The northern portion of the Cross Seminole Trail was envisioned as a protected greenway to guide the Florida Trail from the Econlockhatchee River to the Wekiva River.
The most well-known portion starts in downtown Oviedo and runs north through Winter Springs to Layer Elementary School, where the pavement ends.
The next segment traverses Spring Hammock Preserve, ending not far past Big Tree Park at Ronald Reagan Blvd.
The final segment is a side path along Greenwood Blvd leading to The Crossings, where the trail turns into a bike path that continues through Lake Mary
It parallels Rinehart Rd until it crosses it to reach to the bridge over Interstate 4.
When that bridge was dedicated, it was named in honor of Wiley Dykes, Sr., trail builder and founder of the local Florida Trail Association chapter.
Wiley played a major role in convincing both the county commission and landowners to sign onto creating a Cross Seminole Trail.
The Cross Seminole Trail officially ends on the west side of Interstate 4 where it meets the Seminole Wekiva Trail at a T intersection.
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Location: Oviedo to Lake Mary
Length: 16.2 mile corridor
Land manager: Seminole County
Open dawn to dusk. Leashed pets welcome. Please use designated parking areas for access. Note when gates are locked at trailheads and return before they are.
This is an urban bike path. Be alert to your surroundings for your personal safety.
Do not leave your gear unattended or your bike unlocked when out of sight of it.
Public restrooms adjoin the trail at Black Hammock Trailhead, Big Tree Park, Greenwood Lakes Park, and Trailhead Park.
Water fountains and benches occur more frequently, and the larger parks – Central Winds and Soldiers Creek – have restrooms within a five minute walk.
The north portion of the Cross Seminole Trail was envisioned as both a protected greenway for the Florida Trail and a rails-to-trails project.
Over time, that vision broadened to connect urbanizing communities together with a network of paved bicycle paths.
Our first exploration along the corridor was soon after its designation in 1999. Rural land was still common around Lake Jesup and Lake Mary.
It isn’t any more. Now this green corridor is more meaningful then ever, as its surroundings changed from forests and pastures to dense urban development.
As one of the Orlando-region bike paths that we’ve spent the most time on, we’ve had the perspective of watching its connecting trail network grow.
Gaps remain, bridged by signage in spots like the industrial park adjoining Spring Hammock Preserve and along Longwood-Lake Mary Blvd.
While these are easy for hikers to traverse, they pose a minor challenge for cyclists, particularly those using road bikes.
Biking and Hiking the Cross Seminole Trail
This segment of the Cross Seminole Trail is also the route of the Florida Trail through suburban Seminole County.
Occasional orange blazes lead the way, but you are more likely to only see FNST symbols on the mileposts.
The northern segment of the Cross Seminole Trail starts along Railroad Street in downtown Oviedo – where there are several parking spaces – and crosses SR 434.
It continues behind the Oviedo Baptist Church and the popular Townhouse Restaurant before slicing down a rail corridor through subdivisions in Oviedo.
Road crossings at Lake Jesup Blvd and Pine Rd have sporadic traffic. Although it is within sight of houses, the trail is nicely shaded and green.
Near the underpass beneath SR 417, the trail has a small park with benches and interpretive signage showcasing the “Trails of the World.”
The next stop is the Black Hammock triangle at 1.6 miles. A median island with benches lies between approaches to Black Hammock Trailhead from both directions.
The trailhead itself is 0.4 mile down a side trail and has restrooms and potable water, plus an interpretive exhibit about the former railroad route that this trail follows.
The green corridor continues through well-established neighborhoods with several road crossings.
At 2.7 miles, the Howell Branch bridge replaces a former railroad trestle. A footpath leads down the bluff to the creek from the north side of the bridge.
After another tunnel of trees in a neighborhood, things open up. This isn’t a positive change to the trail.
It’s part of the relentless crush of urbanization in Winter Springs. Where forests once flanked the trail, they’ve been mowed down for multi-story residential units.
The trail makes a sharp right to cross SR 434 on a high bridge. Cyclists use the sides, hikers use the middle.
A sharp left follows, sending the trail through another brand new cluster of urbanization all the way up to the road crossing at Tuscawilla Rd.
Paralleling Winter Springs High School, the trail skirts more dense residential units before entering Central Winds Park.
Through most of the park, the trail is fenced on both sides so you can’t easily get to anything, including restrooms. Egress is at road access points.
