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The West Orange Trail is one of Orange County's most popular bike trails. Over 22 miles are now complete, with more planned. "Outposts" and "Stations" provide parking and other amenities, with the "Stations" more full-featured. The trail starts at Killarney Station (mile "0") and runs east past Oakland and through old downtown Winter Garden (the original rail-trail section), where it turns north and ends in Apopka at Lester Road. Riding west from Killarney Station, a short extension connects the West Orange Trail to the South Lake Trail, with both trails serving as part of the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail. (Detailed map and photos below.)
West Orange Trail Map
Location: Orange County
End Points: Killarney (Winter Garden, Old SR 50) to Lester Road (Apopka)
Mileage: 22 miles; links to South Lake Trail
Surface: Asphalt, 12' to 15'
Trailheads/Parking: Killarney Station, Oakland Nature Preserve, Oakland Outpost, Tildenville Outpost, Winter Garden Station, Chapin Station, Ingram Outpost, Apopka-Vineland Outpost, McCormick Outpost, Clarcona Horseman's Park, Apopka Station (See map)
Nearby Points of Interest: Towns of Oakland and Winter Garden, Oakland Nature Preserve, Winter Garden Historic Museum, Lake Apopka; Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld
We believe most will find the in-sequence photos useful. This is a popular trail and parts can be crowded on weekends. Otherwise, it's an easy trail to ride, wide and well-maintained. In addition to the stations and outposts, benches and water are located regularly along the way. We start at Killarney Station (mile "0.1"), go east, then north, and eventually end in Apopka at Lester Road (just past mile "22").
We especially like the first 5 miles (original rail-trail section) going east from Killarney Station - over the old railroad bridge at the Florida Turnpike, through tiny Oakland - to old downtown Winter Garden, completely revitalized with its many restaurants and shops. For a change of pace (and fewer people), bike west from Killarney Station and check out the first 1.5 miles of the connecting South Lake Trail - mostly shaded in this section, with some nice hills and turns - a rarity for Florida.
The West Orange Trail (mile "0.1") begins at Killarney Station (parking, restrooms, water, playground, bike rentals and refreshments). Starting near busy SR 50, the trail soon veers off and gradually becomes shadier and more peaceful as it nears Oakland. Notable in this section are the old railroad bridge over the Florida Turnpike, a local landmark, and the Oakland Nature Preserve , with trail and boardwalk to Lake Apopka. From Killarney Station in the opposite direction, a short connector links to the South Lake Trail .
Oakland Outpost is in the same building as the Art and Heritage Center, with restrooms, picnic tables, benches, and water fountain. No designated parking area, but parking is available across the trail along N. Tubb St. in front of Town Hall. For a quick diversion, take a short ride north on Tubbs St. to an observation dock on Lake Apopka, one of Florida's largest lakes (restoration ongoing).
Serene old Oakland (established 1887) remains a charming small town, dotted with tall oaks draped in Spanish moss, and a few historic buildings. The outlying areas have developed in recent years, with orange groves replaced by residential communities and apartments, and with more construction ongoing. Thankfully, the trail corridor remains as a linear oasis.
Leaving Oakland, it's a short, pleasant peddle to Tildenville Outpost (parking, benches, port-a-let, and a butterfly garden). Again, recent development has changed the view through here, but on the plus side, no busy roads and many large, moss-laden oaks provide scenery and shade. Along the way, look for another trail landmark - a section of old railroad track with large trees now growing between the rails.
Toward Old Downtown Winter Garden, the trail goes beside Tildenville Road for a short distance before turning away. It passes some residential and light commercial areas, with sections of sun and shade, then merges next to Plant St. entering the old downtown area. In another block, the trail crosses the westbound lane of Plant St. and continues east through old downtown along a wide, nicely landscaped median, with shops and restaurants lining both sides of the street. Not long ago, this same area was blighted and the buildings virtually empty - before the West Orange Trail became a reality.
