The Lake Jesup Wilderness Area contains a number of trails that offer riders a chance to explore swamplands on the north shore of Lake Jesup. Two ‘lollipop’ type loops begin from the Lake Jesup Park trailhead and offer approximately 4.2 miles of trail.
Beginning from the Lake Jesup Park parking lot, head south and east towards the treeline and a small pavilion where the actual trail begins. The first 0.4 miles follows a grassy and wide path that will likely have small puddles in it even during the dry season although these should rarely be more than an inch or two deep and are easy to skirt. At 0.4 miles the trail reaches a small marshy creek crossing. Proceed across or along the southern edge of the trail where piles of sabal palm branches have created an elevated area.
Immediately after this crossing, follow the ‘red trail’ signs to the right, to an elevated berm separating the Lake Jesup marsh area from the sabal palm (also called ‘swamp cabbage’) swamp to the left. This trail continues for another 0.5 miles along additional berms separated by several small creek crossings. At 0.9 miles the trail splits, follow signs to the right. The following 1.1 miles meanders in a counter-clockwise loop through cabbage palm swamplands. At 2.0 miles this loop rejoins the main trail and returns along the berms in the opposite direction. At 2.5 miles the trail reaches the first marshy creek crossing.
Here a rider can return to the parking lot, or continue straight, following another elevated berm for an additional ‘north loop’ of approximately 1.2 miles. Along this north loop a rider should return along the grassy and open portion of the trail, or a deep and muddy (generally impassable except during extreme drought) creek crossing will be encountered. See the attached map image in the pictures for this location.
After rejoining the main trail the rider returns along the grassy path to the trailhead for a total of 4.2 miles of travel.
Trail Name: Lake Jesup Wilderness Area
Location: Sanford, Florida |
Type: Wide trail (≥ 30″), Start and end at the same point (Loop)
Rating: Adaptive Level 04
Steepest Section: Moderate – between 10-30º
Most Off-Camber Section: Moderate – between 10-30º
Terrain: Mostly hardpack, minimal loose sections
Obstacles: Root exposure, Water crossings
Help Needed? Nope
Even more info: Youtube Video of Trail
Directions to Trailhead
Trailhead is located at Lake Jesup Park. From the parking lot, look for the small pavilion to the southeast side of the open forest area.
See the ‘Link to site with more info’ location for a Youtube video of this ride, taken April 28, 2018.