If you live near Central Florida, you are likely familiar with the Seminole State Forest and Wekiwa Springs State Park. While both spots are great, if you are looking for a new place to mountain bike you should check out Lower Wekiva River Preserve. The Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park is located in Sanford, Florida adjacent to the Seminole State Forest.
What Makes It Great
The best part about Lower Wekiva River Preserve is the unspoiled landscape. While some state parks have built amenities to cater to guests, Lower Wekiva River Preserve is very bare bones — which is a good thing. Once out on the trail you should have a nice, quiet ride with very few interruptions. Depending on the day and time of year you may be the only one out there.
The Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park is separated into two sections with two different entrances. If you are interested in mountain biking you will want to bypass the lower section entrance off of state road 46, which is mainly used for hiking and trail running.
The trails in the northern area on the other hand are all multi-use trails, which are perfect for mountain biking. The northern area of the preserve is called the “Fectal Tract.” The trails in the Fectal Tract range from the 3.6 mile, Logging Loop to the 8.7 mile, Prairie Loop. Keep in mind that since trails in this section are multi-use you will likely come across people hiking or on horseback. The trails intersect each other, which allow you to combine them into a longer route to see the whole area.
Who is Going to Love It
Anyone who enjoys mountain biking will have a great time in the Lower Wekiva River Preserve. The trails are fairly easy to ride, but as they are shared by horses you may run into heavily pock marked sections. Also, be prepared to hit some sugar sand along the way.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
When looking at a map, it can be a little difficult to figure out which area is the Seminole State Forest and which is the Lower Wekiva River Preserve. In order to reach the Fectal Tract, you will need to head over to the northern entrance. This entrance can be found at the intersection of Fectal Road and Swift Road. When you arrive at the park entrance, go through the gate and turn right. From there you will see a parking area on the right side of the road with restrooms. Once parked you will be able to start on any of the trails with the exception of the blue-blazed trail. The blue-blazed trail can be accessed by following the Red or Green trails south.
One of the great things about the Lower Wekiva River Preserve is the lack of entrance fees. Even though this is technically a state park you will not need to worry about paying when you arrive.