The first is the area that is best for trailhead parking, at 5.4 miles. After that the trail turns right and parallels SR 434, passing a second park road at the dog park.
It’s worth getting off the trail here to ride to Lake Jesup down this road. A boardwalk leads out to a panorama across the lake, which is known for its alligators.
The trail continues to parallel SR 434 as a side path past subdivisions and commercial establishments. Restaurants are on the opposite side of the highway.
Crossing Consolidated Serv, the access road to the school bus depot for Seminole County, the trail comes to a long green tunnel on a bridge that replaced the Gee Creek trestle.
A sharp right afterwards sends the trail paralleling SR 419. After 6.9 miles, the paved bike path abruptly stops at the entrance to Layer Elementary School.
Stay between the wall and the highway to work your way over to Wade St. Turn right and continue into the industrial park.
Turn left onto Old Oviedo-Sanford Rd. Follow it to where it ends. Orange blazes lead to a short wooden stretch of footpath in Spring Hammock Preserve.
That path pops out at a circle under the power transmission lines inside Spring Hammock Preserve. Here, the trail continues straight as an arrow as a paved path.
Crossing Soldiers Creek, you intersect with the many loop trails of Spring Hammock Preserve. Tall tulip poplars at the southern extent of their range flank the corridor.
At the kiosk with a trail map, the trail makes a left and crosses the park road. It parallels the park road to exit out to SR 419.
Be mindful of the railroad gate – it’s a functional rail line crossing – and the heavy traffic on SR 419, which does not often yield to cyclists or hikers.
Once across SR 419, you pass the trailhead at Soldiers Creek Park. Restrooms are over at the ballfields on the other side of the park.
The Cross Seminole Trail returns to a wooded corridor, winding its way through this protected forest.
It crosses Soldiers Creek again. Here, the creek is flanked by a mountain bike trail. A portion of it was the Florida Trail when we first hiked it.
Curving past a bench under the trees, the trail ascends a long ramp to cross a fancy bridge over US 17/92.
Once off the ramp on the other side, you pass a small pulloff that people use for trail access along General Hutchinson Pkwy.
The trail continues underneath the shady canopy of Spring Hammock Preserve and arrives at the entrance to Big Tree Park at 10.3 miles.
This is another worthwhile side trip for both the easy-to-access restroom and the boardwalk to Lady Liberty, an ancient cypress tree.
Not far past Big Tree Park, the bike path meets SR 427 (Ronald Reagan Blvd). It’s necessary to turn towards the traffic light and cross at the crosswalk.
The trail route now follows Longwood-Lake Mary Rd past the conveience store, but it is no longer a bike path. It’s a sidewalk.
This continues past residences up to Green Way Blvd in front of Lake Mary High School. Cross the road and continue west on its side path.
Continue through Greenwood Lakes Park – another trailhead and restroom stop – and around the public library before the trail returns to the side of the road.
After Lake Park Drive, look for where the trail makes a sharp right into The Crossings at 12.5 miles.
This is another utility easement repurposed as a greenway through suburbia. The trail goes through a tunnel to go under Greenwood Blvd.
After a stretch along a condo community in a pine forest, it pops out to Greenwood Blvd in a shopping district and crosses the road at a crosswalk.
Continue up the bike path to the big bridge over Lake Mary Blvd, one of the busier highways in the region.
On the north side of the bridge is the final trailhead at Trailhead Park, with restrooms and a small cafe.
The trail becomes a side path along Rinehart Blvd under the power lines. It is entirely in the sun for this stretch.
Benches and water fountains offer a little relief. Immediately south of a giant postal sorting facility, the trail crosses Rinehart Rd.
It passes picnic tables with a water spigot before squeezing down a utility corridor to approach the big bridge over Interstate 4.
Sharp turns make it tricky to keep speed as you climb to where the bridge crosses Florida’s busiest interstate highway.
More sharp turns bring you down the opposite side into a large office park complex in the technology corridor of Lake Mary.
