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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, here are some pictures from the Lake Apopka loop/restoration area I did on Super Bowl Sunday morning. It was overcast but the temp was very nice about 55F.

I find Lake Apopka to be very interesting, it's the largest lake in the central Florida area and my understanding is it used to be a pristine lake with lots of bass and clear waters. Many years ago run off from the farms on the north end of the lake polluted it and caused thick algae growth to choke and almost kill the lake. A project was started years ago to buy up the former farm land and use it as a marsh/filter to try and clean up the lake. There are now two public trailheads with miles of hard pack lime double track up on top of the dikes that run all over the area. Makes for some very nice mild and easy off road riding with lot's of birds and other wild life to see.

I used my new cyclecross bike to ride the full loop around the lake (about 60 to 70 miles depending on the route).

I started the ride at the Apopka Station trailhead, ride the dirt section of the area then head south to the fine country roads west of the lake. Then connect with the west orange bike trial for the final stretch back to the Apopka Station.

Will try to post some more pictures, Axlenut
 
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Seems a lot of cyclists got out on Super Bowl Sunday.

The story of Lake Apopka is repeated all over Florida. Once clear, clean natural lakes are now choked with algae, thanks to farm runoff, home lawn fertilizers and the general crud of the modern world.

The fixes are slow, expensive and partially effective, at best.

In Tallahassee, the big lake (Lake Jackson) dried up during the drought. This allowed the county to scrap up all the muck and haul it out. Lake is in much better shape now (though it has not yet returned to previous water levels).

Lucky break for Lake Jackson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi all, here are some more pictures from the ride.

The Apopka Station Trailhead.

Picture of bike on bridge over the Apopka canal looking north.

Small foot bridge that leads to a observation stand.

Road to Sugarloaf (steep hard climb - for Florida anyway)

West Orange Trail (at Killarney)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi all, I forget to list a short caption for the first group of pictures.

East trail head with good parking. To get there go west on Jones Ave from Zellwood to the stop sign at county road 448A and turn left then go to end of road.

Bridge over Apopka canal looking East.

Road around clay island.

Observation tower overlooking the North West section of the lake.

West trail head with vehicle parking.

Enjoy, Axlenut
 

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OK, I am very interested in doing this ride. How did you get from Apopka Station to the dirt and where did you come out onto 455?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi MB1 and the group, here are the directions - Starting at the Apopka Station and the road on the North end of the park go west across Park Ave and go 1 block west then turn right and go one block North to West Orange St and turn left. West Orange turns into Old Dixie Hwy and goes all the way to Plymouth, turn right on Plymouth Sorrento RD and go North to West Ponkan Rd then turn left. Go to Zellwood and 1 block before you get to 441 there will be an Advance Auto Parts store - turn right at the AP store and go North 1 Block then turn left on Jones Ave. Go across 441 and continue west on Jones to the stop sign at 448, turn left and go to the end of the payment. The east trail head starts there.

The west trail head is a bit more tricky to find but is near Peebles Dr and Carolyn Ln. Working back from Astatula go East on County Rd 48 to Ranch Rd and go South - Ranch will make a turn East and go 1 block and turn right on Robbins Rd. Go about 1/2 mile to Peebles Dr and turn left. Now go 2 blocks and turn right on Carolyn Ln then go to the end. The West trail head is to the left at the end of Carolyn Ln.

A few notes on this ride, I always do the Apopka, Plymouth, Zellwood stretch first thing early in the morning to get the light morning traffic. I have only ridden it on Sundays and do not know how the traffic would be on other days. The traffic is light and easy on Sundays.

MB1 - I have a question for you regarding riding South of Clermont, will send a private message.

Enjoy, Axlenut
 

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As I sit here nursing two conditions from riding in the cold, those pics make me homesick for Fla. I remember hanging out around Apoka; wasn't a distance cyclist then. Thanks for sharing!
 
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