Little Big Econ State Forest contains 5,048 acres of naturally scenic land. The unusual forest name comes from combining the names of the Little Econlockhatchee River and the larger Econlockhatchee River which flow through the property. The forest's most notable feature is the narrow, winding Econlockhatchee River which is designated as an Outstanding Florida Water (OFW) and singled out for preservation.
The area that makes up and surrounds Little Big Econ State Forest supports a wide variety of wildlife and provides a roaming corridor which connects the southern part of the Econ Basin to the Tosohatchee State Preserve and other public lands along the St. Johns River for approximately 100 miles. The numerous species of wildlife found in this corridor include: gray fox, river otter, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobcat, resident and migratory waterfowl, wood storks, wading birds, shorebirds and numerous upland species such as deer and turkey. Other common sightings include: sandhill cranes, roseate spoonbills, bald eagles, ospreys, and hawks.
The Old SR 13 railway and trestle was part of the Flagler Railroad System in the early 1900's and today is part of the Florida National Scenic Trail and is used by hikers to cross the Econlockhatchee River.
This 8,000 acre addition to Florida's public lands protects the watershed of the Econlockhatchee River near Oviedo.
Gorgeous without a lot of substance. Am I talking about a glamorous person with the IQ of a end table? Well, no. I'm talking about the off road trails at Little Big Econ State Forest, also known as Snow Hill for the road that the main trailhead is located on. The 5,048 acres feature the winding Econlockhatchee River flowing through the property along with about 12 miles and growing of singletrack. The original four mile loop is narrow, curvy, and sometimes sandy. Other cycling possibilities include jeep roads and fire lines anywhere in the forest.
Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh when I say this park has little substance. For the most part, the sweeping, curve laden trails are fun to ride. Gliding along on a "fast as you dare" pace, the tight tree-lined trails often turn into an enjoyable slalom - that is until another rider is doing the same in the opposite direction. As the trails are two-way with a lot of blind turns, this sort of meeting is fairly common.
After inquirering about the network's personality from a couple of nice local riders in the parking lot, I was excited to hear that there was rolling hills, drops and a few climbs to be had. In actuality, I found a few mounds of dirt and a few tight areas to navigate through. But all is not lost for the optimistic rider! The trails are very well maintained and show a great deal of care and dedication, except for the obvious lack of useful signage. As the network spider webs all over the place, getting lost the first few times is almost a guarantee without a map and compass - and even then it can prove to be a challenge.
Overall, Snow Hill offers Orlando riders something rare - a place to ride singletrack in the Orlando area. In a town that sports an aggressive growing amount of paved trails, there is very little trails of the dirt kind to enjoy. Beginner and intermediate riders will enjoy riding here, while advanced riders will have to make the best of it, after all, almost any singletrack is good singletrack isn't it? Is it a destination ride? Probably not. Is it a fun ride? For the most part, yes.