If you’re looking for a great place for a day hike in southeast Seminole County look no further. The Chuluota Wilderness area offers pristine woods only a few minutes outside of Orlando. Not many people think of the Chuluota Wilderness Area when they’re looking for a location for their outdoor adventures, but if you’re interested in a great hike it should definitely be on your list.
What Makes It Great
The Chuluota Wilderness area offers 2 loops, the East Loop (2.7 miles) and the West Loop (2.6 miles). The East Loop focuses on the northeast section of the area where you’ll pass by the wetlands area to the south and walk through the pasture towards the north boundary. The West Loop focuses on the southwest section of the area where you’ll alternate between woods and sandy paths. The majority of the hike will be through sand pine and oak scrub. Keep in mind that the two loops are multi-use so you may run into people mountain biking.
If you’re interested in a hike through dense forest than the Florida Trail is a great option. Once leaving the trailhead you’ll stay on the Orange blazed trail and continue down to the southern boundary of the wilderness area where you’ll enter into Charles H Bronson State Forest. If you’re looking for a long, linear day hike this is a great option. You can start at Chuluota Wilderness and end at Orlando Wetlands Park for a total distance of 12 miles. Keep in mind this is not a loop, so you will need to make arrangements to get picked up at the end.
Regardless of the trail you pick be sure to bring a trekking pole or walking stick as you’ll likely encounter spider webs blocking your path.
The East Loop may flood in the wet season. If you’re planning on visiting the Chuluota Wilderness Area in the summer be sure to keep an eye on the forecast leading up to your visit.
Who is Going to Love It
Anyone who is interested in getting outdoors will love the Chuluota Wilderness Area. The trails are well maintained, but can be narrow. Everyone from solo adults looking for a great hike, to a family looking to get the kids outside will have fun. Just make sure everyone brings lots of water as there is not a water source at the trailhead. There is plenty of shade on most of the trails, but the Florida heat can take it’s toll. Also, remember to use plenty of bug spray as ticks can be an issue.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To start your hike you’ll park at the trailhead off of Curryville road in Oviedo, FL. The parking is large enough to accommodate 8-10 cars so finding a spot shouldn’t be an issue. There are also no parking fees. As always be sure to lock up any valuables in your vehicle before you head out.
Keep in mind that this area does have a few restrictions. For example, hunting, camping, swimming, possession of firearms or alcohol, as well as the ignition of fires are not permitted.