The East Central Regional Rail Trail deserves a catchier name because it’s a great bike trail – long, smooth, scenic and well-supported with signage and amenities. It travels through one of the most rural areas of Florida with miles of paved path without an intersection.
In a quaint Florida town known for its festivals, crafts fairs and antique shows, it hardly comes as a surprise there is a festival of bicycles, especially in Lake County, where the hilly terrain and nearby rail trails offer an exciting choice of venues for riding.
Here’s a great weekend getaway for bicyclists. The appealing West Orange Trail, a 22-mile rail-trail, goes right down the middle of the lively main street in Downtown Winter Garden. Stay in the Historic Edgewater Hotel for a great base with Old Florida charm.
Juniper just might be the most pristine spring-fed river in Florida. It’s also stunningly beautiful. On a hot day, the 72-degree water and shaded run help keep you comfortable.
Mount Dora is a historic town that has figured out how to keep people visiting: Maximize the natural beauty and develop big arts, crafts and antique festivals.
Boyett’s Citrus is a throwback to the Florida before Disney. It’s a mom-and-pop business, with mini-golf, an animal park. animated dinosaurs — and more. There’s no theme except “this might be fun.”
The winter holidays are different in balmy Florida, but you might be surprised that you CAN hike into the woods and cut down a Christmas tree. In fact, it’s only $10 and you can also explore beautiful Ocala National Forest.
Ocala National Forest features more than a dozen developed campgrounds and two state parks you can use as a base to explore more than 600 square miles of wilderness.
Ocala National Forest covers more than 600 square miles of Central Florida, and all of it is open to dispersed, primitive camping.
A scenic kayak outing on Turkey Creek takes you to Palm Bay’s Turkey Creek Sanctuary, where you can explore 3.5 miles of trails. Along the way, see dolphins, manatees and other wildlife.