Lake Monroe Loop


This is a description of a route and not one ride. It was three rides on the Lake Monroe Loop which may or may not be its official name.

On January 24 I had a reservation on the AutoTrain from Sanford to Lorton, Virginia. The train left at 5:00 pm, but check-in with a vehicle was from 11:30 until 3:00. I wanted a nice ride in the area before a 15-hour train ride.

Near the AutoTrain, Sanford

I found a ride on RidewithGPS that started at the Bicikleta Bike Shop in Sanford. It was a 27-mile loop around the lake and looked perfect. I found the bike shop and started to follow the route that I had uploaded to my bike computer.

Bicikleta Bike Shop, Sanford

I was only two blocks from the downtown area which is absolutely charming. Sanford has brick streets so I checked out the downtown before starting my ride.

Downtown Sanford

Downtown Sanford is only one block from the lakefront which is very pretty.

Lake Monroe, Sanford

I obviously did not study the route. I envisioned a 27-mile route hugging this lake the entire time. What I got was three and a half miles of lakefront views. I crossed a bridge over the St. Johns River which flows into the lake. And then I picked up a series of bike trails.

Coast to Coast Trail

Part of the trail picks up a section of the Coast to Coast Trail

Coast to Coast

There were sections of boardwalks in the swamp. (Boardwalks scare me) Pretty but I’m not a fan of tires on wood.


I wasn’t quick enough with the camera but as I came around one corner I saw a juvenile armadillo scurry off the trail.

More boardwalks

I gave up lakeside for woods. And swamp.

Not so wildlife. Goats.

Eventually, the trail connected with a bike path next to Fl. State Hwy 415. It is separate from the highway and has an underpass at the one bridge to get to the other side to cross the river.

Lake Monroe

About five miles from Sanford the trail ends and one must ride on the road. But here the roads are more streets than highways.

Red corn snake

The first time I rode it when I got back to the start I continued a second pass down the lake and found the AutoTrain. It was just an enjoyable loop.

Osteen Trail Head and Hwy 415

My next AutoTrain reservation was on March 13. Arriving on March 14 I was prepared to ride the same loop. However, I thought it would be fun to reverse the route so I rode the same course but counterclockwise this time. Near the end, I routed to PDQ Chicken for lunch and then used the Wahoo’s Route to Start feature to get me back to the parking lot that was two blocks from Bicikleta’s.


And it was six days later I was headed home. No AutoTrain this time but I was headed up I-4 early in the morning. I stopped at the park next to the bridge that crosses the St. Johns River. I would ride the loop again albeit with a different start location,

PDQ. Worth the trip.

There were no surprises. I could ride this loop without a map. But it’s nice to have a map on the computer as I like to display the distance remaining.

St. Johns River below I-4

This is an easy, flat, ride with lake, swamp, and forest views. I highly recommend this to anyone in central Florida looking for an easy and enjoyable ride, Finish with lunch in Sanford.

St. Johns River
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