Thursday, January 1, 2009

Lake Henrietta Trail

[ Originally posted to the Gulf Winds Track Club Yahoo! Group, and then published at ]

The trailhead is located on Springhill Road about 0.7 miles south of the intersection of West Orange Avenue and Springhill Road.

The trail is a wide, blacktopped bike trail that makes a circuit of just over two kilometers (I measured it at 6700 feet) around Lake Henrietta. A pair of sturdy bridges near the trailhead are currently closed, guarded by quietly menacing signs reading "Keep Off Bridge." There is no bridge over Lake Henrietta's southern outlet; I don't know if one is planned or if trail users will have to ford the outlet at times of high water. Beyond a gate near this outlet is a dirt trail along Munson Slough, which flows south to Lake Munson by way of Capital Circle.

The lake is appreciated by birds, turtles, and at least one alligator. The trail appears to only be accessible from the trailhead along Springhill Road, which has a very small parking area. Trail users will also have to bring their own shade--there are no trees close to the trail.

In the Future, the Lake Henrietta Trail may connect with the St Marks Trail through the Capital Cascades Greenway trail system. This will also connect with the GFA trail, and you will be able to connect with passenger service to the Moon through Tallahassee Municipal Airport.

Trailhead location on Google maps:,-84.307993&sll=30.403532,-84.308047&sspn=0.001113,0.001727&ie=UTF8&t=h&g=30.403569,-84.307993&ll=30.404157,-84.307988&spn=0.008902,0.013819&z=16


  1. The bridges are now open. The bridges are over the inlets from the West/Central drainage ditches and the East Drainage Ditch. The control structures are worth a look. The system is designed so that flood water will need to bypass the lake only once a year on average.

    I saw several people walking the loop on a weekday afternoon. The "southern outlet" still has no bridge, but note that during normal rains the water in the holding pond flows through the outlets under the eastern bank into Munson Slough. When storms force water out throught the southern overflow, it enters a wetland area and eventually flows into Munson Slough through more outlets under dirt road/trail south of the lake.

    There's another way in, and a connection to the St Marks Trail. Park at the Silver Lake parking area on N Ridge Road, and a trail directly across the street runs along the East Drainage Ditch and connects with the Lake Henrietta trail. From Silver Lake it's easy to navigate through the neighborhood to Pasco St and the St Marks Trail.

  2. Thank you for the update! I get out there every few weeks, but I haven't bothered to revise my description to include all the improvements, or the growth of the resident alligators. Hopefully I'll get a chance to write about Lake Henrietta becoming the southern terminus of the Capital Cascades Greenway and the northern end of the GF&A Trail.