Spring Hammock Preserve in Sanford Florida offers an easy, shaded ride on a wide gravel trail through a mixed swamp forest. At one point this park offered an extensive boardwalk system to massive cypress trees along the swamp floodplain of Lake Jessup. Unfortunately the trail has suffered extensive neglect and these trails are no longer open. The trail is suitable for both rear and front driven off-road handcycles.
From the parking area the trail begins just beyond the Cross Seminole trail, which is a paved multi-use trail. The trail quickly enters a shaded two track that heads southeast. Within the first 0.2 miles a trail veers to the left for the Barred Owl trail which peters out in short order. Returning to the main trail a small stream begins to appear along the left of the trail with several small boardwalk steps down to the stream. This preserve doubles as a Seminole county schools education center and the steps are for education staff and students to access the water without trampling the streambanks.
Continuing south and east the trail passes a first and then second blocked off boardwalk. At approximately 1.0 miles in the trail veers to the south, reaching its terminus at approximately 1.2 miles. An old trail called the Limkin trail once continued from here along Soldier creek but seasonal flooding of the creek has eroded the trail. Adventurous able bodied hikers may be able to follow the remnants of this trail as they parallel the creek but off-road handcycles would require significant assistance.
From this location retrace your route back to the entrance for a grand total 0f 2.4 miles. There are a number of poorly maintained side trails that can be explored however the lack of maintenance makes these a poor choice for handcycles.
Trail Name: Spring Hammock Preserve
Location: Sanford, Florida |
Type: Wide trail (≥ 30″), Start and end at the same point (Out-and-Back)
Rating: Adaptive Level 2
Steepest Section: Flat
Most Off-Camber Section: Flat
Terrain: Mostly hardpack, minimal loose sections
Obstacles: Root exposure, Brush and/or other growth
Help Needed? Nope
Even more info: Map
Directions to Trailhead
Easy to find with google maps.
From Interstate 4 exit 98, Lake Mary/Heathrow, drive east on Lake Mary Boulevard for 1.6 miles to Longwood–Lake Mary Road. Turn right and continue 2.5 miles to where it ends at Ronald Reagan Boulevard. Turn left at the light and make the first right onto General Hutchinson Parkway. The entrance to Big Tree Park – which is also part of Spring Hammock Preserve – is on your right.
Continue down General Hutchinson Parkway through Spring Hammock Preserve to the traffic light at US 17-92. Turn left. After 0.8 mile, make a right at the light onto FL 419. Drive 0.6 miles to the preserve entrance at Osprey Trail, on the left across from the ball fields at Soldier Creek Park. Enter the gates and park in the lot along the road just past the Environmental Studies Center parking area.
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