Exploring Central Florida: Lost (or not) near Orlando and Clermont?

clermont gravel cycling

Stating the obvious, Central Florida is a region of the U.S. state of Florida. Different sources give different definitions for the region, but as its name implies, it is usually said to comprise the central part of the state, including the Tampa and Orlando areas, and smaller towns such as Clermont, Winter Garden, and so on.

orlando gravel cycling
Photo by Chris

“Orlando, Florida is the county seat of Orange County. In Central Florida, it is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released in July 2017, making it the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, and the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida. As of 2019, Orlando had an estimated city-proper population of 287,442, making it the 71st-largest city in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, and the state’s largest inland city.”

Exploring Central Florida Video

More about the area

“Orlando is one of the most-visited cities in the world primarily driven by tourism, major events, and convention traffic; in 2018, the city drew more than 75 million visitors. The two largest and most internationally renowned tourist attractions in the Orlando area are the Walt Disney World Resort, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971, and located about 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Orlando in Bay Lake; and the Universal Orlando Resort, opened in 1990 as a major expansion of Universal Studios Florida and the only theme park inside Orlando city limits.”

clermont gravel cycling
Wedding Party photos on the Clay Loop!

“Clermont is a city in Lake County, Florida, United States, about 22 miles (35 km) west of Orlando and 22 miles (35 km) southeast of Leesburg. The population was 28,742 in 2010. The city is residential in character and its economy is centered in retail trade, lodging, and tourism-oriented restaurants and bars. It is part of the Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Clermont is home to the 1956 Florida Citrus Tower, one of Florida’s early landmarks.”

orlando gravel cycling
Photo by Chris

The Clermont area is home to some marvelous rolling hills, along with opportunities interspersed with civilization to ride the roads less traveled. The same can be said for parts of the Orlando area. Some of these spots, including the nearby Apopka Loop and Clay loop, are local treasures, and available to the more adventurous cyclist. There are many other roads, tracks, and paths out there that only a seasoned local may know about (aka what we call tribal knowledge), and border on dodgy. Dodgy meaning some spots may be private and for that reason, there is no map link or course for this ride. Sorry folks!

clermont gravel cycling

In this video, JOM of the Gravel Cyclist crew is joined by Chris, who takes JOM on a very special route through the hinterlands and interesting spots of Central Florida.

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