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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 (22 of 26 miles), the trail is currently comprised of three 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. 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. This 6-mile segment ends at W. Minnesota Avenue.
After a short gap, the trail picks up with an 8.9-mile segment that begins 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 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.
The trail continues seamlessly through DeBary, soon paralleling 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, where the trail ends in Rob Sullivan Park.
After another gap, travelers will reach the third open segment of the trail, which spans just over 7 miles. This is one of the most scenic portions of the route as is it 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.
From the historic site, make your way through a lovely tree-filled area to Dirksen Drive, where you can chose to go west or east on the trail once you cross the street. Choose west and you'll parallel the roadway 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 to Lake Monroe Park, where you can access the water from the park's boat ramps and fishing docks.
If you choose to head east along Dirksen Drive, you'll be able to access the Deltona Landings Shopping Center anchored by the Publix Super Market. On this end of the trail, there is also a direct connection to East Central Regional Rail Trail, which continues east and offers more than 40 miles of pathway.
Parking can be found in Lake Beresford Park (2100 Fatio Road, DeLand), Blue Spring State Park (2100 W. French Avenue, Orange City), and Rob Sullivan Park (200 W. Highbanks Road).
The following parking areas are also available in DeBary on the Lake Monroe segment:
My wife and I started at the Lake Monroe park and boat launch. Rode this portion north and east around the lake and then picked up the west end of the East Central Regional trail. I'm guessing about 32 miles round trip. Definitely a 5+ rating. The scenery and wildlife was amazing. We saw 2 bald eagles and a family of deer along the way. Visited Gemini Springs and Green Springs too. Also, at every street crossing we came to, all the motorists were so considerate. Evidence of a community that embraces the trails and the folks who use it. After our ride we drove to Central 28 brewing for a beer. We could have rode our bikes there but it was getting dark. Their beers are really good and they had a great food truck that night. For those that read this review I'll give you a tip. If you ride your bike to the brewery on a Sunday they will give you a beer for free !!
Its not as easy to find nice camping and a beautiful bike trail as you would think. Blue Springs campground is right on the trail! You can ride into Town, never have to drive. This whole trail system is really growing. Very exciting.
We rode from the Lake Monroe Park TH at the southern end near I 4 expressway to Gemini Springs. My wife is not an experienced bicyclist and does not ride longer distances or on the road. She loved this trail! It is very scenic with shaded board walks or smooth asphalt surfaces. It is moderately busy with cyclists, walkers and skaters. The people are courteous + unusually friendly. We had several great conversations when asking the locals for information. Past Gemini Springs it becomes more suburban along roads, but the initial portion is mostly wooded. We turned around and drove to Green Spring which is beautiful but emits sulfur odor.
I started at Lake Beresford Park which has a loop trail good for maybe 2+ miles. Head south towards Blue Springs which is an interesting place especially viewing the river & watching the manatees swim around where you could otherwise swim in summer. Surprisingly lots of people at the park for a weekday morning. Further down the trail there was some construction going on to extend the trail; after that riding on a wide sidewalk for mile or 2. I'm not sure how you'd get to the southern section via bike because of very busy road in DeBary.
So I packed up the bike & drove to Monroe Park and headed north & east. First few miles were very scenic over a boardwalk. The trail is good until just after Gemini Springs where it parallels a very busy road for a few miles but becomes a peaceful, scenic trail by the time you hit Green Springs. Here is meets up with the East Coast rail trail that goes another 7 miles or so to the gap.
It will be nice once this trail is continuous and also connects up with short stretches in DeLand where there's a lot of jumping around on sidewalks, trails, roads, etc. Some signs would be nice to help navigate. All-in-all a nice trail but needs connectivity work.
Rode from Green Springs Park to Gemini Springs Park on 11/24/18. Both parks were worthwhile stops. The trail itself between the parks mostly ran along a road and was not scenic at all. Drive your car to the parks and bike somewhere else!
