Debary Station to Winter Garden

Submitted by mag on

1792 Bridge across the St JohnsFrom Debary Station you get right on Highway 1792 and approach the St Johns River Bridge. This is actually not too bad - there is not a marked bike lane, but the shoulders are quite wide. The only problem is the shoulder disappears once across the bridge so the intersection is a bit tricky. You need to cross the highway at the light to get on the bike trail.

There are a lot of lights to negotiate, so it's slow but safe. From there were headed on South on a good trail along Monroe Road, which held until we got to Highway 46. There we turned west and Google wanted us to continue on highway 46 under I4 to the Seminole Wekiva trail... but I had my heart set on crossing I4 at the Florida Trail overpass so we turned south on Rinehart Road. That's where we started running into trouble with intermittent construction and finally came to an impasse at the intersection of Rinehart and Highway 417. We were forced to go back east all the way to Upsala Road to get under the freeway, but once under we were able to proceed on a good path alongside Thomas Parkway all the way to the Cross Seminole Trail which led right to the Florida Trail and the beautiful overpass over I4.   

This is the trail crossing you see near Lake Mary as you drive on I4 into Orlando. It's on the Cross Seminole Trail between Lake Mary and Heathrow. About 5 years ago I rode with a group from the Rails to Trails Conservancy to AAA to protest their position to eliminate trail funding from the transportation budget... It was freezing cold, in the 30s and we were supposed to wear business attire!  AAA didn't pay much attention to our delegation - so we all burned our AAA cards to keep warm!  (Not really but we did all terminate our membership from AAA.  A decision I came to regret when I had car trouble at WHEELS Miami... but that's another story.)   

 

Art on the Seminole Wekiva Trail

Once across I4 we were on the beautiful Seminole Wekiva Trail. We decided to celebrate with a Second Breakfast/First Lunch at the Broken Egg - great place for a stop as soon as you join the trail. After lunch we continued south on the great trail, past the famous paintings on the fence and all the way to Highway 436. Once there we were forced to follow 436 on a narrow, noisy, trafficy bike lane/sidewalk situation for 5 miles until at last we joined the West Orange Trail. (there are 2 McDonalds on this route... great hydration & refill stops with their bottomless fresh ice tea, water and lemonade.) This beautiful trail goes all the way from North Apopka through Winter Garden and on to west of Clermont. The first section runs through residential areas but after Vineland Rd it passes by a quiet Buddhist community and through peaceful woods and near several large golf courses eventually passing under the new 429 freeway and on to Winter Garden. 55 miles is a long day for us, especially with all the dismounting stops for traffic, photos and checking maps.

 

Leaving from Debary SunRail Station
Heading from Debary SunRail Station
1792 Bridge across the St Johns
1792 Bridge across the St Johns
1792 Bridge across the St Johns
Not too bad - plenty of room
1792 Bridge across the St Johns
Beautful view from the bridge
1792 Bridge across the St Johns
But the lane ends abruptly on the south side
1792 Bridge across the St Johns
Use caution cross 1792 to the trail
Coast to Coast connector
Lots of stoplights on the Coast to Coast Connector
Rinehart Road C-2-C trail is a work in progress
Rinehart Road trail is a work in progress
Rinehart Road C-2-C trail is a work in progress
Rinehart Road C-2-C trail is a work in progress
Cross Seminole Trail
Finally made it to the Cross Seminole Trail
Cross Seminole Trail I4 Crossing
Cross Seminole Trail I4 Crossing
Cross Seminole Trail I4 Crossing
Cross Seminole Trail I4 Crossing
Broken Egg Cafe in Heathrow
Second Breakfast Stop
Broken Egg Cafe in Heathrow
Second Breakfast Stop
Broken Egg Cafe in Heathrow
Second Breakfast Stop
Seminole Wekiva Trail
Seminole Wekiva Trail
Seminole Wekiva Trail
Seminole Wekiva Trail
Art on the Seminole Wekiva Trail
Art on the Seminole Wekiva Trail
Art on the Seminole Wekiva Trail
Nurture the spark
Coast to Coast Connector on 436
Coast to Coast Connector on 436
Coast to Coast Connector on 436
Coast to Coast Connector on 436
436 from West Orange Crossing
436 looks a lot better from up here on the West Orange Trail
West Orange Trail Bridge across 436
West Orange Trail Bridge across 436
West Orange Trail
Buddhist compound on West Orange Trail
West Orange Trail
West Orange Trail
West Orange Trail
West Orange Trail
West Orange Trail
West Orange Trail