Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Wilderness Lodge and Ft. Wilderness Nature Trail

If you have ever been fortunate enough to stay at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, you have experienced one of Walt Disney World's finest themed hotels.

Jeff Pepper has professed his love of the Wilderness Lodge in a series of posts over at 2719 Hyperion. He provides a lot of detailed and historical information about Silver Springs, Artist's Point and Humphrey the Bear (bump, bump). The Wilderness Lodge Hotel Fan Site provides a map of the trail and some great photos. The ubiquitous MouseSteps site (a great place to while away the hours) has a fairly in-depth photo essay of the Wilderness Trail. It is amazing how run down some of the areas have become.


In 2001, we took a family vacation (8 of us in total) and stayed at the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. During the end of the trip, everyone decided that we needed to go our seperate ways for some much needed downtime. One of the things we had enjoyed doing on our 1997 trip was riding the surrey bike at the Boardwalk. So, we decided to head down to Teton Boat and Bike Rentals to rent a surrey and experience the Wilderness Lodge Nature Trail to Ft. Wilderness.


Yes, that was a real deer that we saw on the trail. The whole trail is 2.3 miles and is intended as a jogging/bike path between the two resorts. We didn't do the whole trail--we got about halfway when our passenger in the front wanted to go back to the pool. It is very quiet and serene on the trail; you don't feel like you are in Florida at all. We only ran into one other family and they were heading back to the Lodge. We were hoping to make it all the way to Ft. Wilderness to see the petting zoo.


In the satellite view, I outlined the trail in red from the Lodge to Ft. Wilderness. The trail does take you to Pioneer Hall, the petting zoo and the Settlement Trading Post (in case you need to refill before heading back). It's just another one of those great details at Disney.

Don't forget to keep your ears out for other fun excursions.

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