We are new to riding in Florida, and after searching Trailink, I found that this awesome trail was only a few miles from our place. We decided to park in Osteen and take the south end of the trail, before crossing over the bridge over 415. The trail is well maintained with bathrooms located in all of the parks which the trail rolls through. Our overall experience was a wonderful experience. Meeting a few turtles, road runners and yes, some really nice humans too along the way was pretty cool. The aqua colored Sulphur spring was incredible to see as it seemed to actually glow. When we rolled into Gemini Springs, it was amazing to see the large fish swimming below us in the crystal clear waters. The final destination was the added trail around Lake Monroe, which had it's share of sunlight, and but also had much more of Gods Balconies to shield us from the sun. Because of the weather, we had to cut our ride short on day one as we barely got back to our car before the storm hit. Day 2 was a perfect day with loads of sunshine, so we started at the northern end with plans to cover what we hadn't seen on day one, but ended up riding the entire trail once we got rolling. Thanks to all responsible for this wonderful trail.
I rode the segment of the Spring to Spring Trail that began at Lake Monroe in DeBary. Lots of parking here at the state park once you navigate around all the boat launchers and find the area near the trailhead where the bikers park. The first three miles wind through plush vegetation and palms with a nice canopy with a few breaks under the power lines. The next three miles, the trail parallels busy two and four-lane roads. You are rewarded at the end of this leg with a nice boardwalk to travel over under a shaded canopy and back to more pastoral settings. About seven miles into the ride from Lake Monroe, the Spring to Spring turns into the East Central Regional Trail for another eight miles until the trail ends. There is a bike bridge over state route 415 that will get your heart pumping. Then a two and a half mile ride to the end of the trail. Total mileage from Lake Monroe trailhead on the Spring to Spring trail to the end of the East Central Regional Trail is 15 miles. Round trip will give you a good 30 mile workout. There are no restrooms or water once you leave Lake Monroe so plan accordingly.
This trail is one of the best kept secrets in Central Florida. My wife and I are looking forward to the completion.
Began at Green Springs Park. Parking is limited there, but if you get there early, plenty of spots. The spring is "out of this world" ethereal. We then headed north out of the park, for the 6 miles of paved path. Almost all of it has canopy, and was about 9 feet wide. Very quiet, great beauty.
This path could start at the northern end and ride all the way to Gemini Springs, as noted. We decided to drive to Gemini, because the trail between two parks is on a sidewalk which runs along the road. It is far enough away from road to be very safe, but didn't have two cars, so we drove over. Gemini Springs Park has lots of parking, and other activities. The bike path runs on the outskirts of the park. Good Canopy as well.
Great Day Experience.
Love this trail! It's a great location. With lots of parking at the trail heads. Getting to tour the springs is really nice too.
A very versatile trail. Outlets for playgrounds and mountain bike trails. Pretty consistent and scenic, considering the surrounding establishments are not. Very much enjoyed
I rode the trail this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find that the tunnel going under French Av was finished. The trail now extends just over two miles further south, with a bridge crossing the tracks at about the one mile point.
Arrived at the trailhead to find plenty of parking. Unloaded bikes and rode 3.3 miles before being stoped by construction. The rest of the trail was unavailable. We walked bikes thru some of the construction to the entrance of blue springs park and rode there. On the ride back we did see a turtle and 2 deer . When the construction is done I would highly recommend this trail.
I started at the Blue Springs park. The entrance there is under construction, as well as the trail. You have to walk through construction debris and mud through a tunnel and over more mud to get to the paved area. The ride after that is pleasant enough. I chatted with a local that said there's a bear living near by and deer can be seen in a clearing on the west side. Sadly, I missed them. I did 4 loops including the inner loop at the county park. Didn't see much wildlife. My advice is to park at one of the county parks along the trail since it's free, and start there. Blue Springs charges $4, and no manatees were around.
2 senior couples started their ride on the Spring-to-Spring Trail at Green Springs Park where there is plenty of parking, bathrooms and picnic tables. (This is also the beginning of the east bound East Central Trail.) The first and last part of the Trail is rural. The middle section of the Trail is next to a busy highway and passes under I-4. The Trail surface is good. We ended our ride at the Lake Monroe Park where we ate our packed lunch and watched the boats launching at the docks. The Park has bathrooms and picnic tables.
