Green Mountain Scenic Byway
Yes, Florida does have hills …….
Beginning at the Howey Crossroads (the intersection of Lake County Roads 455 and 561), the Green Mountain Scenic Byway winds southeast along Lake County Roads 455 and Old Highway 50 for 12 ½ miles through some of the highest hills of the Lake Wales Ridge. The Scenic Byway generally follows the western and southern shore of Lake Apopka and it’s wetlands. The hills rise steeply from the lake and provide some of the best vistas in Central Florida, including views of the Orlando skyline!
The Byway provides tranquil views of the small Town of Montverde, with the town cemetery framed by moss-draped live oaks, and the Mediterranean Revival buildings of the 125-acre campus of the Montverde Academy. The oldest building in the corridor is the historic Harper House, which dates from the mid 1870s. The Harper House was recently placed on the National Register of Historic places and is located east of the Byway at 17408 East Porter Avenue.
The rolling hills and winding roadway draws cyclists from around the world for competition, training, and touring. The Byway is one of the most popular cycling routes in Florida, and is the site of several internationally recognized triathlons each year. In addition to cyclists, the Green Mountain Scenic Byway is a favorite of motorcyclists, antique car clubs, and Sunday drivers.
Unique combinations of natural resources are found along the Green Mountain Scenic Byway. The Byway Corridor contains rare remnants of Lake Wales Ridge Scrub, 14 miles of Lake Apopka shoreline, as well as Sugarloaf Mountain, the highest point in peninsular Florida at 312 feet. Twenty-three species of plants and animals classified as endangered, threatened, or species of special concern have been found within the corridor. Bald eagles are a common sight, soaring along the shoreline of Lake Apopka in search of prey, or perched high atop vantage points within Montverde, keeping a sharp eye on the activities of the townspeople below.The Green Mountain Scenic Byway is a representation of a Central Florida that is itself becoming rare and endangered – rolling hills, stately and historic buildings, and unspoiled sweeping vistas.