West Orange Trail
Chapin Station, West Orange County
West Orange County, FL
Submitted by: Rick Durr
A railroad line converted into a paved, 20-mile long trail connecting downtown areas of Oakland, Winter Garden, Ocoee and Apopka.
The West Orange Trail runs through both suburban and urban areas and is used by 40,000 to 50,000 people per month. A group of seniors regularly engages in bicycle riding activities, while a teenage group has formed a speed-skating club. Several schools have organized field trips along the trail.
Uniquely designed signs at the entrance to each community give trail users a sense that they have entered a new community and a new place. Some trail heads are fairly large facilities incorporating full parking, picnic areas, concessions with wrap around porches, air and water stations and playgrounds. Others function more as local neighborhood parks, with picnic and playground facilities, and as a place to hold children's birthday parties.
The trail has won several awards, including one from the National Department of Transportation as one of 25 of America's Best Enhancement Projects.
History & Background
Undertaken by the Orange County Parks and Recreation Department, the West Orange Trail was funded with a combination of state funds (Preservation 2000) for the acquisition and preservation of the land. The county made an outlay of funds for the project development, which was subsequently reimbursed by Federal ISTEA funds. Five communities were involved in the planning in order to ensure that residents felt comfortable with such details as the trail's alignment with private property, and the preservation of favorite trees.
Karen Overstreet, on-site field supervisor, 407-836-6200