WINTER GARDEN (Feb. 16, 2023) – Founded in 1991 by biologist Jim Thomas, Friends of Lake Apopka is a citizen advocacy group dedicated to restoring Lake Apopka to its once pristine condition, invites the community for a ride along the shores of Lake Apopka using Lake County and Orange County paved trails, gravel roads, and paved roads.

“Friends of Lake Apopka started the FOLA 40 bike ride in 2017 to raise awareness about the restoration of Florida’s fourth-largest lake; raise awareness about the amazing network of cycling trails around our lake; and raise awareness about the need to connect those trails into a 42-mile safe cycling path all the way around Lake Apopka,” said FOLA board member and FOLA 40 Event Chair, Joe Dunn. Dunn added, “In 2024, we should have completed the third goal. Orange County is in the process of connecting the West Orange Trail to Magnolia Park. Lake County is constructing the connector between Green Mountain Overlook and Hancock Road Trail. As the lake heals, ecotourism flourishes.”

The ride starts at 8:30 a.m. from two locations. The 40-mile ride starts in downtown historic Winter Garden (104 S Lakeview Ave, Winter Garden, FL, 34787) and the 8-, 16- and 32-mile rides start at Magnolia Park (2929 S. Binion Rd., Apopka, FL, 32703). The shorter rides will take riders along the lakefront and through the flat, sprawling wetlands of the Lake Apopka North Shore which includes the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive.  A hybrid, mountain, or cyclocross-style bike is strongly recommended for all distances.

Registration for all four distances is open through April 15 at and includes an event shirt for the first 150 riders and one free adult beverage at Crooked Can Brewery (426 W. Plant St, Winter Garden, FL 34787) after the ride.

Thank you to our event sponsors, WheelWorks Winter Garden, Crooked Can Brewing Company, Amon Family Foundation, Inc., Empire Finish Systems, LLC and Healthy West Orange.

Friends Of Lake Apopka (FOLA) is a citizen advocacy group dedicated to restoring Lake Apopka to its once pristine condition.  They meet quarterly at the Oakland Nature Preserve.  More information can be found at

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