They have been taking their sweet time trying to complete this trail. I rode it in 2008 and it has not changed. The East Central Regional trail is well underway now, which a portion of is part of the Spring To Spring trail now where it passes Green Springs.
I rode it from Lake Monroe Park, through Gemini Springs to Green Springs (6.5 miles) and continued over just past Osteen (15 miles), which is where the East Central Regional trail currently ends. Combined, we rode 30 miles round trip. Very pleasant ride with minimal contact with cars.
I visited here for first time- we love Blue Spring. I started at the trailhead at the north end of the Blue Sping segment. A round trip is 6.2 miles, perfect for a 10k, but short for a bicycle ride. There are very nice elevation changes, which is a nice change from " flat" Orlando. The trail is well maintained, clean, 0 Cars! and many places to rest if needed. If I lived closer this would be a great place. Hopefully someday there really will be a " Spring-to-Spring" trail.
This trail is little fragmented pieces which are poorly marked and hard to distinguished from sidewalks. It ends unexpectedly and you have to go on roads with no signs as to where the next segment starts. If you live in this area you probably know the best routes; fortunately, I met a local who directed and rode with me part ways.
DeLand is a cute little town with an interesting main street. But unless you want to ride on busy roads and constantly be looking at maps, it's not worth a special trip. Before a trail gets listed, there should be a minimum criteria level to meet. Some "trails" I've been on are nothing more than a narrow road shoulder.
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 than 3 mile section of the trail to the south is a bit hilly for Florida but passes thru a lovely Florida forest and ends at the entrance station to Blue Spring State Park. The section to the north or right under the RR underpass ends in about a 1/2 a mile for a total distance of 3.3 miles.
By the way they have re-named the section of the East Central Trail west of Green Spring Park as part of the Spring to Spring Trail which makes sense since when finally completed the trail will run from Ponce de Leon Springs to Blue Spring to Gemni Spring to Green Spring.
Then I drove north along Grand Avenue past a disconnected hilly section of the trail that runs right along the avenue to another disconnected section north of De Land that is supposed to start at Ponce de Leon Spring. It is a nice trail along the avenue but disappears into sub-division streets and sidewalks. Two local bikers told me that they don't try to follow it into the spring but just bike the local roads. Use the trail map to follow these various sections. Youker
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 Dubary Hall. Then in the afternoon I tried to checkout the other three sections by car. First of all the RR is still operational so it is not a rail trail. The section from Minnesota Road north is shaded but hilly running right along Grand Avenue. The section by Blue Spring Park is not easy to access since it is a long park entrance road from where you could safely park. The longer section starting at Lake Beresford Park south provides good parking and is longer than the other two central sections. I did not get to see the northern section starting in DeLeon Springs Park. Youker
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 1800s hunting estate of wine importer Frederick deBary. It was only $4 for seniors and 5 for adults. Allow min. 1 hour. You start in the visitor's center with a presentation that begins with you feeling like you are on a paddle boat on the river. History and some history of Frederick deBary's role in the developement of this area. Unique treasures can be found in the gift shop. I had looked for paper dolls for our granddaughter and there they were. It was the next review that made us decide to start at Debary Hall. It was a beautiful pleasant ride and not right along traffic. Trails that are right along the traffic are great for getting from point a to point b but for an enjoyable ride, and to see some wildlife, this is the trail. We only saw an EAGLE but that was great for mid afternoon. Loved the walk in Gemini Springs park...no charge! : ) Nice trail to Lake Monroe but not as beautiful as the first section but way off the road there, too. You can camp at Lake Monroe so that is a definitie plus. Tent camping at Gemini springs park, too! Sometimes that is really nice. It will be great when all these trails are connected. Next section for us is Blue Springs State park section! : ) Hopefully it'll get a glowing report, too. No where did we feel it was unsafe!
