Clearwater Lake Trailhead


Clearwater Lake Trail

Clearwater Lake Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Clearwater Lake trailhead

Trailhead parking area for the Florida Trail and the Paisley Woods Bicycle Trail.

Pets: Dogs are welcome on the forest, but are required to be on a leash at all times. Dogs are not allowed on the beach at swimming areas. For more information, please contact Lake George Ranger Station at 352-625-2520.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Closures may occur while the Paisley Woods area is being rehabilitated to remove heavy underbrush.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Parking
Fees Free parking
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Restrictions: Bicyclists must remain on their own trail system (the Paisley Woods Bicycle Trail) and hikers on their own (Florida Trail) to avoid usage conflicts.
Closest Towns: Paisley
Information Center: Florida National Scenic Trail Map & Brochure (PDF)

General Information


Paved parking area. Both trails are natural surface.


From the junction of SR 42 and SR 19 in Altoona, north of Mount Dora, drive east on SR 42 towards Paisley. After 6.4 miles, you’ll see the entrance to the Clearwater Lake Recreation Area on your left. Turn left and drive up the park entrance road. The trailhead is on the right, before you get to the recreation area entrance.

General Notes:

Kiosk with information about both the Paisley Woods Bicycle Trail and the Florida Trail.


Paved parking area.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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Backpackers use the Clearwater Lake Trailhead as the southern terminus of a hike along the length of the Florida Trail through the Ocala National Forest, a trek of nearly 70 miles. A blue-blazed connector trail leads to the orange blazes of the Florida Trail. The Clearwater Lake to Alexander Springs segment to the north is 10.2 miles. Primitive camping is permitted anywhere along the trail except during general gun season.

Hours of Operation:
Rental info:

Day Hiking

The Clearwater Lake Trailhead provides access to the southernmost segment of the Florida Trail in the Ocala National Forest via a blue-blazed connector trail starting at the Florida Trail sign. Day hikers will enjoy walking north along the orange blazes into rolling hills topped with tall longleaf pines.


Accessible Paved
Parking Paved