Artist rendering of the completed addition to the Overlook at Lake Apopka
FDOT Florida Scenic Highways Program Green Mountain Scenic Byway Overlook
History of the Overlook Project
Green Mountain Scenic Byway runs along the western edge of Lake Apopka, connecting Winter Garden and Mount Dora. In the past 15 years, FDOT and community partners extended the Byway through central Lake County to Mount Dora. Concurrently, the St. Johns River Water Management District was working to open the Lake Apopka Northshore to the public, which included 20,000 acres of fish and wildlife resources, natural habitat, and hiking and bike trails. This presented an opportunity to welcome thousands of visitors to the Byway. Additionally, this presented further opportunity for a vision – literally – with construction of an overlook to connect with the natural beauty of the area and scenic possibilities.
First Iteration of the Overlook
The first iteration of the Green Mountain Scenic Byway Overlook was opened in 2014, providing new amenities to the area. The view was wonderful, as were the recreational opportunities, though the objective of viewing Lake Apopka was limited. The trail from the Overlook to the 20,000 acres of Lake Apopka Northshore was opened in 2016, which was an exciting event for the Byway and the local community.
The Overlook as it was first developed, and as it currently appears in Spring 2023
The Desire to “Raise the Roof”
Plans for enhancing the Overlook
With new amenities and connections for the community after the trail opening, the desire to enhance the Overlook, and therefore enhance the viewing opportunities, remained strong.
Thumbnail sketch of the Overlook addition
Opportunity to Enhance the Overlook
With the first National Scenic Byway Program Grant Cycle from the U.S. Department of Transportation in more than ten years, FDOT partnered with Green Mountain Scenic Byway, Lake County, and the St. Johns River Water Management District to apply for and be successful in obtaining a 2022 federal grant award. The Florida Scenic Highways Program looks forward to delivering on the exciting new tower and the many benefits it will bring to the community and those visiting the Green Mountain Scenic Byway.
Learn more about Green Mountain Scenic Byway