Located within sight of the McDonald Canal, the North Shore Trailhead is a launch point for adventures along the Lake Apopka North Shore.
While there are no facilities here, at nearby McDonald Canal Boat Ramp – which you can see from this parking area – you’ll find a shaded picnic pavilion, water fountain, and vault toilets.
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Location: Mount Dora
Length: 4.6 miles in two trails
Address: 24600 CR 448-A, Mount Dora
Trailhead: 28.704570, -81.672831
Restrooms: Vault toilet at nearby McDonald Canal Boat Ramp
Land manager: St. Johns River Water Management District
Sunrise to sunset daily. Leashed dogs allowed. Trails open to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians.
While the Lake Apopka Loop Trail is on a crushed limestone road, cyclists should plan for off-road conditions including loose gravel and puddles.
Turn left, following CR 48. Where CR 48 makes a hard right, continue straight ahead on CR 448-A and follow it until it ends just past a one-lane bridge. The North Shore Trailhead is straight ahead.
This unpaved parking area at the end of CR 448-A provides a gateway to two different trail experiences near the headwaters of the Harris Chain of Lakes.
The primary one is to provide access to the Lake Apopka Loop Trail through the former fields of Duda Farms, now a wetlands restoration area on the Lake Apopka North Shore.
Lake Apopka Loop Trail
The main purpose of this trailhead is to get you on the Lake Apopka Loop Trail. A prominent sign greets you at the gap in the fence leading in that direction.
This mile-long connector trail leads to the Duda Kiosk. As with all other pieces of the Lake Apopka Loop Trail, it’s a limerock road out in the open.
Along the first third of the connector, it heads east along the McDonald Canal. Expect to see wading birds and alligators along the canal.
After the trail turns south, it leads through the wetlands restoration area. It’s a 2-mile round-trip out to the Duda Kiosk.
For a longer walk or ride, It’s a 5.6-mile round-trip out to the County Line Shelter along the lake. Cyclists and equestrians may also want to use this access point to connect to the loops at Clay Island.
On the drive in, you might have noticed the diamond-shaped markers and former trailhead on the right just before the bridge over McDonald Canal.
To get to the Uplands Loop, walk back out along CR 448-A across the bridge. Turn left and enter the grassy area where the old trailhead used to be.
Yellow diamonds with a red arrow marker lead to the Uplands Loop. The trail makes a 2.6-mile loop through oak hammocks and wetland areas adjoining the Apopka-Beauclair Canal.
Lake Apopka North Shore
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Discover the wild heart of Central Florida on a ride along the Lake Apopka Loop Trail, an arc spanning two counties along the lake’s north shore
Providing paddlers and boaters access to the Apopka-Beauclair Canal, the McDonald Canal Boat Ramp is a quiet spot for a picnic lunch and birding stop
Expect plenty of birds in the marshes where farms are being restored to wetlands along a segment of the Lake Apopka Loop Trail with its own series of cross trails