The Cross Seminole Trail ends here at the T intersection with the Seminole Wekiva Trail. There are no trailheads near this terminus.
|Oviedo Terminus||Railroad Street||Oviedo|
|Black Hammock Trailhead||1571 E SR 434||Winter Springs|
|Central Winds Park||1000 Central Winds Dr||Winter Springs|
|Spring Hammock Preserve||2985 Osprey Trl||Longwood|
|Soldiers Creek Park||2400 SR 419||Longwood|
|Big Tree Park||761 General Hutchinson Pkwy||Longwood|
|Greenwood Lakes Park||660 Greenway Blvd||Lake Mary|
|Trailhead Park||3990 Lake Mary Blvd||Lake Mary|
|0.0||SR 434 terminus Oviedo|
|0.2||Franklin Street side path junction|
|0.4||Lake Jesup Ave crossing|
|0.9||Pine Rd crossing|
|1.4||SR 417 underpass|
|1.7||Black Hammock Trailhead junction|
|2.1||Vistawilla Dr crossing|
|2.7||Howell Branch bridge|
|3.0||Tuscarora Dr crossing|
|3.8||SR 434 bridge|
|4.6||Tuskawilla Rd crossing|
|5.4||Central Winds Park trailhead|
|6.6||Gee Creek bridge|
|7.5||Spring Hammock Preserve|
|8.8||CR 419 crossing / Soldiers Creek Park trailhead|
|9.6||US 17/92 bridge|
|10.3||Big Tree Park trailhead|
|10.6||CR 427 crossing|
|11.7||Greenway Blvd crossing|
|11.9||Greenwood Lakes Park|
|13.7||Greenwood Blvd crossing|
|14.1||Lake Mary Blvd Bridge / Trailhead Park|
|15.7||Rinehart Blvd crossing|
|16.5||Interstate 4 bridge|
|16.7||Seminole Wekiva Trail junction|
We found no bike rental availability along this section of the Cross Seminole Trail. If you are aware of any, please leave a comment and we’ll follow up.
Cross Seminole Trail West
While this separate segment of the Cross Seminole Trail also has a terminus in Oviedo, the trails do not directly connect.
The western piece of the Cross Seminole Trail leads to the Cady Way Trail in Orange County, which in turn leads into the city of Orlando.
Seminole Wekiva Trail
The Cross Seminole Trail ends to the north after it crosses Interstate 4 and meets the Seminole Wekiva Trail at a T intersection
The Seminole Wekiva Trail runs north-south. Northbound, the Florida National Scenic Trail follows its route for 4 miles.
Just past the Markham Woods trailhead, the Seminole Wekiva Trail turns to a grassy corridor and ends at the Wekiva River half a mile west of Longwood Markham Rd.
Southbound, the trail used to end 9.7 miles south at the San Sebastian Trailhead in Altamonte Springs along SR 436.
Now part of the Florida Coast to Coast Trail, this segment of the Seminole Wekiva Trail has been extended another 3.5 miles through Maitland, ending at US 441.
Lake Mary Blvd Trail
This urban bike path parallels the north side of the westbound lanes of Lake Mary Blvd for 10.2 miles from Rinehart Rd west to SR 46.
There are many business and residential driveways along it, as well as major road crossings at traffic lights. It is not a casual ride.
Where the Lake Mary Blvd Trail ends at SR 46, the SR 415 side path takes over on the north side of the highway.
This side path parallels SR 415 for 6 miles, crossing the St. Johns River on a dedicated bike path on the highway bridge.
It leads past a trailhead at Beck Ranch Park to meet the East Central Regional Rail Trail trailhead under the bike bridge in Osteen.
The East Central Regional Rail Trail, in turn, is part of the Florida Coast to Coast Trail, heading east to Edgewater and Titusville.
Heading west, use the ECRRT to the Spring to Spring Trail to the Rinehart Trail to circle around Lake Monroe west around DeBary and Sanford back to the Interstate 4 bridge at Rinehart Rd.
See our photos from the Cross Seminole Trail, Oviedo to Lake Mary
Articles we’ve written about this part of the Cross Seminole Trail
To see the Florida Trail from a different perspective, our friend Richard drove over from the coast to join Sandy and I for a recumbent trike ride on the Cross Seminole Trail.
While The Senator is a charred stump, thanks to an arsonist, the grandeur of its surroundings at Big Tree Park – including a 2,000-year-old cypress – has reopened to the public.
JK finishes up his last Florida Trail miles in Seminole County as he continues to fill in the blanks on a section hike of the statewide Florida Trail.
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Protecting more than 1,500 acres along Lake Jesup, Spring Hammock Preserve is home to some of Florida’s oldest and largest cypress trees