The day before New Years Eve seemed the perfect time to check out a new urban/suburban trail. We’ve hiked Cady Way more times than I care to remember – entire housing developments have mushroomed in the seven plus years we’ve been hiking it.
It was time for a change. So we invoked the trusty google search to see what trails might be be lurking in our back yard, or close thereto.
Now, Wekiva State Park itself is an oasis of wilderness surrounded by a sea of suburbia. But you can follow a 14 mile trail through multiple ecosystems and feel you are truly in the wilds (except for that one area where you can hear the gun shooting range and become convinced a serial killer is pursuing you).
Even though it parallels the outside perimeter of parts of the park, the Seminole Wekiva Trail is anything but wilderness. In fact, it makes the West Orange Trail look positively fierce. For multiple adventure on that trail, see West Orange Trail – Beginning to End.
After following some very poor directions from one of the Florida Trail associations’ internet sites, we finally resorted to Google Maps and with only a little less difficulty were able to locate the parking area. The trail itself, which runs along an old railway line, is a walk through suburbia. You pass a softball center, a park, a church, and wind between the backs of many houses. At one point you emerge onto a road lined with McMansions. There is perhaps a couple of hundred feet of elevation gain. At a certain point, there’s a sign commemorating the fact you are standing at a former railroad flagstop location – leading to much discussion about the relationship between flagstops and whistlestops.
Lots of families were biking – Santa apparently brought a many bikes this year. Loved the older brother helping out sister (even if he did inadvertently almost pull her over).
After a few miles the backyards are all enclosed with wooden privacy fences which some good soul decided to paint. It’s called the “Art Wall” and each panel is ornamented with scenes ranging from rock stars to endangered animals to movies. Apparently the artist has another few miles to go. It provides a welcome addition to an otherwise rather boring stroll.
We managed about ten miles, five out and five back. Not sure it did a whole lot for our Stok Kangri training. Part of the challenge of climbing high mountains when you live in Florida is simply finding a way to train. Oh well, still five months to go.