The Preserve - TRAIL

The Preserve - Trail, Sebring, Florida

Approx. 5 miles of easy to moderate singletrack. Several miles of doubletrack around ponds.

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
HS_vet   Cross Country Rider [Jan 15, 2015]

The Preserve is a nice easy trail that can get muddy and wet in a few places.

Mostly flat trail with small hills and ditches. Sandy in a few places lot of roots and palmettos. Not a bad workout if you don't mind getting a little dirty.

Customer Service

Cardiac creek and north trails.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Techie   Weekend Warrior [Jan 22, 2013]

The worst trail I have ever been on. Everything is over grown. Half the times the trails don't have a clear path. There are no clear exits. Beware of small bridges over little water, they pop out of nowhere. Their definition of Advance is fallen trees.

Customer Service

NONE

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
mstguide   Weekend Warrior [Oct 21, 2008]

Here lately is being wet. Fun & fun.
Always a great place to be away from busyness.
Great ride, good cardio work out.

If you don't want to pedal don't buy a bike :-)

Customer Service

Follow the signs.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
rwrc   Weekend Warrior [Jun 30, 2008]

single track, twisted with lots of obstacles, teter, and the shondell, fallen trees and some I pushed over no kidding during the rainny season its a flippin waterpark ...the guy at the bike shop calls us submariners

Customer Service

between vertical the trees.. on the hardpac...though and along the stream...over the horizontal trees.. Not around but though the palmettos .. around the wide bridges over the narrow ones

Similar Products Used: hwy 27 during snowbird season before the dinner rate at the buffet watch out for the white caddy
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
randy   Weekend Warrior [Aug 19, 2007]

I ride this trail 2-3 times a week. There is a challange for every level of rider. its ALL GOOD
GIVE IT A TRY 863-443-O501

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
bill rettew   Cross Country Rider [Nov 26, 2006]


Nov 10, 2006,

Preserve Provides Perfect Place For Bikers
By BILL RETTEW JR.
wrettew@highlandstoday.com

SEBRING — Call them off-road or fat tire enthusiasts, but don’t call them mountain bikers in flat Sebring.

Twice a week, a group of off-road bikers meets to pedal their heavy duty bikes on portions of more than 10 miles of single track trails, grass roads and five wooden bridges.

The object of their endeavor is the 1,350-acre, county-owned, The Preserve of Sun ‘n Lake.

On Wednesday, Sebring resident Richard Percy tried to cross a creek without using the nearby bridge. The biker took a tumble, but got up quickly.

“Was the water a little chilly?” quipped a fellow rider. Percy couldn’t help but smile.

“I don’t fall that often,” said Percy. “But that’s what I’m here for – the excitement, the thrills and the challenge.”

A minute later a pair of bald eagles screeched loudly overhead.

Regular wildlife sightings by bikers at the preserve include deer, bear, armadillos, feral pigs, alligators, owls and many other types of birds, according to fat-tire biker Gordon Davis of Avon Park.

Davis said bikers maintain the trails, along with county help. The county’s largest county park is open to everyone, including walkers and fishermen.

While Davis said he appreciates the park’s close proximity to his home, Loren Ewing travels from Hardee County to ride with the group.

“We challenge each other and share experiences like the bald eagles,” said Davis. “We also know that they can bring you out of the woods if you get hurt. There’s safety in numbers.”

Avon Park resident Ken New also rides the local roadways, where he regularly bikes 100 miles at a time, or what is known as a “century.”

He said he enjoys both disciplines.

“It’s all fun,” said New, about off-road biking. “You can relax here and you don’t have to go so quickly and exert as much energy.”

Several of the bikers started meeting informally at The Preserve seven years ago.

Two unmarked trails kept riders cycling for the first year, but soon made way for what is now a large network with trails graded into categories based on ability and difficulty.

Trail builder, designer and regular rider Steve New mixes contrasting eco-systems such as a mix of pine forests, swamps and lakes in the same stretch of trail. There are no mountains, but the trails are not without challenges and small elevation changes.

