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Reported: April 2016

Seminole State Forest... North of Orlando, Florida

Tranquil Biking and Hiking, Gate Code Required to Drive In

Seminole State Forest is a pristine and quiet area surprisingly close to urban areas - 15 miles west of Sanford and east of Eustis. We visited the area to explore kayaking on Blackwater Creek, but discovered this eco-biking option for those who enjoy going off-road. Trailheads at Bear Lake (SR 46) and Cassia (SR 44) provide parking and restrooms. The main road runs 7 miles between the trailheads, with additional biking on designated roads and trails totaling 25 miles. The hard-packed dirt and stone roads make this one of the easier forest rides. (Map link and photos below.)

Florida eco-biking, Seminole State Forest

Map link...
Seminole State Forest Biking

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Location: Lake County
Trailheads: Bear Pond Trailhead (SR 46); Cassia Trailhead (SR 44)
Mileage: Up to 25 miles
Surface: Crushed stone, packed dirt
Nearby points of interest: Wekiva Springs State Park, Sanford, Mt. Dora

Bike Shops/Rentals:


Support and Advocacy:

Friends of Florida State Forests

Seminole State Forest... Comments and Photos

Pay a per person day-use fee at the trailheads. A free State Forest Use Permit with gate code is required for driving access and camping (contact the Florida Forest Service, link below ). Florida law requires bikers under 16 wear a helmet, but we recommend wearing one anyway especially when riding off-road. The trails remain open during hunting season but wearing hunter orange is recommended.

Biking at Seminole State Forest

We rode from the Bear Head Trailhead (parking, restroom, fishing pier) to the Cassia Trailhead (parking, restroom), 7 miles. Bikers and equestrians ride around the gate, cars need a permit and gate lock code. This is an easy ride on hard-packed dirt and stone.

More About Seminole State Forest:

Seminole State Forest covers more than 27,000 acres plus 1,725 acres of sand pine scrub, an important ecosystem protected in the forest. Activities include camping, hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, hunting and fishing. In addition to biking, there also are 21 miles of hiking and 23 miles of equestrian trails, plus a 7.5 mile segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail - bikes and horses not allowed on this section.

The Wekiva River forms the forest's eastern border, Blackwater Creek flows through it, plus there are three springs (Palm, Moccasin and Shark's Tooth). The forest includes many natural plant and animal communities, and endangered species such as the scrub jay and Florida black bear. Birdwatching is also popular, as this also is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.

Resources (for gate code):

Florida Forest Service - Seminole State Forest

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