If you're traveling to central Florida, you won't want to miss the Spring to Spring Trail, which connects a number of small, friendly towns between Orlando and Daytona Beach, as well as many of the area's natural treasures. Although much of the trail is completed (15 of 26 miles), the trail is currently comprised of a few disconnected segments, all of which are paved.
The most northern segment starts near the base of De Leon Springs State Park. Enjoy the park's lakes, creeks and marshes by canoe, kayak or paddleboat as you scout for alligators, deer, otters, egrets, bald eagles and other wildlife. From there, the trail travels south through the well-shaded neighborhoods of De Leon Springs along Grand Avenue.
The next segment begins further south on Grand Avenue and travels nearly two miles along the roadway through wooded and open areas to its end near Minnesota Avenue. To the west lies the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, where freshwater marshes and swamps provide a critical habitat for nesting, migrating and wintering birds.
The trail picks up on the southwestern outskirts of DeLand, the seat of Volusia County and home to Stetson University. Here, the trail sits not far from the banks of the 2-mile-long Lake Beresford, whose calm waters are a favorite of rowers. The trail travels south along Blue Spring State Park for just over 3 miles through an environment lush with hammock and magnolias trees. The park is a designated manatee refuge and trail-goers can learn more about this endangered animal through ranger programs and view them from an observation platform during the winter when manatees gather in the warm waters of the spring. Swimmers, snorkelers and even scuba divers can also enjoy the spring.
Further south, in DeBary, the trail continues. It begins on DeBary Plantation Boulevard and travels 1.3 miles in a relatively straight line along the Donald E. Smith Boulevard through high-end neighborhoods. The city is known for its beautiful oak trees and they line the path as it makes its way to W. Highbanks Road.
One of the most scenic portions of the trail is the one that traces the northwestern shoreline of Lake Monroe. Start at the trailhead outside the DeBary Hall Historic Site, an 8,000-square-foot estate that offers exhibits, multimedia programs and guided tours where you can learn about the history of the St. Johns River region and the individuals that worked at the house and grounds during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Back on the trail, you'll make your way through a lovely tree-filled area to Dirksen Drive. You'll cross the street and parallel the roadway westward for 1.7 miles to Gemini Springs Park, a picturesque 210-acre park named for its freshwater spring. Stop for a picnic or take a stroll on one of its nature trails. From there, the trail drops southward for 2.4 miles to Lake Monroe Park, where you can access the water from the park's boat ramps and fishing docks.
The final segment provides a mix of residential and commercial views just north of Lake Monroe. You'll begin off Maple Avenue, south of DeBary Avenue, and follow DeBary to Providence Boulevard. Cross the boulevard to visit the Deltona Landings Shopping Center anchored by the Publix Super Market.
Parking and Trail Access
Parking can be found in Lake Beresford Park (2100 Fatio Road, DeLand) and Blue Spring State Park (2100 W. French Avenue, Orange City).
The following parking areas are also available in DeBary on the Lake Monroe segments:
- Historic DeBary Hall (210 Sunrise Boulevard)
- Gemini Springs Park (37 Dirksen Drive)
- Lake Monroe Park (975 US Highway 17)
After checking out the East Central Trail yesterday and over night in an Orange City Motel I drove a short distance to Lake Beresford Park where the middle section of the Spring to Spring Trail has excellent facilities and safe parking. The slightly less ...
Disconnected Pieces 1/16/13
I did the lovely southern section from Dubary Hall to Lake Monroe, about 5 miles times 2 =10 miles. I was going to park at Gemini Springs Park but signs and people said don't leave stuff in you car in sight. So I parked at the visitors center at beautiful ...
It was a great trail and great historic Debary Hall tour and loved the Gemini Springs park, too.
This was a wonderful trail from Debary Hall to Gemini Springs. We did go on to Lake Monroe, too. We had a wonderful tour of Historic Debary Hall. Clean rest rooms! If you park here make sure you take a tour of DeBary Hall, the magnificently restored Victorian ...