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Ride the Vanfleet Trail!

All distance and speeds are available, since it is a trail and no one can get lost. You can go 20 miles, 40 miles, 58 miles (to the end and back) or even do a metric century or more by also riding south along the trail extension toward Lakeland and Bartow. However, this is Florida’s most remote Rails-to-Trails project, so it is best to bring plenty of liquid and possibly a sandwich, because there are no restaurants or grocery stores on the trail. There is a restroom plus water at 10 miles, a restroom at 20 miles, and a restroom plus water at 29 miles. There are also picnic tables at those locations, and there is a country grocery store (“The Mall”) at the 20-mile point that is about a mile east of the trail.

The trail is the same distance from here as the Withlacoochee (a 1 to 2-hour drive depending on where you live, but well worth the trip). It is all paved and scenic (through the legendary Green Swamp) with little on-trail traffic and only one busy road to cross.

To get there, take I-75 to I-4 and go east through Lakeland to Exit 38 (Highway 33). You will see a sign advertising the trail before the exit. Take Highway 33 NE to Polk City. You may want to stop at one of the gas stations along the way to use the restroom and to pick up any extra food or drinks. Then, after you get into Polk City, you will cross a bridge, which goes across the trail. Turn left to the trailhead immediately after crossing the bridge (there is a sign).

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Van+Fleet+Trail+-+Polk+City+Trailhead/@28.1806587,-81.8482364,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x88dd69a680bd5dc5:0x427fc9a37c5304e5!8m2!3d28.180891!4d-81.8276417!5m1!1e3

Since it is a longer ride (I will go 58 miles) I will start my ride at 8:30.

For information about the trail, go to https://www.floridastateparks.org/trail/Van-Fleet.

LUNCH may be a bit tricky, because Polk City isn’t a “jumping” place. Nearby “Country Angels” (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g34569-d876686-Reviews-Country_Angels-Polk_City_Florida.html) says it is open on Sundays.

The weather forecast for Sunday shows temps in the upper 60s and 70s with winds from 5 to 6 mph out of the NW. 

Jim Wheeler
jimwheeler@ij.net
When:
Sunday, April 8, 2018, 8:30 AM
Where:
Van Fleet Trail
Polk City, FL  33868
Category:
Regular Rides
Registration is not Required

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