Share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponDigg this

Parks & Conservation Areas

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1964 as a migratory bird refuge, is on the Great Florida Birding Trail, and home to many rare and endangered species. The 21,574-acre refuge is an ideal location to reconnect with nature and view a wide variety of resident and migratory waterfowl, wading birds, raptors, shorebirds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles in their diverse aquatic and terrestrial natural habitats. More than 200 species of birds have been documented at the refuge by the West Volusia Audubon Society. The refuge contains a myriad of habitats including marshes, swamps, creeks, hammocks and uplands. Endangered species include the Florida manatee and Southern bald eagle. Photographers, walkers, joggers, researchers, artists, wildflower enthusiasts, kayakers, nature writers, birders and school groups come to the refuge. Nature trails, an observation tower, bicycling, fishing and hunting are some of the amenities.

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge
2045 Mud Lake road, De Leon Springs, FL 32130
(386) 985-4673

Thornby Park & Playground

Beautiful Thornby Park overlooks Lake Monroe and is Deltona’s only passive park, where visitors can picnic, stroll or just relax in serenity. Thornby Park is a great attraction for travelers to the area and also provides a respite for local residents from pressures of the city. This area is like no other in Central Florida. It contains over seven acres of wetlands and has several different ecosystems on the property. It is a rare microcosm of old, unspoiled Florida at its best.

This is one of only 10 completely handicapped-accessible playgrounds in Florida and the only one in Volusia County. Natural walking trail to remains of a historic rail spur. The site is almost 40 acres of pristine wooded property including 1,000 feet of shoreline on the scenic St. John’s River.

Thornby Park
110 Providence Blvd., Deltona, FL
(386) 878-8100

DeLeon Springs State Park

DeLeon Springs State Park is on the Great Florida Birding Trail, which has a bird checklist of more than 125 species. Activities include swimming in the spring pool (which is accessible to visitors with disabilities), snorkeling and picnicking. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboats are available to rent. There is also a boat ramp, fishing areas, a nature trail, a 4-mile hiking trail, a playground and picnic pavilions. Trails wind through hardwood forests, oak hammocks, cypress swamps, grasslands and floodplain forests filled with the sounds of woodpeckers and songbirds. The endangered yellow anise tree is abundant, and a paved walkway leads to “Old Methuselah,” a huge bald cypress that is more than 500 years old. The spring run hosts a variety of wading birds, alligators, otters and manatees. Adjacent to the spring, the famous Old Spanish Sugar Mill restaurant features cook-your-own pancakes made from stone-ground flours. A Butterfly Garden has more than 600 plants for the benefit of native and migrating butterflies and hummingbirds. Kiosks and exhibits in the visitor center interpret the park’s natural and cultural history. The Fountain of Youth Eco/History narrated riverboat tour departs four times daily from the park.

DeLeon Springs State Park
601 Ponce Deleon Blvd, De Leon Springs, FL 32130
(386) 985-4212

Blue Springs State Park

Blue Spring State Park, located on the St. Johns River near Orange City, is one of the most popular parks in the State of Florida and the largest spring on the river. It is well-known as a winter home for the endangered Florida manatee between November and March. Blue Spring State Park is listed on the Great Florida Birding Trail, and recreational activities include swimming, canoeing, tubing, picnicking, snorkeling, certified cave diving, kayak tours and rentals, fishing, boating, hiking and birding. Vacation cabins, RV sites and tent camping are located in the sandpine scrub. The spring run trail offers the opportunity to see coots, anhingas, cormorants, barred owls and migrating warblers. A 4-mile trail through scrub habitat is home to a growing number of scrub-jays. An award-winning two-hour narrated river cruise departs from the park twice daily.

Blue Springs State Park
2100 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32713
(386) 775-3663

Heart Island Conservation Area

The Heart Island Conservation Area encompasses over 12,000 acres southeast of Lake George. This area is part of the 35,000-acre Lake George Wildlife Management Area. Natural communities include basin swamp, floodplain swamp, basin marsh, baygall, blackwater stream, hydric hammock, mesic flatwoods and scrub. These communities provide excellent habitat for a variety of species, including Florida black bears and gopher tortoise along with deer, otters, woodpeckers, songbirds, foxes, alligators and other wildlife. Available recreational activities include hiking, horseback riding, seasonal hunting, bicycling, picnicking, wildlife viewing and primitive camping.

