Lake Lucie Conservation Area was purchased in 2005 by Orange County and opened to the public in 2019.
Along with neighboring state parks, reserves, and forests, this natural land is part of a continuous woodland corridor from the Wekiva River basin to the Ocala National Forest.
A multi-use loop traverses the property, revealing an oak hammock with palmettos and magnolias.
Listen and watch to notice the gopher tortoises, an array of songbirds, and farmstead relics from past inhabitants.
Resources for exploring the area
Disclosure: As authors and affiliates, we receive earnings when you buy these through our links. This helps us provide public information on this website.
Length: 1.7 mile loop
Trailhead: 28.78491, -81.54382
Address: 43 Rainey Rd, Sorrento, FL 32776
Land manager: Orange County
Open 8 AM to 5 PM. Trails are open to equestrians except where posted.
Pets not permitted.
Follow SR 46 west from Sanford into Lake County. At Sorrento, take CR 435 south for a mile and turn right onto Dubsdread Drive. Dubsdread Drive becomes Adair Avenue after a quarter mile, and in another quarter mile, turn left onto Rainey Road. In half a mile, the sign and parking lot will be located on the right.
Before starting your hike, pick up a map from a bin at the trailhead. If none are available, it would be helpful to take a picture of the nearby kiosk.
The trails are well marked but can be a bit confusing in some spots. Head south, following green markers on an access road bordering a small swampy area to the right.
As the canopy opens to a field, turn left to walk around the perimeter. Scarlet creeper vines adorn the bushes, showing coral-colored flowers when in bloom.
Follow the green arrows along the tree line as the trail again enters a forested corridor.
Thick tangles of grapevines line the wide path, and large palmetto fronds bend up and over the trail after rounding a corner and descending towards larger oaks.
The chattering of birds fills the air, though many of them tend to stay well hidden in the surrounding shrubs.
As the trail nears its first major junction, a grand live oak can be seen in the distance. Slowly taking up the field of view upon approach, the magnificence of this lone giant takes shape.
Large limbs topped with resurrection ferns extend in every direction, reaching for the sunlight above the canopy.
Turn left just before the tree to continue a clockwise loop on the green trail.
The path widens a bit and ascends to slightly higher ground, bordered by laurel oaks and beautyberry bushes.
A post with green markers indicates a turn to the right. On the left side of the trail, trees and shrubs are draped with coral bells, a vine native to Mexico, sporting vibrant pink flowers.
Remain on the green trail for a shaded stretch before approaching the first rest area on the left. A picnic table is situated in a clearing, with a hitching post for a horse.
As the trail passes this spot, head through an open gate and take a left to follow the trail around another clearing.
Continue on the green trail for another quarter mile as it winds through a drier ecosystem dotted with yucca and prickly pears.
The path takes a sharp turn to the right, climbing a hill towards a shaded bench positioned under thick outstretched branches of an oak.
A nearby open gate invites hikers towards what appears to be an old pasture.
At the top of the grassy hill, the trail turns to the right then drops down into a hammock thick with magnolias and laurel oaks.
A patch of gloriosa lilies and elephant ears on the right side of the trail suggests evidence of previous inhabitants.
A picnic table rests under a huge oak just before the trail passes a barn on the right. Follow the sandy road past this structure, then take a right at the next green arrow.
The densely wooded path goes another tenth of a mile, passing a bench on the left before completing a loop back to the lone live oak junction.
Turn left to finish up the green loop, starting a short linear section of the blue trail. This is the only section of the trail designated for hiking only, the rest of which are shared equestrian trails.
A picnic bench is available nearby, offering a panorama of the marshy prairie where Lake Lucie once filled the depression.
Follow the blue trail north for a tenth of a mile on an elevated section that drops off on both sides into a shallow marsh.
This is one of the few parts of the preserve where pine trees are prevalent, so pine needles carpet the ground.
A passageway heads through a tunnel of trees to reveal a bench situated exactly right to rest and enjoy the scenery.
The blue trail turns to the right before joining the green trail once again. Turn left onto the green trail, following this path for a tenth of a mile back to the parking area.
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Tubing down Rock Springs Run is why most folks show up at Kelly Park, but the Kelly Loop Trail is a nice dry way to see the waterway and wildlife.
A massive wilderness area on the edge of the Orlando metro, Wekiwa Springs State Park is centered on a first-magnitude spring that pours forth a river lined with jungle-like vegetation
A 1.3-mile nature trail at Trimble Park near Mount Dora offers a family-friendly outdoor adventure beneath ancient oaks and cypresses along the shorelines of two lakes