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Latest update: Nov. 2017

Florida Eco-biking... Lake Apopka Loop Trail

Note, portions of the Lake Apopka Loop Trail and Wildlife Drive are closed due to hurricane damage. Before visiting, please check with the St. Johns River Water Management District for status.

The Lake Apopka Loop Trail runs about 18 miles along the north shore of Lake Apopka in Orange and Lake Counties. The North Shore trail starts at Magnolia Park and runs 4 miles to the Historic Pump House, and then another 7.5 miles along the lake shore and through marsh to the North Shore Trailhead. From the North Shore Trailhead is 3.6 miles to the Clay Island Trailhead and the Clay Island Loop - 5.8 miles, but portions are grassy and better for hiking. A new addition (2015) is a link to the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook, approximately 2 miles. Eventually, it is hoped the trail will circle the lake and link into the West Orange and other regional trails.

Leaving the Magnolia Park trailhead in Apopka the trail is paved for a half mile, but the rest of the trail is crushed stone - rough and potholed in spots, but mostly hard packed and fairly easy to ride (narrow tires not recommended). The trail runs on former farmland with little to no shade, this is best as a cool weather ride. (Detailed map and photos below.)

Lake Apopka Loop Trail

Mileage: 18 miles
Surface: Crushed stone, paved (1/2 mile only, at Magnolia Park)
Trailheads: Magnolia Park (2929 S. Binion Road, Apopka), North Shore Trailhead (24600 CR 448A, Mt. Dora), Clay Island Trailhead (22526 Carolyn Lane, Astatula), Green Mountain Scenic Overlook (20700 County Road 455, Montverde). (See map)

Bike Shops/Rentals

Spin City Cycles (Apopka)

Support and Advocacy

Friends of Lake Apopka

LAKE APOPKA LOOP TRAIL... Comments and Photos

The only facilities are a restroom at Magnolia Park, port-a-potties at the Historic Pump House, and a restroom at the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook trailhead; bring water. The area is known for its birds and wildlife, on a warm-weather trip we didn't see many but on a cooler day were many birds and alligators.

The section between Magnolia Park and the pump house is the most scenic. Ironically it is also the roughest. West of the pump house, you have another couple of miles of enjoyable lake views, before you enter the filtering area with shallow ponds and bulrushes. From here on, the nature of the ride changes as your field of view is far more obstructed.


Magnolia Park Trailhead to Historic Pump House (mile 4.0)

The first half mile is paved, after that hard packed rock can be bumpy. This is the most scenic section with views of the lake.


Pump House to North Shore Trailhead

Trail along the lake shore is smoother leaving the pump house, then turns bumpier. The trail then turns away from the lake and continues through marsh to the North Shore Trailhead.


Clay Island Loop

We explored a portion of the Clay Island Loop from the trailhead through marsh to the observation tower; we'll re-visit this section on another trip.


Clay Island to Green Mountain Scenic Outlook

From the the Clay Island Trailhead we rode to the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook. Much of the roadway is wide and hard packed, with some pleasant shaded sections. A loose gravel path - including "S" curves! (we walked it) - leads up to the Observation Tower; continuing on the gravel path brings you to the trailhead.


Green Mountain Scenic Overlook

The Observation Tower provides a great view of the surrounding area and a 130-foot elevated boardwalk to the trailhead which has parking, restrooms, drinking fountain, bicycle pump, bike racks, benches, pavilion, and educational displays.


Wildlife Drive

The 9-mile Wildlife Drive is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and on Federal holidays but closed the remainder of the week while restoration work proceeds. The entrance to the drive is at Lust Road in Apopka, and exits at Duda Road/Jones Avenue. This is a one-way drive, a 1.25 mile stretch near the pump house is shared with bikes.


Lake Apopka Restoration

Lake Apopka was once a fishing paradise but pollution from farming, citrus plants and sewage caused it to deteriorate. The land was purchased and a restoration project spearheaded by the Friends of Lake Apopka is in process, the loop trail was suggested as a means to bring people close to appreciate the lake and support its restoration.

Lake Apopka Loop Trail

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