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The Sanford RiverWalk is a popular local venue, following the Lake Monroe shoreline (part of the St. Johns River system) along Seminole Blvd, from Mellonville Avenue to Central Florida Regional Hospital. Although only two miles, the lakeshore location makes for a scenic bike ride. The path is convenient to parks and old downtown Sanford, Florida, with it's many new restaurants and entertainment venues. Construction has started to extend the Sanford RiverWalk west along the shoreline to I-4, with a link to the Florida Coast-to-Coast Trail where it meets the Cross Seminole Trail. It also will connect with the SR 415 Trail as part of a future Lake Monroe Loop. (Map and photos below).
Sanford RiverWalk Map
Location: Seminole County
End Points: Seminole Blvd. (Mellonville Ave. to opposite Central Florida Regional Hospital);
extension underway to Monroe Rd.
Mileage: 2 miles
Surface: Paved, 15 feet
Trailheads/Parking: Parking available along Seminole Avenue, at Fort Mellon Park, or in downtown Sanford. (See map)
Nearby Points of Interest: Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Fort Mellon Park, Sanford Museum, Orlando Sanford International Airport
Bike Shops / Rentals:
Pedal Driven Bike Shop (Sanford)
Sanford has been making a comeback with the downtown and its many restaurants becoming a magnet for locals and visitors. The RiverWalk is a popular destination, great place to take the kids.
This section of the Sanford RiverWalk has many benches, pavilions with swings, and other places to just stop and enjoy the view - or go fishing. The RiverWalk goes past restaurants, marina, and Fort Mellon Park. Portions of the trail near the Marina were flooded after Hurricane Irma, but have been restored and new trees planted.
This section of the Sanford RiverWalk is between a seawall and the roadway - the steel barrier makes it a safe and pleasant bike ride.
Construction is proceeding nicely on the extension along West Seminole Blvd., seawall construction is completed and the trailbed cleared all thte way to the connection with the Cross Seminole Trail / Coast-to-Coast Trail at Monroe Rd. A fairly wide shoulder and curbside parking at intervals maintain distance from the traffic, which will be further calmed by roundabouts constructed along West Seminole Blvd. The crossing at Monroe Rd. at the I-4 Interchange will be the main challege here. (December 2020)
Marina Island has restaurants and the St. Johns Rivership (sternwheeler) dinner cruises. Fort Mellon Park is a community focal point, with restrooms, water fountains, a playground, splash park, picnic tables, pavilion (available for rental), baseball field, and basketball courts. Check out the Sanford Museum, relax at Veterans Memorial Park, or visit the restaurants and shops of historic downtown Sanford.
Sanford has an interesting history. Fort Mellon was established during the Second Seminole War in 1836, and the town of Mellonville grew up around it. Its location on Lake Monroe (part of the St. Johns River system) was advantageous and Mellonville became a commercial center with daily steamship service to Jacksonville in the 19th century. Mellonville was the original county seat of Orange County before Orlando emerged. The town merged with adjacent Sanford in 1883, and today's Sanford serves as county seat of Seminole County.
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