An empty stream bed makes for ups and downs on Whisky Gulch while the pigs and armadillos have scratched out a roller coaster-type run on Woop De Do.

Several downed trees have remained in place, with many of those notched to give a series of ups and downs on Picnic Loop and other trails.

Cardiac Creek, an intermediate trail, challenges the rider with several sharp twists and turns over large roots of living trees.

In its heyday, 12-15 riders participated twice a week and, in turn, helped beat down the trails.

Three routes of 12 listed on the trail map are currently unrideable from lack of use, controlled burns and in one case, huge thorn bushes that became unmanageable. Downed trees, branches, growing weeds and grass keep those who maintain the preserve busy.

Quality bikes start at less than $400. Many styles cost up to $1,400, and some sell for more than $4,000, for heavier duty suspension and with all the bells and whistles.

Percy rides for the excitement and enjoys meeting other bikers.

“It’s not knowing what’s going to happen to you,” he said. “You hope you don’t get too many battle scars, but that’s what it’s all about.”

The Preserve of Sun ‘N Lake is located just off U.S. 27 at the western end of Sun ‘N Lake Boulevard. The parking lot is off to the right on Balboa Boulevard. For more information, call the Highlands County Parks and Recreation Department at 863-402-6812.

Off-road bikers informally meet at the preserve at 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Riders of all abilities are welcome to tour the park, and the pace is comfortable and determined by ability.



Customer Service

South on US 27 to Florida Hospital Heartland division, just past hospital right on Sun 'N Lake Blvd for about 3 miles. At T-intersection
(Balboa and Sun 'N Lake)jog right. parking lot on west side of Balboa.

The preceeding article appeared in Highlands Today

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
Steve   [Jul 05, 2000]

Trail is new and not easy to follow (pick up a map at the sign in the parking lot). Look for orange markings on trees, keep your eyes open and if your lucky you will find all of the singletrack trails and plenty of wildlife. The trails are a little sandy but hard packed enough to ride. This trail compares most to Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach, not very technical but a great way to stay in shape for the trips north to Ocala or south to Markham Park. More trails are slowly being built as you read this, could someday soon become a 3 star trail.

Customer Service

From the parking lot ride north and look for markings on the road for entrances to the trail (3).

Similar Products Used: Carter Road trail in Lakeland
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
TJ   [Jul 08, 2000]

Trails are new and hard to follow at first. I was lost for about two months. For the most part, trails are hard packed, but soft in some areas. There are no great elevation changes, but quick turns around small hills make it fun and somewhat challenging. After completing the 5 plus miles of trials, you'll feel like you've had quite a work out. It's excellent for building strength and stamina, which was beneficial to me on trips to more technical trails. Trails are surrounded with lots of wildlife. Come check it out!

Customer Service

Until you know where you're going, head north from parking lot, go left to second entrance. Make every right until you reach singletracks.

Similar Products Used: Carter Road Trail (Lakeland)
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Dustin   [Jul 08, 2000]

Trail is full of single track and long winding double track. Single track is mostly hard pack with some soft areas and has some technical turns and hidden pot holes in which you could possibly endo if not careful. Double track is great for cardio training and the beginning rider as it offers long straights and mild technical areas. The Preserve offers a good family time in the woods enjoying wildlife at its finest.

Customer Service

Trail has several entrances, which make it easy to do a circle and get lost. Easiest route is north from parking lot to 2nd entrance and stay right to the single track portion of the trails.

Similar Products Used: Santos, Markham Park, and Morris Bridge
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Kempe   [Jul 08, 2000]

This is the most demanding trail that I have ever been on. I thought that I was going to die out there. I really needed (2) 100 oz. camelpacks. I went through my first water bottle 3 minutes into the ride. At the half way point I was out. I can ride the really technical trails like some in Santos. But The Preserve is an all out endurance workout! With a few more technical spots, it would be a 4 star! I'll definitely be back!

Customer Service

Go with someone who knows where they are going.

Similar Products Used: Mickey D's to the FD (quite challenging)
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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