Shingle Creek Trail: Pine Island East Loop

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Located within the hustle and bustle of urban Orlando, Shingle Creek provides a good look at the initial headwaters of the Everglades ecosystem. It's a great place to bike, hike, fish, kayak, canoe, and see wildlife. Canoe boat ramp available.

Adjacent to major tourist attractions and growth areas, the Shingle Creek Management Area is the last remaining natural area of its size in southwest Orange and northwest Osceola counties. The District has restored portions of the swamp with funding provided as mitigation to offset wetland impacts associated with construction of the Central Florida Beltway and other surrounding development projects. Shingle Creek is the major water source for Lake Tohopekaliga, which is part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes and forms the headwater of the Everglades. Because of the land's significance to the Everglades, the Shingle Creek Management Area is featured site along the Everglades Trail. Go to www.evergladestrail.org.

There are several ways to enjoy the property. You can hike the nature trail or paddle* the creek behind Hunters Creek Middle Creek School. Bicycling is another popular activity on the four miles of power line dirt roads linking the Middle School trail to the Hunter's Vista subdivision. An additional three miles of hiking trails are located within the east and west pine islands. A picnic shelter with tables is located at the east pine island. Finally, you can take a very short hike at the Marriott Trail. At this time, the Marriott Trail provides limited access to the management area and visitors are encouraged to use one of the other access sites.

Cypress, gum trees, and wet prairies that ring pine islands are evidence the land stays mostly wet. A variety of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, alligators, wild turkey and wading birds thrive in the Shingle Creek corridor. Bring your fishing pole, bicycle, binoculars, or canoe. Either way, you'll get a good look at the initial headwaters of the Everglades ecosystem.

NOTE: A primitive canoe launch is located at the Hunter's Creek Middle School access.

Hunter's Creek Middle School entrance: 13400 Town Loop Boulevard Orlando, FL 32837. One-half mile west on South Town Loop Boulevard from John Young Parkway in Hunter's Creek. Enter the school property at the school bus access road. Parking is available behind the school along the chain-linked fence. The Middle School access is open only during non-school hours, weekends and holidays.

Power line entrance: where the power lines cross Tarragona Drive, Orlando, FL 32837. Parking is available at Vista Park in the Vistas Neighborhood of Hunter's Creek on Hunter's Vista Boulevard. Go west approximately two miles on Town Center Boulevard from John Young Parkway to Hunter's Vista Boulevard. Turn right onto Hunter's Vista Boulevard. Travel north approximately one mile to the parking area located on the left at Vista Park just passed Flora Vista Way. To access the trailhead, follow the signs and walk north 1/3 mile along the power line easement to the management area.

The Marriott Trail entrance: 11501 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821. The trail is about 1/2 mile south from Central Florida Parkway and three 3/4 miles north from State Road 417 on International Drive at the Marriott Grande Vista Resort. Enter the resort and parking is available at the tennis courts (third right). You will see the boardwalk leading to the trail.

The parking at the middle school is rather full during the school day as facility appear to park there.

Power line entrance is in a neighborhood. You will have to park quite a was and start by the park in that area.

Hunter's Creek Middle School
13400 Town Loop Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32837
Phone: (800) 250-4250
website: sfwmd.gov

Additional info can be found at the following site(s):
http://evergladestrail.com/
http://www.kissimmee.org/index.aspx?page=693

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2 Completed 1 Reviews

Shingle Creek is a nice trail for mountain biking.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

nice place

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2 Completed 2 Reviews

Pretty good dose of nature given the suburban location. We encountered a good bit of wildlife on our short excursion, including a couple small gators, a river otter, turtles, a water mocassin, and plenty of white ibis, great blue herons, and egrets. We started at the trail head behind Hunters Creek Middle School. There are now signs at the road directing you to trail parking which is in the same place as the school's bus entrance. Just past the trail head you'll walk across a bridge to the other side of the creek. The trail continues north along the side of the creek for about 1/4 mile, until you come to a power line clearing. We followed the power lines west to East Pine Loop and stopped at the first picnic area there for lunch. Our route ended up being about 2.5 miles round trip. The trail was pretty well marked, and the terrain is easy so long as it's dry. Only downside is the eyesore of the power lines/man-made drainage, and a bit of litter and graffiti near the trail head. Watch out for snakes and poison ivy.

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1 Completed 1 Reviews

We started from behind the middle school. Yes it's a nice little oasis in the city at first but about 1/4 mile in you're in a big field with nothing but power lines. We took the east pine island loop. It was nice but nothing exciting. We'd go back again but only because it's a couple blocks from our home.

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35 Completed 28 Reviews

So far I've found 4 different trailheads to Shingle creek. So it can be confusing. If you start from inside the neighborhood of Hunter's Creek then yeah it does seem like nothing but power lines. Starting from the school not so much.

I've only been out to the pine island loop out there. The 1st time I was out there the trials were well marked. Now some are over grown & I think I ended up following an animal trial.

