Backstory and Context
The Snowhill Bridge is located on 200 Snowhill Road (County Road 13). With this being the address the bridge is located in Seminole County. It is located in the Northeast Region of Chuluota. The bridge is Government Owned for General Public Use. The facility is mainly used for Canoe launches.The water located at this bridge is freshwater. The waterbody runs along the Econlockhatchee River. (“Florida Public Boat Ramp Finder.”)
The town of Chuluota was soon settled soon after the Civil War. Some of the first residents were from North Carolina, they came to Chuluota through ox carts looking for refuge from the war. When they arrived they encountered the Seminole Indians. The soon found out there were fish, deer, and wild hogs throughout Florida and the econ surrounding where the bridge was soon to be built (Chuluota Community).
The first school was established in Chuluota in 1898 being named The Chuluota School. It was a one room wooden schoolhouse. Chuluota had several events that endangered its survival. There was a killer freeze that killed all of the citrus industries in the 1890’s. In the 1960’s developers started to revitalize Chuluota after the depression in the 1930’s devastated the community. The Snowhill bridge started to be built in the 1960’s when Florida residents started to migrate to the town of Chuluota (Chuluota Community).
The Oviedo lights derived from the Snowhill bridge. At the bridge when you cross the Econlockhatchee River people have claimed to see a ghost light. The ghost light has been reported to have chased cars. This story has been kept alive for over fifty years. The light has been named as the Oviedo or Chuluota lights. Even though Oviedo is a good distance away, Oviedo is still one of the largest communities close by to the bridge (“The Oviedo Lights.”).
The Oviedo lights have become an attraction to kids from all over the county. Since the 1950’s high school kids and even adults have driven out and over the bridge just to check out the lights. The lights are not always found but they do seem to appear more often in the warm months. Some people have stated the lights are from a decapitated man or a lost cub scout (“The Oviedo Lights.”).
Some people have claimed to see a very faint glowing ball of fog rising up from the swamp as they pass over the bridge rising up from the swamp. Usually while crossing the bridge there is only one single ball of light. Although rare occasions as many as five lights have been observed at the same time (“Oviedo Lights – Chuluota Lights”).
There are many different conspiracies about the Oviedo/ Chuluota lights. Witnesses of the lights have stated that the lights look like headlights to a car. The lights have been reported to even chase after your car and then stop and hang midair at the end of the bridge. At first it was thought that the lights were started by a swamp gas. There is now a large amount of new developments in the area of the bridge so a whole new audience is seeing the lights. People have started to propose that the bridge lights were started by something other than decaying bio-mass (“Oviedo Lights – Chuluota Lights”).
The attraction of the Oviedo lights ended up causing a horrible accident. Two boys from Oviedo High School were driving over the bridge with their lights off while looking for the Oviedo lights. One of the unnamed boys ended up hitting and killing the other boy with his car. After this accident happened the Oviedo lights died down for a while. The lights picked back up in 1970’s and 80’s and have not died down since.
A man named Fore stated he had traveled over the bridge thousands of times for over 32 years. Fore claimed he had never seen the ghost light. He believes the ghost tails are myths but some people may have seen the lights for other reasons. Sherriff Capt. Hughey who has lived in Seminole County since 1957 begs to believe any of it. Hughey has never seen the ghost lights and claims anyone who does is hallucinating. He stated “Anyone could drink enough and eventually claim to see the lights (Pankowski).
Besides the Oviedo lights and the canoe access on the Snowhill bridge there is also trails. The little Big Econ state forest has more than 5000 acres of uplands and cypress swamps. The trail located on the left side of the bridge is a ten mile journey through the forest. This trail offers one of the most rugged hikes in the in the Orlando area. (“The Oviedo Lights.”)
Some parts of the Little Big Econ offer hunting but the portion of the trail off of the Snowhill Bridge does not permit it. This trail often floods after heavy rains. No one should attempt this trail if water is flowing across the trail at any point (Slattery and Friend).The Snowhill Bridge has many forms of wildlife running through the trails. There are over 2000 deer running through the Econ. There are also wild boars that can be potentially dangerous if you come in contact with them. Sometimes while walking through the trail you will see Alligators basking in the sun. The fish population varies from minnows all the way up to six foot alligator gar (Slattery and Friend).
“Chuluota Community » History of Chuluota.” Chuluota Community, www.chuluotacommunity.com/history-of-chuluota/.
“Florida Public Boat Ramp Finder.” Boat Ramp Finder, public.myfwc.com/le/boatramp/public/Ramp.aspx?FacilityID=SE83003CV&Name=Little%2BBig%2BEcon%2B-%2BSnow%2BHill%2BRoad%2BCanoe%2BAccess.
“Oviedo Lights – Chuluota Lights.” Haunted Places, www.hauntedplaces.org/item/oviedo-lights-chuluota-lights/.
Pankowski, Mark. GHOSTLY LIGHTS STILL A MYSTERY OVIEDO APPARITION NEVER BEEN EXPLAINED. Orlando Sentinel. August 05, 1990. . https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1990-08-05-9008030359-story.html.
Slattery, Joe, and Sandra Friend. “Trails.” Florida Hikes, floridahikes.com/florida-trail-little-big-econ-state-forest.
“The Oviedo Lights.” Weird New York, www.weirdus.com/states/florida/unexplained_phenomena/oviedo_lights/index.php.