The highlight to visiting Split Oak Forest is seeing the Split Oak that the park was named after. Incredible as it might seem this 200 year-old oak tree split itself in half about 60 years ago due to the weight of its own branches and yet it's still growing. There are a number of ways of getting to this spot. The most direct route would be to follow the green loop trail until you reach marker #8 (about 1.5 miles).
After visiting the Split Oak itself, make sure to checkout the boardwalk going out to Bonnet Pond. Lots of birds including the large Sandhill Cranes come in to feed in this area. To get here from the Split Oak, just follow the blue Lake Loop trail a short distance until you see marker #9. There's a short spur trail that takes you out to the boardwalk.
Another interpretive boardwalk to checkout is the one for Saw Grass Marsh. It's located about 2 miles from the parking lot. Follow the green trail marks (backwards) until you reach marker #23.
Saw Grass Marsh
One of the spectacular features of Split Oak Forest are the huge man made ponds that were created during the early 1980s. Piles of fill dirt from these colossal projects can still be found along the banks in the form of stand dunes. The most popular and often visited man-made pond is the one located near trail marker #3 just off the Center Trail. Another deep water pond is located on the north side of the green trail near marker #8.
Located in south Orange County, Florida about 10 miles southeast of Orlando International Airport.
From the Central Florida Greenway (SR 417), take exit 22 and head south on Narcoossee Road (CR 15) for about 3.6 miles. Turn left on Clapp Simms Duda Road and follow road until it makes a sharp left turn (about 1.5 miles). The parking area will be on your right. GPS coordinates: N28° 21.202 W81° 12.667.
Moss Park Trailhead:
From SR 417, take exit 22 and head north on Narcoossee Road for about 1 mile. Turn right on Moss Park Road and follow road until it ends (about 5 miles). GPS coordinates: N28° 22.198 W81° 11.375
Park is open daily from sunrise to sundown.
No fee required as long as you enter the park from Clapp Simms Duda Road. A one dollar fee is collect at the Moss Park entrance.
Split Oak Forest has about 7.5 miles of hiking trails. The trails are divided into 3 loops: the 1.3 mile Lake Loop, the 3 mile North Loop and the 4 mile South Loop. Also, there are two small spur trails: the Lake Hart Spur and the Bonnet Pond Spur. Each are accessible from the Lake Loop. A 0.6 mile long connector trail, known as the Swamp Trail, provides access to the neighboring Moss Park.
Make sure to bring plenty of water and some sun protection. Very little shade is offered on these exposed sandy trails.
No camping, hunting or bike riding allowed in Split Oak Forest.
No dogs are allowed in Split Oak Forest.
These are some of the maps for the Split Oak Forest. You can enlarge them by clicking on the thumbnail image. Printer versions of these maps can also be downloaded and printed using Adobe Reader.
File Formats Downloads TopoGraphix ExpertGPS trails.gpx Garmin MapSource trails.mps, tails.gdb Google Earth trails.kmz National Geographic TOPO! trails.tpo
Last updated on 19-Mar-2012