The Geneva Wilderness Area is a little jewel in rural Seminole County. The short loop trail skirts two scenic ponds while winding through a variety of forest and wetland habitats. The hiking is easy and very family friendly. A beautiful new dock extends to just about the middle of the first of two ponds. Truth be told, it seems far too grand for the modest body of water it extends into.
As you near the second pond there’s a short side trail that leads to a small memorial chapel. The most striking thing to me was the large stand of snags — dead trees largely stripped of branches. The chapel itself is covered, but open on all sides, with two small rows of rough wooden pews sitting in front. It does offer some nice views across the pond, but I liked the views from the other side of the lake better.
At the very southeastern tip of the loop, this trail connects to the Flagler Trail, for those who wish to explore further. In fact, the Geneva Wilderness Area is tucked right up against the Little Big Econ State Forest. You can follow the Flagler Trail right to (and across) the Econlockhatchee River. Or you could connect to the Florida National Scenic Trail (#FNST) and hike for hundreds of miles in either direction.
For those who are looking for a very nice day hike, follow the loop around to the back side of the chapel pond. There are some very nice views back toward the chapel across the pond. Scores of young pine trees crowd an expansive field, promising a healthy pine forest to come. As you near the parking lot you’ll pass the Ed Yarborough Nature Center, built for environmental education.
Want more? There are several more miles of fire breaks and other trails within Geneva Wilderness Area. You could certainly spend the better part of a day exploring all the nicks and crannies this natural area has to offer. There’s also a security residence and an information kiosk. Camping permits are available.
Know Before You Go >> Check out our Photo Gallery, our hike’s WonderMap (below) and the links provided. See if this little Florida Natural Wonder is right for you. PS: The turtle in the photos is actually a tortoise. It’s also an endangered keystone species. Gopher Tortoise burrows provide shelter for more than 350 other animal species!
Geneva Wilderness Area Loop Hike WonderMap. TIP: Click on waypoint flags for GPS location photos.
Open Dawn to Dusk
Natural Lands Program
3485 N. CR 426
Geneva, FL 32732