Seminole-Wekiva Trail

We almost filled the parking lot at the Sylvan Lake Trailhead on Markham Woods Road as a cool, crisp morning with a light northerly breeze made for a perfect day to ride. Deanne, Sheila, Myhra, Bonnie, Larry, Rick, Lanny, Phil, and Paul had all arrived right on time and we assembled our gear and set out to ride south with three diamond frame bicycles, one recumbent bicycle, and five tricycles, one of which was a tandem.

The Seminole-Wekiva Trail was respectably busy with cyclists, hikers, skaters, dogs, horseback riders, rowers, and onlookers, though never really presented a feeling of being "crowded". In fact, we couldn't help noticing how courteous and friendly other trail users were as we paraded our way along, visiting and sightseeing.

We chose the connector over I-4 on our way down to pay a visit to the Rinehart Road Trail. Since my last visit, the new bridge over Lake Mary Boulevard had been completed, so I was anxious to experience the improved safety of making that crossing. There is also a tunnel under Greenwood Boulevard, a little further south, which added more interest to this otherwise suburban segment.

Crossing back over the Interstate, we turned south and again crossed Lake Mary Boulevard where the trail takes on a much more rural feel and winks in and out of shady tunnels, winding its way through older residential areas with lush landscaping and alongside parks. The scenery is just as varied as it can be, changing from full exposure in the sun across a fence from I-4 to a quiet, dark passage beneath live oaks surrounded by giant, elephant ear plants and squirrels, in just minutes.

By the time we made our way back to Heathrow & Lake Mary, it was past time for lunch so we were quite ready to place our order at the trailside Panera Bread location and enjoyed another opportunity to visit, sharing the same table for lunch. Just a few short miles remained to get back to the start, but first came the surprise of chancing upon a pair of unafraid, sand hill cranes at literally arm's length distance from the trail.

The quote for the day was called out by a retired pilot as he and his wife pedaled by wearing huge grins, "Yeah," he said, "I really feel bad for people who aren't us!"

While there are a few grades along the way, this trail doesn't qualify as hilly at all. The crossings are well marked and equipped with responsive traffic signal request buttons, resting areas with benches were a common sight, and facilities were conveniently located and well maintained.

To see photos from today's ride, click on the Photo Gallery link on the right.