Biking and Hiking Econlockhatchee Sandhills Conservation Area

I was fortunate enough to both bike and hike the scenic Econlockhatchee Sandhills Conservation Area within the same week. Protecting nearly a mile and a half of the Econlockhatchee River and the surrounding forest, this is one piece of a natural lands mosaic along this Outstanding Florida Water, which also includes the nearby Econ River Wilderness Area and The Little Big Econ State Forest.

Econlockhatchee Sandhills Conservation Area

Running through these 706 acres are two multi-use trails for equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers. The trails total just 3.3 miles, but if you want to see the river itself — and it’s worth seeing — it’s less than a half mile down the power lines; Check the Garmin maps below and you’ll see.

Econlockhatchee Sandhills Conservation Area

By the way, there’s one stretch along the loop trail that has the largest expanse of deer moss that I’ve ever seen — it spreads like a thick, dense carpet throughout the open forest.

Econlockhatchee Sandhills Conservation Area

There are other unpaved roads you could explore, but the main trail is well marked and well maintained. It is mostly wooded, except along the power lines, which crackle and buzz with electricity. When I biked out here, the sandy areas were well packed because of all the recent rains and I was riding a fat tire bike, so it was smooth sailing. I would imagine during the dry months the sandy areas probably get pretty soft.

Econlockhatchee Sandhills Conservation Area

Always, the best story is told through pictures, so here’s a slideshow from my trips:

 

My Garmin Maps >>

Biking ESCA:

Hiking ESCA:

 

Trail Map PDF

Econlockhatchee Sandhills Trailhead: 28.587336,-81.155874 ; 15607 Lake Pickett Road, Orlando, FL