Length: 27.9 miles (linear)
Currently this entire section is a road walk until such time as the Florida Trail Association can reroute it to a more natural setting.
Although there is no designated camping along this route, there are motels in several key areas. Once the heart of Central Florida’s cattle country and orange groves, the region encompassed by this segment has changed dramatically since the opening of Disney World. Where a scant decade ago you’d walk through rolling hills topped with orange groves, the landscape is crowded with vacation homes. Still, there are some interesting historical artifacts and preserved lands along the way. The FT also utilizes the Bill Johnston Memorial Pathway (connecting St. Cloud and Kissimmee) as part of the route, as well as a very unique piece of Florida history, a segment of the original Old Tampa Highway, opened in 1930, where you’ll walk on the very brick road (lined with cypress boards) that motorists first used to drive between Tampa and Orlando.
Despite the urban feel, you will see sandhill cranes in open fields, and smaller birds and mammals hiding in the underbrush between the berm of the road as you parallel the railroad tracks west between Kissimmee and Loughman. Where you walk a bridge over I-4 near Champion’s Gate, you’re only 10 miles or so from Disney World, the epicenter of all this enormous change to the region