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Florida Friday; Rock Ridge Road and Green Pond Road from US 98 through the Green Swamp to Florida State Road 33

Back in 2014 I was looking for a different way to get from the Tampa Area back to Metro Orlando.  That being the case I took Rock Ridge Road east from US 98 through the southern Green Swamp of Polk County via Green Pond Road to Florida State Road 33.





Rock Ridge Road and Green Pond Road are both very narrow but paved through the entirety of the Green Swamp.  The only significant junction between US 98 and FL 33 is at Dean Still Road pictured above.  Northeast of Dean Still Road the alignment of Rock Ridge Road crosses through a small community known as Rock Ridge. 





At Poyner Oaks Road the alignment of Rock Ridge Road becomes Green Pond Road.  East of Poyner Oaks Road the alignment of Green Pond Road crosses over the Van Fleet Trail.  The crossing of Green Pond Road and the Van Fleet Trail was once the location of the community of Berry.  Berry was a siding of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad's spur Florida Western and Northern Line.  The Van Fleet Trail occupies approximately 29 miles of former right-of-way through the Green Swamp which was once occupied by the Florida Western and Northern until the late 1980s.  Berry now serves as Green Pond Trail Head for the Van Fleet Trail.



Approaching FL 33 the routing of Green Pond Road enters Green Pond.  Green Pond dates back to 1879 when it was founded around local citrus groves.  The Green Pond Cemetery has a historic marker dating it back 1879 but I've seen reports that say that there was grave stones present there since the 1850s.









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