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The Auburndale TECO Trail connects Auburndale to Polk City and the Van Fleet State Trail. The trail runs 5.5 miles on an old Seaboard Railroad railbed and along TECO Energy power lines, parallel to Berkley Rd. (SR 655). Parking is available in Auburndale at Denton Ave. and at Lake Myrtle Sports Park, and at the Polk City Trailhead of the Van Fleet State Trail. Popular with bikers, walkers, joggers and skateboarders. (Map link and photos below.)
Map link... Auburndale TECO Trail
Location: Polk County
End Points: Auburndale to Polk City (Van Fleet State Trail)
Mileage: 5.5 miles, 1.75 mile connector to Van Fleet State Trail
Surface: Asphalt, 12'
Trailheads/Parking: South Trailhead at Denton Ave., Lake Myrtle Sports Park, Polk City Trailhead (Van Fleet State Trail)
Nearby points of interest: Elite Cable Park, Fantasy of Flight, Water Ski Museum and Hall of Fame, Legoland
Bike Shops/Rentals: The Bike Shop (Winter Haven; sales, service, rentals)
The Auburndale TECO Trail is flat and straight, benches and rest stations are located at regular intervals with mile markers every half-mile. Maintained by Polk County in cooperation with TECO Energy, much of the trail is along TECO power lines with little or no shade, so be prepared with sunscreen and water. There are several road crossings - Pace Rd. is the busiest, others are more lightly traveled but be careful when crossing (especially where the trail is near Berkley Rd.) as drivers turning off the road may not be aware of bikers at the intersections. Metal gates are located at some of the road crossings, usually open.
Here we visit the trail south to north starting from the Denton Ave. (South) Trailhead, continuing on the Polk City Trail to the Van Fleet State Trail at the Polk City Trailhead.
The South Trailhead at Denton Ave. has parking and restrooms. This was formerly the trail end but it has now been extended south across Denton Ave. From here, it parallels Jones and Plymouth Roads through a nicely wooded section to its southern terminus at Berkely Rd.
The trail north from the trailhead passes a dog park and playing fields at Lake Myrtle Sports Park. Parking and restrooms are available along Lake Myrtle Park Rd. near the baseball facilities. The park features 9 baseball and 11 soccer fields. A fitness course is trailside.
Exiting the park and across Braddock Rd. the trail proceeds along the TECO Energy power line. The corridor is wooded, but wide so less shaded depending on time of day. This is a straight run with no defining features though road bikers seem to like the long straightaways. Be careful crossing 4-lane Pace Rd. At Dothan Place, the trail draws closer to Berkley Road, continuing along the power lines between the road and open fields with no shade. Approaching I-4 is a power station, and the power lines turn away toward the west.
This also marks the boundary between Auburndale and Polk City. The Auburndale TECO Trail ends, merging seamlessly onto the Polk City Trail, a connector to the Van Fleet State Trail at the Polk City Trailhead.
After passing under I-4, the Polk City Trail (formerly called the Van Fleet Trail Extension) continues between the road and open fields with no shade. Then past Daniels Way, a pleasant shaded corridor begins and runs about one mile to the Polk City Trailhead with one road crossing at Lakeview Lane. Views of the road are buffered by trees, but road noise from adjacent Berkely Rd. is a constant. The Polk City Trailhead (parking, restrooms, picnic) is located after crossing under SR 33 (Commonwealth Ave.). The 29-mile Van Fleet State Trail starts here, many bikers continue for a much longer ride.
Check out our affiliate website BikeOrlando.net , with even more bike trails in the Disney, Orlando area.
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