Description - Named for General James A. Van Fleet, this rails-to trail path travels between the towns of Mabel, on the north and Polk City to the south. The southern access point provides parking for cars, trucks and horse trailers. The northern access point has parking, a picnic pavilion, several picnic tables, restrooms, and drinking fountain. Trail maps are available at the trailheads, but the route is direct with no intersecting paths. It is a paved route about 12 feet wide with nearly two dozen resting benches strategically placed.
Copyright: Joyce Rankin - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Common Florida Plant Life
- Van Fleet State Trail is a state-owned parcel only 100 feet wide. Users are asked to respect private lands. Much of the trail travels through agricultural fields dotted with homes and pine plantations. Several wildlife management areas are bypassed. Nearby marshes attract egrets, herons and several varieties of raptors which may be seen flying overhead. The trail bisects a segment of Green Swamp, a kaleidoscope of semitropical habitats.
Recreation - Recreation activities include in-line skating, hiking, horseback riding, biking, and viewing wildlife.
Climate - Florida experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. Summer Fahrenheit temperatures average in the mid to high 80's (28 - 29 Celsius). Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging 58 - 64 degrees Fahrenheit (14 - 18 Celsius). Precipitation for the central area averages anywhere from 56 inches to less than 52 inches per year. The region offers a great warm escape for outdoor recreation during the cold northern months. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.
The trail offers access in central Florida in Polk City at the junction of Routes 33 and 655. Also in the town of Mabel, near Clermont at Route 50 west of Route 565.