The Econ River Wilderness Area trail is an approximately 3.1 mile loop that begins in upland pine forest and descends to the Econlockhatchee River. The trail is a mix of wide sections and areas just slightly wider than a typical handcycle where you will be rubbing against some brush. The trail is suitable for either front or rear driven handcycles. Despite the name, this is not federally designated wilderness, so your friends are welcome to bring their mountain bike as well.
Both ends of the loop begin at the parking lot, this review will start from the north end closest to where you enter the parking area from the road. As the trail departs the parking area it enters an open pine forest with an understory dominated by saw palmetto. Shortly after beginning, the trail veers to the right past a small pond and passes through a small scrub oak hammock.
At approximately 0.3 miles the horse trail (other portion of the loop) enters from the right and joins the main hiking trail. Keep left here. From this point the wide trail continues through open forest, crossing over a marshy area on a wide wooden bridge.
At approximately 0.7 miles the trail splits, continue on the right-most track to another junction at 0.9 miles. At this point one can choose either direction, with the left-most fork being the more direct route to the river, and the right-most fork adding a short loop before rejoining the main trail. From this junction the trail begins to descend into river bottomlands with increasing root exposure and muddy sections. Sabal palms and bald cypress begin to dominate the forest and soon the river is reached at approximately 1.3 miles.
The Econ river is dark, stained with tannins gathered as it courses through the Econlockhatchee swamp. The banks here provide a nice area to explore up and down the edge of the river or do some fishing.
Leaving the initial river bank area the trail continues to follow the river before veering back into the woods. Quickly leaving the bottomlands behind the trail soon enters a forest of live oak trees with the common understory of saw palmetto. Here the trail is wide and flat, with some light sand the only minor obstacle to an enjoyable ride.
At approximately 2.0 miles the trail rejoins the junction we met at the 0.7 mile mark. Continue straight on the trail, bypassing the initial hiking trail this time. The wider horse trail passes through open pine forest and eventually returns to the opposite end of the parking lot from where we began our ride.
Trail Name: Econ River Wilderness Area
Location: Oviedo, Florida |
Type: Narrow trail (< 30"), Wide trail (≥ 30″), Start and end at the same point (Loop)
Rating: Adaptive Level 4
Steepest Section: Flat
Most Off-Camber Section: Flat
Terrain: Mostly hardpack, minimal loose sections
Obstacles: Root exposure, Brush and/or other growth, Water crossings
Help Needed? Nope
Even more info: Florida Hikes Information
Directions to Trailhead
3795 Old Lockwood Rd, Oviedo, FL 32765
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