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First report: April 2016

Florida Eco-biking... Seminole State Forest

Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking

Seminole State Forest is a pristine and quiet area surprisingly close to urban areas - 15 miles west of Sanford and 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. The hard-packed dirt and stone roads make this one of the easier forest rides. 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. (Detailed map and photos below.)


View Larger Map
Location: Lake County
Trailheads: Bear Pond Trailhead (SR46); Cassia Trailhead (SR44) (See detailed map, left)
Mileage: Up to 25 miles
Surface: Crushed stone, packed dirt
Nearby Points of Interest: Wekiva Springs State Park, Sanford, Mt. Dora

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. The trails remain open during hunting season but wearing hunter orange is recommended.

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). Florida law requires bikers under 16 wear a helmet, but we recommend wearing one anyway especially when riding off-road.

The Wekiva River forms the forest's eastern border, Blackwater Creek flows through it, plus there are three springs (Palm, Mocassin 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.

BOBCAT'S PHOTO GALLERY at Seminole State Forest
(tap or hover over photo for a larger view)

We left from the Bear Head Trailhead. Bikers and equestrians ride around the gate,
cars need a permit and gate lock code.
Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking
Bear Pond  Trailhead -
parking, restroom, fishing pier
Entrance to
forest road
Forest road Bridge over Blackwater Creek
Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking Seminole State Forest, eco-bikingSeminole State Forest, eco-biking
Equestrian trail Signs identify bikeable roads Forest road Biker approaching Cassia Trailhead Cassia Trailhead - parking, restroom

More information on Seminole State Forest (opens in a new window):

- Florida Forest Service - Seminole State Forest
- Florida Forest Service - Seminole State Forest brochure (PDF)

See also: Padding on Blackwater Creek at Seminole State Forest

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