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General James A. Van Fleet State Trail

 Activities at General James A. Van Fleet State Trail

Bicycling

Bicycling

The Van Fleet State Trail has a paved surface ideal for cycling. Because it is in mostly natural areas, you can choose to go slow and view the wildlife or enjoy it at a brisk pace.

Birding

Birding

With such an abundance of wildlife in this rural setting, birding is a popular activity. The species that can be observed vary according to the time of year.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

This trail runs through the Green Swamp, which is the headwaters for the Withlacoochee, Hillsborough and Peace rivers. Paddling trails are not accessible directly from the Van Fleet State Trail. However, for information on these nearby paddling trails and access points, see FloridaGreenwaysAndTrails.com.

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking is permitted on the entire length of the trail. However, some areas are quite remote and isolated so be sure to bring plenty of water and follow safe hiking practices. Check out the Florida Trail Association's safety recommendations. Hikers should wear flourescent clothing during hunting season (January-April). Hunting is allowed in the Green Swamp and Richloam wildlife management areas, found on the western side of the northern half of the trail. For additional hiking options, a portion of the “Green Swamp East” section of the Florida Trail runs along the Van Fleet State Trail for several miles.

Historic Site

Historic Site

The trail corridor's history as a railroad dates back to the 1920s and today there remain a few vestiges of its past such as fragments of old trestle wood, mile markers and more.

Horse/Equestrian Trail

Horse/Equestrian Trail

An unpaved equestrian trail parallels the length of the paved path. Please be sure to bring proof of negative Coggins test for your horses.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

Although the trail is fully paved, trail users enjoy riding "fat tire" bikes on this multi-use trail.

Parking

Parking

Parking is available at all four trailheads.

Pets

Pets

Well behaved dogs are allowed on the trail with a maximum six-foot, hand-held leash. Owners are requested to walk their dogs near the edge of the trail for the safety of all trail users.

Picnic Pavilion

Picnic Pavilion

Picnic pavilions with a grill are located at the Mabel, Green Pond and Polk City trailheads. There is a covered picnic table near Mile Marker 25 North. An additional picnic pavilion is planned for the Bay Lake Trailhead.

Picnicking

Picnicking

Picnic pavilions with a grill are located at the Mabel, Green Pond and Polk City trailheads. There is a covered picnic table near Mile Marker 25 North. An additional picnic pavilion is planned for the Bay Lake Trailhead.

Restroom Facilities

Restroom Facilities

Restroom facilities are located at the Mabel Trailhead and the Green Pond Trailhead. Plans are in progress for the installation of a restroom at the Bay Lake Trailhead and one-half mile north of the Polk City Trailhead.

Roller Blading

Roller Blading

The trail’s paved surface and mostly straight-line corridor make it a popular venue for inline skating.

Walking

Walking

Four trailheads located along the 29-mile trail provide convenient access to this level, paved surface which is an ideal venue for short or long walks, as well as serious exercise in walking and running. The trail runs through a peaceful, natural setting. A natural-surface nature trail loops off the main trail and offers a pleasant side trip for those accessing the trail from Polk City.

Wheelchair Accessible

Wheelchair Accessible

Motorized wheelchairs and other personal mobility devices are permitted when needed.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

As one of Florida’s most rural rail-trails, there are excellent wildlife viewing opportunities along the Van Fleet State Trail, particularly in the stretch between Green Pond Road and Bay Lake Road. Since the trail remains open during hunting season. Trail users should plan to wear fluorescent vests between January-April.