Gen. James A. Van Fleet State Trail

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Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Gen. James A. Van Fleet State Trail is a 29 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Polk City, Florida that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, trail running, birding, and road biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 29.0 miles Elevation Gain: 55 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dog friendly

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

road biking

walking

bird watching

running

forest

paved

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

A paved trail through the Green Swamp, former citrus and cattle land, and wildlife management areas. The trail runs through the Green Swamp, the headwaters for some of Floridas most canoed rivers, the Withlacoochee (South), Hillsborough, and Peace. The trail has excellent wildlife viewing opportunities between Green Pond Road and Bay Lake Road.

road biking
3 days ago

Decided to ride from the Green Pond trailhead to a few miles past the Bay Lake trailhead. 30.57 miles in total. Started at 9:52 am and finished at 1:22pm with a few stops for water/restrooms. The trailheads were busy today as most people couldn’t get out the last 2 days with the rain showers that suddenly popped up! We’ve seen many water moccasins by/under the bridges and along the paved trails in the grass so be extra cautious if you pull off the trail and into the grass. This is a great trail and well maintained.

road biking
16 days ago

This is a great, well maintained, paved trail with 4 trailheads where you can park and ride out and back. Yesterday and a week ago I started at the Green Pond trailhead where there is parking and a covered shelter. There’s also running toilets at this trailhead and outhouses at the other trailheads. There are also water fountains at each trailhead. The trail is occasionally patrolled by Polk Co. Sheriff citizens who drive along the trail to make sure all is well. If you ride 3 miles north from this trailhead you will pass from Polk County to Lake County and go over, “The Bridges”. It’s a series of 3 bridges and if you take the time and look over the bridges chances are you’ll see baby gators this time of years, birds, turtles and some water moccasins (cottonmouths which are the same) & a few big gators. We also saw a few of the water moccasins crossing the trail and along the trail in the grass. BE CAREFUL! There’s always plenty of wildlife! We love this trail and we’re so happy it is open again after the covid19 shutdown.

22 days ago

Exceptional paved bike trail! its nice to ride a long trail in such a beautiful, rural area.

hiking
2 months ago

Very well maintained paved path with a side nature trail. Easy access and great for hikes, bikes or runs.

road biking
3 months ago

We love this trail! We started at the Green Pond Trailhead and rode 15 miles north! It was beautiful. We stopped at “The Bridges” and counted 9 gators in the water (2nd Bridge) and found some other riders to talk to. We got caught in a rain squall 10 miles from the parking lot but hey, it’s all part of the fun!

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. I enjoy it for riding bikes or walking. Plenty of benches for breaks and nature viewing areas . Love it

road biking
5 months ago

This is a great rural trail that passes by farmland on one side and the Green Swamp on the other side. We ride this trail often but this time we went to the Green Pond trailhead and started there and rode north another 27 miles past the Mabel trailhead. It’s a beautiful trail and it’s quiet and peaceful. There is adequate shade but bring plenty of water. Also there’s some restrooms along the trail. No fees for parking at the trailheads but the trail closes at sunset.

road biking
5 months ago

Superb trail for cycling & very similar to the 3 biggest trails in the greater Orlando area -- South Lake, West Orange & Seminole-Wekiva. Completed 20 miles out & back from the downtown Polk City TH. Would like to come back & attempt the entire 60 mile out & back trek, probably from the Mabel TH. The trail has bike repair stations & multiple TH parking areas including Green Pond. There were a surprisingly few amount of street crossings & plenty of privacy. Saw some turtles & other wildlife along the grassy edges of the paved bike path.

road biking
6 months ago

Great rural trail, primarily for bicycles. It’s shady, but buggy, your in the swamp, the real Florida. Quiet, plenty of wildlife, well kept trail and facilities. A beautiful trail, paved, a few pedestrians but primarily bicycles.

road biking
9 months ago

i was riding my bike with a peaceful mind, long way, amazing trail and a lot of people biking

Thu May 02 2019

this place is very peaceful has a paver area for strollers and enough room for bikers and runners tons of benches and rest stop the a water fountain for people and dogs. great place!

road biking
Sun Apr 28 2019

We’ve bikes this trail twice now and we’ll be back. Our first bike ride we bikes 12 miles to the bridges. We stopped and saw a lot of gators under the second bridge. Last Friday we biked 15 miles out and back. We saw a gator, tortoises, and plenty of snakes. It’s a beautiful trail and we throughly have enjoyed it. There’s facilities along the trail if you need to rest or stretch. But I’d advise you to bring extra water!

Fri Mar 22 2019

This is an enchanting trail for those who want to walk, jog, or bike forever. It leads you through sublime farmland, wetlands, swamps, and neighborhoods. Full of animals: birds, tortoises and turtles, deer, cows, gators, and snakes.

road biking
Fri Mar 15 2019

Fantastic ride. Lots of animals.

Mon Feb 18 2019

The trail is paved and in great shape for strollers; we enjoyed the partially shaded south end with plenty of benches and a restroom (The kids liked the more natural trail over the bridge at the 0.6 mile marker!)

road biking
Wed Jan 02 2019

great trail

road biking
Mon Dec 31 2018

Excellent trail for riding and exploring

road biking
Fri Dec 28 2018

Nice ride on a paved trail that travels through the Green Swamp. The southern portion has many trees for shade There’s bathrooms and benches along the way. They’ve also added boxes with tools in case of breakdowns. Go!

Wed Dec 19 2018

Quiet. Get away from a fast paced, noise filled world. One of our favorite rides.

road biking
Sun Nov 04 2018

Fri Oct 12 2018

great trail

road biking
Mon Sep 03 2018

Rode 10 miles north beginning at Green Pond road. Nice ride except a few rain showers.

road biking
Sun Mar 25 2018

Great ride, beautiful trail, love the 15 miles on the north end, very scenic! Will be back soon! Nice rest stops and potties along the way!

walking
Thu Mar 01 2018

Tons of geocaches!!!!

road biking
Wed Jan 10 2018

Perfect flat biking trail and shaded out of the direct sun! Very long so can go either way for a good while!

road biking
Wed Aug 30 2017

Nice flat trail from Polk City. Lots of wildlife and cattle along trail. Quiet with not allot of traffic in August,,,HOT. Doesn't seem to have allot of bugs, keep moving. Bring water, not many facilities.

road biking
Thu May 15 2014

This is long paved trail with fairly high traffic for being so rural, since there aren't many similar ones in a large area. Nevertheless, I see wildlife very often, including groups of deer at dusk, and lots of tortoises and snakes when it's hot. The trail passes by cattle and horse fields, swamp, and some residential areas. There are stops with restrooms (locked at certain times) and catwalks at multiple places. It also crosses roadways, so watch closely for traffic.

road biking
Thu Dec 19 2013

This is a very well kept straight path. I ride here weekly to wind down and enjoy the scenery.

hiking
Wed Aug 07 2013

OK - so walking in Florida in early August at mid day was not the smartest thing to do; nevertheless, the four mile walk on this trail was relaxing and incredibly scenic. Excellent road condition, clean bathroom, friendly park service employees - I will be back when the weather cools down, perhaps bringing my bike to alternate activities.

walking
Thu Apr 26 2012

The portion of the trail I hiked was long, straight and paved. Because of time limitations I only walked about four miles out, then back.

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