General James A. Van Fleet State Trail

The General James A. Van Fleet State Trail is officially designated as part of Florida's Statewide System of Greenways and Trails and is one of Florida's most rural, paved rail-trails. Also designated as a National Recreation Trail®, the Van Fleet State Trail runs through the Green Swamp, the headwaters for some of Florida's most popular paddling destinations--the Withlacoochee (South), Hillsborough and Peace rivers. Landscapes include the natural environments associated with the Green Swamp, former citrus lands and cattle ranches. With only one or two curves in its 29.2 miles, you can choose to go slow and view the wildlife or enjoy it at a brisk pace. An equestrian trail parallels the length of the paved path. The trail has excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, especially between Green Pond Road and Bay Lake Road.

photo: Cyclists take the bridge along this very straight trail. Type: Backcountry, Rail Trail
Length: 29.20 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (on pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Roller/Inline Skating
Skateboarding
Agency: State
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: Rt. 33 in Polk City, FL to Rt. 50 in Mabel, FL
States: Florida
Counties: Polk, Lane, Sumter
Latitude: 28.57735   Longitude: -81.97613

The Polk City Trailhead is just north of I-4 east of Tampa and the northern terminus is near Clermont just south of the Florida Turnpike.

Description

The Gen. James A. Van Fleet State Trail (VFST) is officially designated as part of Florida's Statewide System of Greenways and Trails, and is one of Florida's most rural rail trails. The VST passes through the Green Swamp “Area of Critical State Concern”, a 322,690 acre wetland area which contains the headwaters for some of Florida's most paddled waterways: the Withlacoochee (South), Hillsborough, and Peace Rivers. Landscapes include the natural environments associated with the Green Swamp, former citrus lands and cattle ranches. With only one curve in its 29.2 miles, you can choose to go slow and view the wildlife or enjoy it at a brisk pace. The trail has excellent wildlife viewing opportunities between Green Pond Road and Bay Lake Road. (designated 2000)

Additional Details

Width: 127 inches.
Primary Surface: Asphalt
Secondary Surface: Asphalt

Average Grade: 0%
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Year Designated: 2000

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Van Fleet Trail website
Website: Florida State - trail information

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Scott Spaulding
Manager, General James A. Van Fleet
Dept. of Environmental Protection
PO Box 713
Polk City , FL 33868
(352) 394-3969
Scott.Spaulding@dep.state.fl.us
http://www.floridastateparks.org/vanfleet/

 

Photos

No swimming! Photo by Steve Muller.

No swimming! Photo by Steve Muller.

 Photo by Steve Muller.

Photo by Steve Muller.

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