If you live around East Orlando you have likely driven by or seen on a map, a large area of land near the Beachline Expressway and Avalon Park. This 9,300 acre section of land is Hal Scott Preserve. If you’re interested in doing some hiking in a great location, close to home than you should head over and check it out.
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.
The hiking trails in Hal Scott Preserve consist of 3 large loops marked White, Yellow, and Red. The White loop is 4.3 miles in length and is the first loop you get to after the .3 mile approach trail from the parking lot. This loop brings you around the center of the preserve and gives you access to the other two loops.
The Yellow loop is 6.3 miles in length and is located in the south section of the preserve. The Yellow loop is the longest of the 3 and brings you past 2 primitive campsites.
The Red loop is 6.1 miles in length and is located in the north section of the preserve. This loop brings you past a shelter, but does not offer any campsites. This small shelter is a great place to wait out a rain storm or rest during your hike.
Make sure you check the weather forecast before heading out for your hike in Hal Scott Preserve. Much of the trails are exposed with little shade, so intense heat and rain can be issues.
Who is Going to Love It
Anyone who enjoys hiking will have a great time in Hal Scott Preserve, but these hiking trails are definitely on the easy side. Do not expect for the hike to be challenging except for the distance and heat. The trails are wide and flat, but what they lack in challenges they make up for in peace in quiet.
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. There are no restrooms or water sources at the trailhead, so remember to bring enough water for your entire hike.