If you are looking for a place to camp near East Orlando you might be surprised to know there is a great location right in your backyard. The Hal Scott Preserve is a 9,300 acre section of land near Avalon Park, which is always available for you to explore, and with 2 primitive campsites, it's a great place to escape the cityscape and spend a few nights in the woods.
What Makes It Great
Hal Scott was established to help preserve the area along the Econlockhatchee River. The Econlockhatchee (Econ) River flows through the center of the preserve. You’ll cross over the river between the White and Yellow loops.
There are 2 primitive campsites and one group campsite in Hal Scott Preserve. The 2 primitive campsites are located along the Yellow loop in the southern section of the preserve. One campsite has a shelter and both include a pump/well for water. Keep in mind this water has not been tested for drinking. Be mindful and bring your own water if at all possible.
In order to hike to the campsites you will begin on the White trail from the parking lot. When you arrive at the fork in the trail, where the white trail goes north and south, you will head south. From there you will hit the Yellow loop where you will find the two campsites. Each site can accommodate 4 groups of 6 people and includes a picnic table, benches and a fire ring.
If you would like to explore more of the area you can continue around the Yellow and White loops, which are 6.3 miles and 4.3 miles respectively. In addition to those two trails there is also the 6.1 mile Red loop.
Part of what makes Hal Scott Preserve such a great backpacking location is how quiet it is. Even though it is a short drive from the densely populated areas of Waterford Lakes and Avalon Park you may go your entire visit without seeing another person. You’ll have the impression that you have the entire area to yourself.
Who is Going to Love It
Anyone who enjoys backpacking will have a great time in Hal Scott Preserve. The campsites are large and shady which helps keep out some of the heat. Also, the since the area is nice and quiet you can enjoy your trip without listening to cars passing by.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Hal Scott Preserve is open from dawn to dusk 365 days a year. To enter the preserve, head over to the trailhead off Dallas Boulevard near the Beachline Expressway. Parking is free and there is plenty of room for vehicles. Both of the primitive campsites do not require a reservation and are first come first serve. The group campsite does require a reservation.