We rode this trail in early March 2012 from Lake Beresford Park in Deland to Blue Springs State Park and back, 5.6 miles. Blue Springs is a great destination for a bike trip, with manatees in the winter and cool, refreshing swimming in the spring, summer and fall. The facilities at Lake Beresford are also excellent. The park is 210 acres, with restrooms, picnic tables and a great playground. The park has its own paved 1.8-mile loop trail that connects to the Spring to Spring Trail if you want a longer ride. The park has two nature trails as well (very ticky!). The Rail-to-Trail was in use by about a dozen bikers, runners, and walkers. It is nicely shaded and a bit hilly (for FL). Lots of curves in the trail add to the feeling you are deeper in the woods than you are. Be prepared to climb a bit on the way south then glide back heading north. We came upon a sizable rattler sunning right across the trail. The trail has benches every half-mile, but no water or restrooms. You can get a drink of water at the Blue Springs State Park entrance, but the rest of the park amenities are a mile into the park. It is is $2 per biker to get in and well worth it. It is a great 2,600-acre tract, with swimming areas, the spring "boil", gift shop, snack bar, boat tours, canoe/kayak rentals, camping, cabins, and lots of shaded seating. If the season is right, the spring is jammed with manatees. A few tips for accessing the Rail-to-Trail segment at the northern end: In Beresford Park, you have to go under an overpass to get to the Rail-to-Trail. (The trail prior to the underpass is the 1.8-mile park loop trail.) We went left after the overpass to head to Blue Springs. If you head right, the trail dead ends in about a half mile. You also can access the park loop trail from a small parking lot on Fatio Rd. just north of the main Beresford Park entrance. Ride left on the trail, then right at the main entrance of Beresford Park to access the Rail-to-Trail. This lot is a great spot to get to the non-paved trials as well (non-biking), and avoid any crowds in the main lot. However, it is remote and your car might not be as safe, but we had no problems. All in all, a great trail segment linking two great parks!
The southern part of this Trail is a beautiful 4 mile walk back in time in Central Florida.
I like to start at Lake Monroe Park (http://volusia.org/parks/LkMonroe.htm) where there is always people fishing, picnicking in the pavilions and playing on the playground. I enjoy watching the excitement around the boat ramps as I pass through the Park to get to the trailhead. The trail begins there with a newly constructed boardwalk thru a Cypress Swamp and then meanders thru an old Florida hammock habitat with massive oaks overhead to provide plenty of shade. Last week, I saw a large Doe feeding near the trail and often see turkeys in this area. A mile later, the trail opens to a prairie surronded by pines and other trees, a bird watchers paradise! I always see hawks and jays but look for the family of eagles that nest there. Once I saw hundreds of robins resting in the trees before migrating north. After a brief pass into a lush tropical wooded area (where I was greeted by an alligator last March!), you will enter another open prairie. Watch for scenic walking trails to marshy areas in both of these prairies for additional enjoyment. The trail then follows Dirksen drive past Gemini Springs Park (http://volusia.org/parks/gemini.htm) and this length of the trail is a mile of beautiful oaks with Spanish moss, palm tress and palmettos as ground cover. I have often walked this stretch after a long day at work. Relax in the park and watch for the family of deer that calls the springs their home before ending at historic Debary Hall, (http://debaryhall.com/) where you can learn all about the history of Debary.
This trail is excellent for walkers, bikers, history buffs and nature lovers!
This trail was very nice for an afternoon ride. We started at the Debary Hall Historic site. You can tour the mansion there for a fee and there are grills at the picnic area. The trail is well paved with a canopy over most of the trail. We stopped at Gemini Springs and walked the park which was beautiful. Then we rode to the end at Lake Monroe. Lake Monroe has a dock and picnic area though the noise from I4 was not pleasent. The trail has several curves and lots of picnic tables and benches along the way. On the ride back a wild Turkey crossed in front of us. There were several walkers and skate boarders but the 2 lane path made it easy to navigate. It will be nice when all of the segments of these trails are linked. Green Springs is a small park but worth seeing. We loaded the bikes and drove to Green Springs which is very close by but the path is not complete and we would have had to ride through alot of traffic.
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