Winter Garden is a prime example of how a well-maintained rail-trail can transform an "old Florida" downtown. As the focal point for the renaissance of this old Florida town, the bike trail has completely revitalized downtown Winter Garden, which now features at least two bike shops, many restaurants, and a small but worthwhile history museum.
The trail runs down the middle of Plant St. with easy access to the town's restaurants and shops. It passes pavilions with swings and the Centennial Clock Tower, central to many community events and activities. City Hall fronts the trail, plus an interactive fountain and splash pad.
Leaving "old" downtown, there's one traffic-light at a busy cross-street before the trial continues a short distance to Winter Garden Station - with parking, bike rentals, concession, restrooms, water, picnic, and playground. Other parking options are in-town along Plant St. and some side streets, as well as public parking lots and a parking garage.
Heading out of Winter Garden the trail runs 0.25 mile along Plant St., then turns northbound over a boardwalk and between a residential community and wooded area, 0.5 mile to Division St. Crossing Division St., a sign points left to Lulu Creek Trail (4/10 mile along the creek to E. Crest St., then a street route to Newton Park and Lake Apopka), and right to continue on West Orange Trail. The trail runs up a hill, then winds past some suburban neighborhoods, natural areas and commercial development, with a few road crossings, to Chapin Station. This is a popular local park as well as housing the main trail offices, with parking, restrooms, playground, picnic/pavilions, playing fields, tennis, Path of Life gardens.
Leaving Chapin Station, the trail starts out along W. Crown Point Road, through suburban neighborhoods for about 0.3 mile, but then leaves the roadway and is off-road and mostly wooded the rest of the way. This section includes an equestrian path. The trail passes Ocoee High School, of interest here is the school's agricultural program which includes Future Farmers of America cattle and goats, plus a greenhouse. The trail continues off-road, with two underpasses (West Road and SR 429), and weaving around a golf course. It emerges roadside along Clarcona-Ocoee Road at Ingram Road and Ingram Outpost (parking only, no other facilities).
From Ingram Outpost, the trail (and equestrian trail) then follows Clarcona-Ocoee Road about 6/10 mile before branching off-road to Apopka-Vineland Outpost (behind the Buddhist Temple) - parking, water, portalet, picnic, playground. At this point, the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail branches away from the West Orange Trail - a spur (about 0.2 mile) leads to Clarcona-Ocoee Road, a future connector to the Seminole-Wekiva Trail.
From Apopka-Vineland Outpost, continue north about 0.25 mile along Apopka-Vineland Road to the traffic light. At this point, go right across Apopka-Vineland Road to continue to Apopka. Go straight onto the spur to Clarcona Outpost (Clarcona Horseman's Park).
At the crosswalk, go straight along Apopka-Vineland Road and ride the spur, first passing McCormick Outpost (parking, shelter, bench), and then continuing to Clarcona Outpost / Clarcona Horseman's Park. Clarcona Outpost has parking, picnic and water, and serves as trailhead for the equestrian trail.
At the crosswalk, go right across Apopka-Vineland Road and continue toward Apopka. There's about one mile of relaxing tree canopy before emerging along Clarcona Road.
Continuing along Clarcona Road the trail goes under the SR414 toll road, then branches off along Old Apopka Road. From here, it parallels the road but with a wide buffer. At 13th St. it leaves Old Apopka Road and goes through a wooded area before emerging at 8th St. to S. Forest Ave. From here is a more commercial area. At US441, a bike bridge crosses the busy road
Approaching US 441, a ramp goes up onto the bridge and crosses the busy road, then down a ramp back onto the trail. The trail continues along S. Forest Ave. to Apopka Station.
Apopka Station has parking, restrooms, water, playground and picnic facilities. Past Apopka Station the trail passes parks and playing fields, winds through an alignment, past Apopka Middle School and on a boardwalk before going roadside at N. Park Avenue (which then becomes Rock Springs Road), continuing another 2 miles to the end at Lester Road. From here the trail eventually will continue to Kelly Park.
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