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Making use of a former rail corridor from the old Orange Belt Railway, the Seminole Wekiva Trail links Altamonte Springs, Longwood, and Lake Mary, going past residential and suburban areas, businesses, shops and restaurants. Originally about 13.5 miles, the trail has been extended 3.5 miles (south of SR 436 in Altamonte) as part the evolving Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail (C2C). Of special interest - just north of Lake Mary is a short trail link where the C2C leaves the Seminole Wekiva and turns east, connecting to the Cross Seminole Trail across a bike bridge over I-4. (Detailed map and photos below.)
Seminole Wekiva Trail Map
Location: Seminole County (Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Lake Mary)
End Points: Altamonte Springs to Lake Mary
Mileage: 17.75 miles
Surface: Asphalt, 13'
Trailheads/Parking: San Sebastian Trailhead, Seminole County Softball Complex, Jones Trailhead, Markham Trailhead, behind the Oakmonte shopping plaza in Lake Mary. (See map)
Nearby Points of Interest: Seminole County Softball Complex
Bike Shops / Rentals:
David's World Cycle (Altamonte Springs and Lake Mary)
Rated as a "Destination" (D) trail and part of the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail , the Seminole Wekiva has grown better with age - bigger shade trees, more amenities, underpasses at SR 434 and Lake Mary Blvd., and at the northwest end, a 0.4 mile unpaved path to the Wekiva River. The original 13.5-miles (starting at the San Sebastian Trailhead and going north) we think offers some of the best recreational biking in the Greater Orlando area - with many nicely shaded sections, benches and rest stops, and more biking away from roadways. Drawbacks: several major road crossings remain.
To the south, the Seminole Wekiva Trail starts at Bear Lake Road and Maitland Blvd. (Across Bear Lake, it connects to a short trail that runs to US 441, an eventual link to the West Orange Trail as part of the C2C.) The trail runs northeast, mostly next to roads and through a power line easement, to Orange Ave. (MM 2.0). (Be careful in this area, there are several road crossings with cars and trucks coming and going from the large stores and businesses.) The trail runs along Orange Ave. and crosses SR 434, then continues to Laurel Drive. Turning northbound it travels to SR 436. No trailhead parking yet (one is proposed at Orange Ave. and Laurel Dr.), currently some parking available at business parking lots. Note: Overpasses/underpasses at both SR 434 and 436 are under review for funding and construction.
After crossing SR 436, the trail runs roadside, east to the entrance to San Sebastian Trailhead. The San Sebastian Trailhead provides parking, water and picnic tables. Here is where the original 13.5-mile trail begins. Leaving the trailhead, the wooded residential area is a surprisingly pretty stretch of the trail, with a bridge over the Little Wekiva River. Be very careful at the Montgomery Road crossing! Past Montgomery Road is a pleasant, mostly shady ride passing Sanlando Park and the Seminole County Softball Complex (parking, restrooms, picnic pavilion, playing fields, playground). The trail then enters a commercial area (be careful at the crossing at Douglas Ave. and Commerce Park Dr.), and arrives at SR 434 where it continues via an underpass.
From the underpass the trail runs between Markham Woods Road and I-4, sometimes roadside but mostly sufficiently off the road to have a tranquil feel through residential and semi-rural areas. Several road crossings along the way lead into residential developments, the crossing at E.E. Williamson is the busiest. Parking is available at the Jones Trailhead (parking, benches and water).
Shopping and restaurants at the intersection of Lake Mary Blvd. and International Pkwy. create a pleasant stop-off point. An underpass (MM 10.5) crosses busy Lake Mary Blvd. to International Pkwy. where the trail continues through the business park to CR 46A and Colonial Towne Park Center (shops and restaurants). The Coast-to-Coast Trail branches off here, across a bridge over I-4 to the Cross Seminole Trail. Little shade from Lake Mary Blvd. north to CR 46A.
To continue on the trail requires crossing CR 46A and then International Pkwy. - a busy intersection which we hope will receive future funding for an overpass. From here, the trail follows International Pkwy. about 3/10 mile before it turns west. The Sylvan Lake Junction Station here is a good stopping off point with benches and water. The trail here was built on the railbed of the Sanford-Lake Eustis Railroad, historical markers tell the story. The trail parallels Markham Road but enough off the road to maintain a tranquil feeling for an enjoyable ride. There are several rest stops and overlooks, and a small parking area at Buckingham Estates (Hedgesparrow Ln.) At Lake Markham Rd. turn right to go to Sylvan Lake Park and the playing fields (about 7/10 mile). Continuing on the trail is Markham Trailhead at MM 16. This section of the trail is also an equestrian path.
Markham Trailhead has parking, restrooms, and water plus the entrance to the Markham Woods Mountain Bike Trail. An historical marker tells of the lost town of Markham and its lumber, turpentine, and agricultural activities.
Past the trailhead, continue along Markham Road to Longwood-Markham Rd., cross Longwood-Markham and around the barrier for a treat - a 0.4 mile unpaved ride to the Wekiva River. Walk down a short path (now quite overgrown) to view the river, some hiking trails also wind through this area.
The trail now continues past the spur to Wekiva River, along Longwood-Markham Road to SR 46 and construction of the new Wekiva Parkway. Several residential and relatively quiet road crossings, the trail crosses the road at Via Bonita. Plans for the Parkway include a 10-mile, multi-use trail along portions in east Lake and Seminole Counties - we'll keep track and see where this leads in the future. (Visited: July 2020)
In the area around E.E Williamson Road (MM 6.5-7.5), stop and view the fence art - paintings (500+) of celebrities and historical figures, as well as memorials - a snapshot of history/pop history. Done by Jeff Sonksen, a self-trained artist and carpenter by trade, the fences have extended since starting outside his parents' home along the trail. Warning: if you read all the quotes, you'll be there awhile! Paint the Trail Facebook page
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