Gen. James A. Van Fleet State Trail Professional Review and Guide
"The Van Fleet Trail is Florida’s most rural trail. It runs through what is left of the great Green Swamp, a natural water-storage area just west of the high sandy ridge that divides the state. This is the headwaters for some of Florida’s most often-canoed rivers: the Withlacoochee, Hillsborough, Peace, Oklawaha, and Little Withlacoochee. Though much of the Green Swamp has been drained for citrus groves and cattle ranching, a few large tracts remain, and this trail goes right through them.
Its average elevation is higher than any other rail-trail in Florida—around 100 feet above sea level—but don’t expect this to be reflected in any sizable hills, because there aren’t any. With only one curve in its 29.2 miles, you can choose to go slow and view the wildlife or travel as fast as you can hold it. Though this trail has a great reputation for wildlife viewing between Green Pond Road and Bay Lake Road, recent studies are giving it extra high marks for butterfly populations along its length. Surface: Asphalt; 12 feet wide. Location, Lake, Polk, and Sumter Counties."