I’d never heard of Mable, Florida until last week, but that’s the location of the northern most trail head of the General James A. Van Fleet Trail. Located on Hwy 50 west of Clermont, Mabel marks the 29 mile mark of the trail which travels through the Green Swamp to Polk City.
Many of the reviews of cyclists complain the trail is boring due to the fact that it is so flat and straight, however those qualities along with the shade make it nearly perfect. In fact, these conditions made it possible for me to take my longest ride of the post-50 period, completing a ride of just over 22 miles.
With trailheads located at Bay Lake Road and Green Pond Road in addition to Mabel and Polk City, the trail provides restroom and picnic facilities for cyclists, hikers, and equestrians. And despite complaints about the trail being too straight, it’s a favorite of speedsters looking for a trail for a time-trial.
The area’s recognized for the abundance of wildlife including feral pigs, snakes, turtles, alligators, and birds. While most of the wildlife we encountered was camera shy, a gopher tortoise and a pygmy rattler posed so John could take plenty of pictures.
Flat, straight, shady…that’s my kind of trail. Next time, we’ll start farther south at Green Pond Road so we can ride through the Green Swamp portion of the Captain James A. Van Fleet Trail.