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“Perfect trail” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gen. James A. Van Fleet State Trail

Gen. James A. Van Fleet State Trail
Polk City, FL
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Ranked #3 of 5 Attractions in Polk City
Type: Hiking Trails, Sports
Attraction details
Lakeland, Florida
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Perfect trail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

I am no where close to being able to do this whole trail, but it's great to ride a few miles and back. I have gone to both the Polk City trail head and most recently the Mabel trail head. We arrived in Mabel at about 4 pm on a hot August day, just as it had started to rain. It couldn't have been more perfect because it really cooled off the trail. This area is already shaded and the quick 10 minute shower made it so I was able to do about 10 miles. Just a warning though, the road access to the Mabel trail head is a very bumpy dirt road. Make sure your bike is strapped on tight! Also, with it being August and had just rained, the mosquitoes were out in full force. I applied spray everywhere, then used the very nice restroom at the trail head, and I guess I washed off the spray on my hands because I got 5 bites on my fingers. But that's the price you pay for being in such a beautiful setting. It is so secluded and you will see so many types of animals and butterflies, it is totally worth it for me to drive up to this side of the trail. Go check it out!

Visited August 2013
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19 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Very Enjoyable Ride!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

We have done several bike rides on this trail, and have enjoyed them all--Wildlife seen every time! We saw a huge diamondback rattler on the southernmost segment just north of Polk City--probably 6 or 7 feet, crossing the trail (we stopped well short of 50 yards away until he or she was all the way across!). We've also seen armadillo, raccoons, many tortoises, gators, and of course wonderful birds and butterflies. So there is plenty of wildlife, although I am guessing you will not see as much on busy days.

The southernmost trailhead at Polk City is the most frequented, and I think that 10 miles or so up to Green Pond Rd is the most interesting part, with the alpaca farm, lake, small airport and more vistas with files and pastures.

There are covered benches along the way, although not too many. Caveats--be sure to bring your own drinking water, and a cell phone could be handy just in case. I got service on most of the trail. This trail is very remote in some areas. Also, wear bright neon colors--twice we have heard hunters shooting, which is a bit unnerving.

All in all, we will go back again and again, as it's great exercise and a nice look at what is left of "Old Florida"!

Visited April 2013
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Polk City, Florida, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“beautful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

the trail is across the road from me bikes go by all the time day after day. we ride on it a lot, love taking the grandskids on it

Visited March 2013
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Glen Auldyn
1 review
“Brilliant!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We came across the Green Pond trailhead quite by accident. So glad we did. Walked to mile 13. Within minutes we had seen a Red Cardinal. Near the bridges we were surrounded by butterflies, at least 5 varieties of Swallowtail. Each of the three bridges had its own Alligator. On our way back we saw 2 Gopher tortoises and lots more birds. The cyclists we encountered were courteous and best of all there was absolutely no road noise. Plan to come back in the future with bikes!

Visited March 2013
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Lake Wales, Fl
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Depending on your purpose ....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

If your purpose is to get exercise in a relatively safe place, the Van Fleet Trail is a good choice. If your purpose is to see great scenery and wildlife, keep looking for another trail. I think Van Fleet is boring in comparison to some of the other trails, but it has a consistantly smooth pavement surface so you do not have the worries of a gravel path.

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