I wouldn't bother coming here. It will be hard to get a good work out.
The trail is closed during the the work day Monday through Friday, at the South trailhead entrance. This would have been good information to know. Prior to riding my bicycle 7 miles to that trailhead, and just have to turn around.
The listed 3.7 miles is from the Hammock Park ranger station to the highway intersection. The shown map does not go all the way west. There is a $2 fee to continue west past the ranger station and into the park BUT the ride through it is outstanding. Not to be missed - be sure to stop at the Cypress Swamp trail and walk the boardwalk/catwalk over the swamp.
I’m giving this trail four stars precisely because most of it is just a simple dirt trail through a pristine Florida natural habitat -- we were just biking between the trees through beautiful nature. However, we did the trail during a very dry time in March 2022 and with 1.75 inch tires, and it didn’t hurt that we started on the dirt road out of the state park and didn’t know any better. If the conditions are wet you’ll want to do the non-asphalt part on a mountain bike with knobby tires.
While traveling, my wife and I were Pleased to enjoy this entire trail. It features a shared space between a nature preserve and residential area. Trail head also includes a visitor center that was an enjoyable stop as well, learning about the environmental and cultural history of the area. The most exciting aspect was to learn that we were biking along a watershed that is the start of the Everglades.
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