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An Enlightening Trip Through The Florida Wilderness
Updated November 7, 2022
When I first arrived in the Sunshine State, I was overwhelmed by its natural beauty and was always on the lookout for roads that would lead me to secluded and peaceful locations. Every night, I parked my car somewhere where I found solace in the sounds nature had to offer- birds chirping, gators splashing, frogs croaking and crickets singing, with an occasional bear spotting.
Map of Maytown Road
However, these days, it’s quite a different story as the landscape of Florida has shifted over the years due to a massive population influx and traffic congestion.
The Maytown road cuts across the state, situated between State Road 415 in the west, U.S. Highway 1 in the east, the St. Johns River and State Road 46 in the south and State Road 44 in the north.
East Central Regional Rail Trail Bridge in Osteen, Florida
Spanning across roughly 150,000 acres of land, the terrain consists of forests, rivers and wetlands, also housing certain-environments that are deemed environmentally sensitive and hence require conservation. For instance, the Farmton Wildlife Management Area, located in Volusia and Brevard Counties, covers 59,000 acres for the purpose of hunting, grazing and mitigation. Moreover, there is the Kalamazoo venture, a private tract of 11,000 acres which was planned to become a gigantic celery farm but never really came to fruition.
Not only this, but the ghost town of Maytown, located at the crossroads of two railroads- one connecting Enterprise on Lake Monroe to Titusville, and the other running down towards Lake Okeechobee under the name ‘Kissimmee Valley Branch’- still remains in its partially dilapidated form.
Old Buildings in Maytown, Florida
Another noteworthy structure is the pioneer house situated south of Maytown on the Maytown Spur road, right along the abandoned railway tracks.
The conservation plan, approved by the federal and state governments, requires sustainable forestry while protecting various species such as black bears, bobcats, bald eagles and swallowtail kites. While the land is mostly owned by the Miami Corporation, which traces its roots back to the Deering family, founders of International Harvester and the Viscaya residence in Coconut Grove and Deering Estate in Cutler Ridge, respectively.
Pioneer House on Maytown Spur Road
On your drive down the Maytown Road, you may want to take a detour to the nearby town of Oak Hill which offers many different restaurants serving delicious seafood options, making it the perfect place to kick back and indulge in some relaxation.
Goodrich’s Restaurant, Oak Hill
And if you’re lucky enough, you may just witness the silent beauty of the area if you turn off your engine, close your eyes and simply listen to the blissful surroundings.
But, the tranquility of the Maytown Road route may not last long as the Miami Corporation are in the process of constructing an interchange at Maytown Road and I-95. Therefore, I highly recommend you take this road trip soon to experience the real beauty of the Florida wilderness.
Maytown Road Interactive Map & Directions
From Orlando, find your way to Sanford and take State Road 46 east toward Mims. Turn left at State Road 415 and go north to Osteen.
Just after the new pedestrian and bike trail overpass, turn right at New Smyrna St. Follow it back south a block or so until you come to Florida Avenue. Turn left, go east. It becomes Maytown Road. Follow it until you get to Oak Hill.
Maytown Road, 2021
This watercolor is painted from a photograph taken in August 2021 and every time I pass this route, I am reminded of the fact that the old buildings here might not be around forever.
For those interested in learning more about the history of the region along the Maytown road, here’s an oral history video featuring many of the pioneer families who resided here before things took a turn.
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If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable journey through Florida’s wilderness, the Maytown road is the perfect place to explore. From the vast wetlands and forests to the old buildings and bridges, you’ll be able to observe plenty of wildlife while taking in the beauty of nature.
The Maytown road is ideal for both hikers and cyclists, who will appreciate its abundance of trails and winding paths. Whether you prefer walking or biking, you can easily explore the rural landscapes and embark on a journey through the heart of Florida’s countryside.
For those who are looking for a more leisurely experience, there are plenty of public parks and recreational facilities located along the way. These include the Johnstowne Memorial Park, which offers picnic sites and playgrounds, as well as the Hickory Hill Nature Center, which has numerous hiking trails and activities for visitors.
If you feel like taking a break from the natural settings of the Maytown road, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and local shops to explore. One of the most popular places to visit is Goodrich’s Restaurant, located in Oak Hill, which offers delicious seafood dishes.
Those looking for an even more memorable experience can take in a show at the ERA Theater, which is also located in Oak Hill. From musicals to stand-up comedy and drama, this theater brings some of the best stage shows to the area.
In addition to its many attractions, the Maytown Road is also home to several historical sites. Visitors can learn more about the region’s rich culture and history by visiting the John Milton Union Church, which was built by settlers in 1821, or the nearby Deen House, a restored plantation house that once belonged to the prominent Deen family.
Those interested in local art and culture can also find plenty of places to explore along the Maytown Road. The town of Mims, for example, is home to a variety of galleries and museums, including the Historic Mims Arts Museum, which showcases work from both local and international artists.
As you travel further down the Maytown Road, you’ll eventually come across the city of Titusville, home to the world-famous Kennedy Space Center. This attraction offers plenty to see and do for space enthusiasts, from viewing launches to learning about space exploration.
The Maytown Road is also home to historic landmarks such as the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, which dates back to 1887, and the Canaveral National Seashore, which provides plenty of opportunities for swimming, fishing, birdwatching, and other activities.
Finally, no trip along the Maytown Road would be complete without a visit to the nearby beaches. From Cocoa Beach to Vero Beach and Daytona Beach, there are plenty of seaside towns to explore and plenty of activities to keep you entertained. With so much to see and do, the Maytown Road is the perfect setting for a journey through Florida’s wild and wonderful countryside.