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West Orange Trail

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The West Orange Trail - When completed - will be a 36 mile, multi-purpose recreational green-way with a 14 foot wide paved surface to be enjoyed by cyclists, skaters, hikers, joggers and more. Horseback riding is also available adjacent to a large portion of the trail.

Major ActivitiesWalkingHikingBikingMountain BikingInline SkatingEquestrianWheelchair

I've riden this trail many times, and it is definitely one of my favorites. Its currently 22 miles long and starts at Killarney Station and ends at Welch Road in Apopka.

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Trail Snapshot

Trail: 22 miles, paved (asphalt 14' wide)
Phase 1: extends 5 miles from the Lake County line to Winter Garden
Phase 2: - runs 14 miles from Winter Garden to US441 in Apopka
Phase 3: - extends 2.7 miles from downtown Apopka to Welch Road
Our Trip: 30-40 miles - We ride almost the entire trail from Killarney Station in the south to a rather unceremonious end around mile 15 to 20 in Apopka and then return to Killarney Station.

Difficulty:

Easy - Moderate The trail itself is easy to ride with only a few hills, while riding 44 miles in one day requires a moderate level of fitness.

Thumbs Up and Down

Thumbs up:

 

  • This has to be the best developed and supported rail trail anywhere
  • 4 "Stations" and one park along the trail provide playgrounds, water, soda machines, and a lot more
  • 5 "Outposts" provide parking, and some picnic areas and water fountains at select sites
  • Bike rentals are available at Killarney Station at the beginning of the trail
  • Winter Garden, an exceptionally clean and quaint little town offers several quality places to eat, drink. There are even two bike shops if you want to stop and get something along the way!
  • Scenery is diverse - From urban to rural, there is a little bit of everything.
  • Many attractions along the way. You'll want to stop at the Oakland Nature Preserve, Xeriscape Butterfly Garden in Tildenville, Heritage Museum in Winter Garden as well as virtually every Station along the way.
  • Water coolers are placed along the trail at several points in the northern half where its more rural

 

Thumbs down:

 

  • As with most small towns, everything is basically closed on Sundays
  • Because there are plans to extend the trail, it ends unceremoniously in front of a McDonalds (queue sound effects)
  • A few sections just south of Apopka run through impoverished areas

 

Lessons learned:

 

  • Saturday is the best weekend day to go. Many shops and restaurants were closed on Sunday.
  • For a shorter ride start at Killarney Station (mile 0). The best sections of trail are found from there to about mile 14.
  • An ideal 10 mile ride would be from Killarney Station to Winter Garden and back
  • A section of Forest Road in Apopka serves as the trail for about two blocks, Don't go this way. Cross the street and keep going!

 

Nuts N' Bolts

Location:

Oakland to Apopka, Florida

Facilities:

The trail's "stations" are more full-featured facilities while "outposts" provide limited amenities. Rest shelters, water fountains, rest rooms and cold drinks at all "Station" stops and plenty of opportunities for water and food.

Access and trailheads:

Access is available at numerous points along the trail "Outposts" and "Stations" provide ample parking. See map for locations. Below are two popular access points.
Killarney Station: (mile 0) From Orlando, take SR 50 west past Winter Garden. After you pass the Florida Turnpike, look for Killarney Station on your right near the county line between Orange and Lake counties. Bike and In-line skate rentals available. (407) 877-0600
Winter Garden Station: (mile 5) From Orlando, take SR 50 west to 9th Street in Winter Garden. Take a right (heading north) until you reach CR 438 (Plant Street). Take a left, and head west until you reach Winter Garden Station.
Oakmonte: Located at the southwest corner of the I-4 / Lake Mary Blvd. intersection.

Admission:

Free

Activities:

Biking, skating, walking, jogging, hiking, horseback riding

Bike Shop(s):

Rentals are available at:
Killarney Station Phone: (407) 877-0600
Abbotts Bike ShopWinter Garden, Phone: (407) 654-0115

Contact:

Orange County Parks and Recreation Department. West Orange Trail - Chapin Station, 501 Crown Point Cross Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787 Phone: 407-654-5144

Connections and Destinations:

The Seminole Wekiva Trail connects four parks: Westmonte Park, Sanlando Park, the Seminole County Softball Complex and Sylvan Lake Park (via a sidewalk connector); two schools: Heathrow Elementary and Wilson Elementary; and provide access to Wekiva Springs River Nature Preserve. The Seminole Wekiva Trail now connects to the Cross Seminole Trail via the I-4 Trail Overpass in Heathrow. This trail connection is part of the master plan goals to create a 40-mile continuous paved trail that will connect Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Longwood and Winter Springs to the Orange County trails system. Contact: Maintenance - (407) 788-0405, Planning - (407) 665-2093

Maps and Links:

West Orange Trail Brochure

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://otowncycling.com/west-orange-trail#sigProGalleriac980521af9

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