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In Disney

Disney(ish) Running Trails: The West Orange Trail

We've gone over so many great running trails on Disney property. From the Boardwalk resorts to Seven Seas Lagoon to Art of Animation and Pop, you can find them all right HERE. But whether you're local or on vacation and really needing some serious training time, sometimes it's good to know a place where you can easily pound out ten or more miles. And for that, today, I've got you covered. Because today we're taking a 30-40 minute drive from property to the West Orange Trail.

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Need more information on running in Disney? My definitive trail guide is RIGHT HERE.

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  • Location and Distance: The West Orange Trail is a paved 22 mile (35 km) trail that runs through downtown Oakland, Winter Garden, and Apopka in Orange County, Florida. The trail has four major stations along the way, with the closest to Disney property generally being the Winter Garden Station at 455 E. Plant St. in downtown Winter Garden – about a 30-40 minute drive from property depending on your exact starting point.

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Full disclosure, as popular as it is I only recently started running on the West Orange Trail. Having it so close to the house is amazing – but when I’m going for a run more often than not I don’t have the luxury (or desire) to add 60 minutes of back and forth driving to the task. But now that I’m actually on a real training plan for a real in person race (yay!) I’m finding myself with long, scheduled runs on weekend mornings that allow for a little more planning. I started heading out to the West Orange Trail for some of them and am finding the miles melting away around me while I’m on it, so I've been excited to share it with you!!

The Trail, owned by Orange County Parks and Recreation, is a whopping 22 miles (35 km) long and well populated by walkers, runners, and bikers all along the way. It’s also a very cool way to see some lesser known (at least to visitors) parts of the area – including downtown Oakland, Winter Garden, and Apopka.
If you were to travel the trail’s full length, you’d pass four well equipped stations (see list below) with parking, restrooms, bike racks, and drinking fountains. They also have picnic tables and playgrounds – and some even have concessions or shops where you can find things like running fuel, snacks, and beverages.

There are also seven outposts along the way, some with drinking fountains and restrooms – and one with a butterfly garden(!), if you find yourself needing an extra stop.

The four stations are:

  • Killarney Station in Killarney near Oakland on SR50 at the Lake/Orange County line. This is a large station with bike rentals.
  • Winter Garden Station on 455 E. Plant Street in downtown Winter Garden.
  • Chapin Station on 501 Crown Point Cross Road in Winter Garden. This station also has a basketball court and tennis courts.
  • Apopka Station on 111 S. Forest Avenue in Apopka.

I've talked about Downtown Winter Garden in several of my off-the-beaten-path articles – so it's worth noting that the West Orange Trail literally takes you right down the street median in the middle of this amazing area. So if you've never been there, you'll get a preview of this great spot, too!!

And as you head toward Oakland you'll get to see some stunning neighborhoods and a nature preserve that feel 1,000 miles away from Walt Disney World!! It's hard to believe they're so close!!

I really enjoyed reading the overview of the Trail on traillink.com.

©Traillink.com

Definitely check out their full write up – and tons of helpful comments – right HERE

One cautionary note – if you keep running past Killarney Station you will find yourself on the South Lake-Lake Minneola Scenic Trail in Lake County, which was connected to the West Orange Trail in 2007. It’s a beautiful trail but definitely feels more isolated and less traveled. There were far more bikers than runners on the path and all in all I don’t think it’s a place where I feel as comfortable running, at least alone. (Absolutely just my gut instinct there in contrast to how I feel on the West Orange Trail. I have no doubt it’s safe, but it felt a bit too isolated and quiet for me.)

I hope leaving property briefly today was worthwhile!! There are so many amazing places to run at Walt Disney World, but sometimes it’s nice to have a different option, especially if you’re looking for a really long distance.

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So that’s a wrap for today!! Where should we run next??

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You can find a compilation of these guides for each of Walt Disney World’s resorts RIGHT HERE. My complete guide to Disney’s Fun Runs is at THIS LINK and my complete guide to making the most of your runDisney race weekend is RIGHT HERE.

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Please join me on Instagram for my day-to-day adventures living a mile from the magic. And join the conversation over in our community on Facebook!

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If you’re planning a trip to Disney and want a fun way to rock a mask, check out my designs at TeePublic right HERE!! If you cannot or choose not to visit now and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory Candle collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.

 

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