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4 Completed 4 Reviews

Hiked this trail today and have some advice to add to the list here for this trail. Someone else mentions that it should be called a walk along the power lines. They are not kidding I would say that more than half of the trail is a walk down primitive dirt road following high tension wires(it is a mile of walking along the power lines that you have to do both ways). There is no shade, no place to stop and water on both sides of you. So make sure that you have plenty of water, insect repellent and sunscreen. I also rolled the dice and got caught in 3 rain showers during this walk with no cover. And if you choose to do it during the hurricane season like I just did it might be better described a long slough through the mud under power lines as the ground was pretty well saturated the entire walk. Oh and it is mentioned elsewhere that you have to park behind the school. You will need to take the "Buses only" lane to get to the trail head where their is a lot of parking right there. I parked beside the school and walked past about 80 empty spaces to get to the trail head. The first part of the trail is in my opinion the only part worth walking but it is probably only about a half a mile, but there is tons of wildlife, especially birds. I saw Turkeys, Ibis, Anhingas, owls, hawks, lesser blue herons, egrets, etc... None the less this is a very easy trail and could easily be done by the all levels of hikers (of course I did just come back from a week of hiking in the smoky mountains so it seemed really flat)

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2 Completed 2 Reviews

very awsome scenery for canoeing, peacefull

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7 Completed 1 Reviews

This is a run-down of all the interesting areas you can ride in Shingle Creek. I haven't been riding at too many places yet, but the side trails on this site would probably be considered on the short side but can be pretty technical. Some areas have e.g. lots of roots, then a bridge, then a bunch of trees on an uphill. Another area has a downhill, a bridge you have to turn to run across at the base of the hill, then an uphill with roots. There are two loops at Shingle Creek, but only one is accessible right now (the first loop). The other one is blocked by muck. The three main areas of interest are: 1) Cross the bridge at the trail entrance, turn right, follow the main trail out to the power lines, then turn left and follow the power lines to the first loop on the right, watch for the well worn path. There is a shaded pavilion near the loop start. The loop is a short endurance loop, some softer and/or grassy areas; 2) Cross the bridge at the trail entrance, turn left, this is a more technical area. some roots and a few tight spots where you have to watch the pedal position, etc; 3) Go to the canoe launch (opposite end of the parking lot from the main trail entrance), make a left when you get to the creek. This is the most difficult trail here, it goes awhile, under a few bridges, past a housing development, back into the woods, and pretty much stops at an area that overlooks a bridge along Town Center Boulevard. The beginning part of the trail is pretty technical, a lot of root watching, pedal height watching (some hidden tall roots), ups and downs, bridges, etc... but it is probably the most fun you will have here. If it is your first time here, do take your time and learn the paths before going breakneck speeds.

There is some wildlife to be seen. The creek water is generally crystal clear and you can see fish if you stop and look. Also snakes, turtles, birds, alligators, I almost got bowled over by a deer crossing the path at the loop (feet between us).

7.3 miles, about 1.5 hours, assumes you do all the trails mentioned above once, moderate pace, taking two short breaks.

It's a good ride, wear a helmet, bike safe and have fun.

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3 Completed 3 Reviews

Finding the trail head was a little difficult as the parking area is actually behind the school. You have to turn into the bus lane and follow it around behind the school. When I pulled into the parking area, I was greeted by two big turkey gobblers. Evidently, they knew it was turkey season and had taken refuge on the school property. The trail head is very inviting, with a scenic view from the bridge crossing shingle creek. The trail then turns right along the creek and follows it approximately a half mile to the power lines. From here, it becomes more of a walk along the power lines than a scenic trail. I did see quite a few water foul and a couple of hawks. Great for the bird watchers. Of which, I am not and couldn't tell you what kind of birds I was looking at. There was an FWC Officer patrolling the trail and some young spring breakers were having some fun on their dirt bike. Although, they were very mindful of not tearing up the trail. The creek was definitely the high point of this hike and there is a launch site here for a canoe or kayak. That may be the better way to view this park.

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7 Completed 4 Reviews

I just moved to Hunters Creek from Knoxville and this was the first non-paved trail I've been on. It was a nice departure from the asphalt jungle that is Orlando. The trail head is right behind the middle school and starts on a wooden bridge.
First impressions of the trail were very good as there was good scenery and bumps and mounds to cruise over. The beginning is wooded and runs right next to some swampy water.
About a quarter of a mile after you start you will hit the power cut which is long and flat and pretty boring. Off of it is the East Pine Loop which was a rough trail about 1 to 2 miles long. I would avoid this as the trail got pretty soupy in spots and I was ATTACKED by big flies that enjoyed biting me. Oh yeah...bring bug spray! You will need it.
After the East Pine Loop I got back on the power cut and found a sign for a West Pine Loop. It told me to go north along another power cut to find the loop so I did, but I don't think I ever found the trail. After about 2 miles the cut has a large swamp the breaks it up. I was tempted to carry my bike through it but decided against it.
So at this point I went all the way back to the beginning of the trail right up to the wooden bridge but realized that there was a trail off to the left of the bridge as well. This was a much better section of trail and was some fun MTBing. So here's my advice: if you are biking this trail take a LEFT off the the initial bridge. It filters you right but go left.
Overall I enjoyed the ride. It would have been better with some spray and some long socks both of which I won't forget next time. I live a mile away so I will be back, but the search will continue for trails with more difficulty and variety. Happy Trails!

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