We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“29 miles of flat cycling. ”

Gen. James A. Van Fleet State Trail
Level Contributor
85 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“29 miles of flat cycling. ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2014 via mobile

State parks providing free facilities for cyclists walkers skaters etc is commendable. At 66 years of age it has to be flat. This trail was as close to perfect as you would want. Excellent parking at the entrance. Well signed. My bike computer failed but that made no difference because there were mile markers all the way. My wife and I loved it. My lifetime best was 22 mikes but I exceeded that my 3 miles. Saw alligator deer and turtles en route. Usually flat can mean uninteresting but the swamps provided a lovely backdrop. Yes it's rural. I stopped at the first toilet less than 1 mile in and a ranger was there. Very friendly and I asked him about snakes. He confirmed that they do venture out for a sunbathe in the afternoon but provided you steered clear there shouldn't be a problem. Never saw one. I wish we were adventurous enough to complete the 29 miles but let's face it we are geezers. Our friends suggested we were nuts. When you consider our forefathers crossed rugged ground in a covered Waggon our adventure on flat paved roads pales into insignificance. A really enjoyable day out. Was my bum sore at the end. Yes was it worth it absolutely.

Helpful?
1 Thank Ethhvuhg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    30
    9
    2
    0
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Polk City, Florida
Level Contributor
48 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Best trail for cycling”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2013

Moved to Polk City because of this trail. 29.3 miles of Natural Florida country side. We ride the trail 3 days every week, always a pleasure. VERY RURAL trail, No stores for drinks or snacks. Restrooms at every trail head, about every 10 miles, at Mile Marker 0.5 (Polk City) , MM 10.0 (Green Pond Rd) , MM20 (Bay Lake Rd and MM29 (Mabel). Water at MM 0.0, MM 10.0 and MM 29.3. Parking available at all 4 trail heads. Straight and Flat and uncrowded, ride slow and enjoy the sights, Ride Fast with almost the trail to yourself.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Will33868
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
36 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Ride fast or slow, this is the place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2013

I am an avid bike rider and I am also an outdoors kinda guy. On this trail you can enjoy both. This trail is a paved trail that is long and flat. That is good if you do not like hills but you need to know it is flat, long and hot. There is shade from time to time and it is one of the most scenic bike trails in Florida. Depending on the season you will see hundreds of butterflies, lots of turtles, some deer, birds, lizards, snakes, raccoons and who knows what else. If you see a snake make sure you watch it from a distance as I have never seen so many pigmy rattlesnakes as I have on the north third of this trail. They may not have visible rattles so just let them be, they won't bother you if you don't bother them. The trail has bathrooms at about every ten miles and they are usually very clean. There is often a pickup truck that patrols the trail and they will pull over to the side when they see you and always seem to be very friendly. Remember this is one of the states most remote trails and although it is very safe you should always be alert, bring plenty of water and have a cell phone. You should also know there are sections of the trail, I have found the middle 10 miles, that has very weak cell phone service. If you ride the trail for the sights bring a camera to catch some good shots of the wildlife. I have found a majority of the riders are very friendly and follow safe riding rules, you should too. There are brochures available at the trail heads and if this is your first time it may be helpful to pick one up. The best part of this trail is that it has very few intersections with car traffic, most are in the south 10 miles from Polk City. So, to sum it up, what's not to love. You have a well maintained straight flat paved bike trail with no cars and assorted wildlife. Get a bike and try it !!!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank billmc33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield, Missouri
Level Contributor
62 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“straightest ,flattest trail I have ever ridden in such a rural setting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2013

great place for a bike ride, no dogs in the way, no cars, hardly any other people. lots of wildlife- though I guess I need to learn how to look for gators as I have only seen one so far. been taking the trail in5-10 mile segments as I am also geocaching as I go. Have gotten as far as van deem road south. love the natural setting and sounds of nature experienced as I ride. there are covered benches to rest on about every mile. no water except for green pond road picnic pavilion and the trailhead at 29 mile mark so bring plenty of your own. seems with as flat as it is there would be some rollerbladers but have only seen other cyclists so far. there is a park ranger that drives up and down the trail periodically so you are not totally on your own if something happens on the trail. and I think there is a phone number to reach them,providing your cell gets a signal, which mine didn't for most of the trail til I hit south of greenpond..

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank sharron w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lakeland, Florida
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Perfect trail”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2013

I am no where close to being able to do this whole trail, but it's great to ride a few miles and back. I have gone to both the Polk City trail head and most recently the Mabel trail head. We arrived in Mabel at about 4 pm on a hot August day, just as it had started to rain. It couldn't have been more perfect because it really cooled off the trail. This area is already shaded and the quick 10 minute shower made it so I was able to do about 10 miles. Just a warning though, the road access to the Mabel trail head is a very bumpy dirt road. Make sure your bike is strapped on tight! Also, with it being August and had just rained, the mosquitoes were out in full force. I applied spray everywhere, then used the very nice restroom at the trail head, and I guess I washed off the spray on my hands because I got 5 bites on my fingers. But that's the price you pay for being in such a beautiful setting. It is so secluded and you will see so many types of animals and butterflies, it is totally worth it for me to drive up to this side of the trail. Go check it out!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank DillyBazinga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Gen. James A. Van Fleet State Trail also viewed

 

Been to Gen. James A. Van Fleet State Trail? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing