Deep in the Little Big Econ State Forest there is a wild and scenic mountain bike trail known as the Outback. In fact, it’s the first place I rode my new Fat Bike to put it through its paces. Neither the trail nor the bike were a disappointment.
Several times I’ve hiked from the Barr Street Trailhead on the north side of the river and biked the eastern trails of the Jones East Trailhead on Snowhill Road, including the “Ditch of Doom.” This time I wanted to ride up the Florida Trail/Flagler Trail (which splits these bike trails into eastern and western sections), then drop onto the Outback Trail just before the Econ River bridge. This trailhead parking is located at 3290 Snowhill Road, Oviedo, FL 32766. GPS = 28.649079, -81.129773
Since I approached the trail from the south, I entered the south end of the loop, so I rode the trail clockwise. While it was a great ride, I think I’ll ride the other direction next time — to me it seems many of the drop-offs and root clusters favor a counter-clockwise ride. So my recommendation is that you start this trail at the north entrance, closest to the bridge.
That said, the varied terrain and ecosystems fill this ride with eye candy and a great range of riding conditions. You experience tight single-track through thick scrub, rolling pasture, lush forest and classic wetlands. To me, though, the best part is the north section of the loop, because it runs right along the Econlockhatchee River…sometimes perilously close.
If you’re looking for a nice, easy ride, stick to the Flagler Trail. The Outback is not for the faint of heart. There are several areas with very large roots and even downed trees. A bit of mud and a small stream crossing. Short, but harsh drops…and climbs…often with exposed roots right at the top edge. A little soft sand.
Check out the Photo Gallery, links and maps. Even better, check out this beautiful forest and outstanding waterway that practically sit in UCF’s (University of Central Florida) back yard, just outside Orlando. Looking for other places and other things to do? Check out our Bucket List and Where-to-Go.