Heart Island Conservation Area
De Leon Springs, FL 32130
(386) 329-4404

Heart Island Conservation Area – Directions

Hontoon Island State Park

Hontoon Island State Park, listed on the Great Florida Birding Trail, is located on the St. Johns River west of DeLand. Visitors can spot osprey, anhinga, limpkins, other wading birds, and various wildlife, including deer and turkey. The nature trails traverse hammocks full of songbirds and woodpeckers. Scrubby flatwoods in the island’s interior are good for warblers and vireos. Recreational activities include hiking, biking, picnicking, rustic cabins, tent camping, a children’s playground, natural and historic museum, fishing, boat docking, and canoe and kayak rentals. Picnic areas include tables and grills. The park’s visitor center features Native American artifacts found on the island, as well as an interpretive video about its history and examples of insects and wildlife. It is accessible by private boat or free ferry.

Hontoon Island State Park
2309 River Ridge Road, Deland, Florida 32720
(386) 736-5309

Lake George Conservation Area

Lake George Conservation Area, managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District, is located on the eastern shore of the lake, encompasses 12,000 acres and has an 8-mile trail suitable for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Additional recreational activities include seasonal hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and boating. The trail is surrounded by marshes, wetlands and varying terrain. Species include the Florida black bear, Sherman’s fox squirrel and one of the region’s largest concentrations of the Southern bald eagle. Facilities include tent camping sites at the lake and recreational vehicle camping at the trailhead. Entrance to the Conservation Area is located off SR 40 on Lake George Road.

Lake George Conservation Area
998 Ninemile Point Road, Seville, FL 32190
(386) 329-4404

Lake George Conservation Area – Recreation Guide

Lake George State Forest

Lake George State Forest comprises 19,650 acres and is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, offering ample opportunities to view Southern bald eagles, turkeys, bobwhites, raptors, songbird migrants and swallowtail kites. Other species include the Florida black bear, alligator, gopher tortoise, bobcat and deer. Ecosystems include mesic and wet flatwoods. The Bluffton Recreational Area offers numerous activities including seasonal hunting, hiking, equestrian riding, picnicking, fishing, camping, wildlife viewing, canoeing and kayaking, as well as an archaeological site and interpretive nature trail.

Lake George State Forest
5458 U.S. 17, DeLeon Springs, FL 32130
(386) 985-7815

Lyonia Environmental Center

Gain insight into Volusia County’s fragile ecosystems by visiting the Lyonia Environmental Center. The Center promotes an understanding of the county’s natural environment, as well as the heritage it sustains and the challenges it faces. Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Friday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.

Lyonia Environmental Center
2150 Eustace Ave, Deltona, FL 32725
(386) 789-7207, ext. 21025

Lyonia Preserve

Lyonia Preserve is a 360-acre joint project of Volusia County’s Land Acquisition and Management Division and the Volusia County School Board to restore and maintain scrub habitat. Since 1994, restoration efforts have removed overgrown sand pines and opened up the understory, creating the characteristic bare sand areas with low-growing vegetation preferred by scrub species. Lyonia Preserve is also home to the Deltona Regional Library, the Lyonia Environmental Center and the Deltona Amphitheater.

Lyonia Preserve
2150 Eustace Ave, Deltona, FL 32725
(386) 736-5062

Hickory Bluff Preserve

Enjoy hiking, fishing, camping, horseback riding and wildlife viewing at this 150-acre preserve, overlooking the St. Johns River. The preserve features many natural communities, including mesic and scrubby flatwoods, oak hammock, cypress domes, floodplain swamp and wet prairie. Wildlife along the trail may include osprey, eagle, great blue heron, barred owl, gopher tortoise, alligator, river otter, bobcat, deer and turkey.

Hickory Bluff Preserve
598 Guise Rd, Osteen, FL 32764
(386) 424-6834

East Central Regional Rail Trail

This popular, paved, tree-lined 12-foot wide trail currently stretches 5.7 miles from Green Springs Park to State Road 415. This showcase trail is accessible to walkers, joggers, in-line skaters, bicyclists, and people with disabilities.  When completed the East Central Regional Rail-Trail will stretch 52 miles from Enterprise to Edgewater, including a 10-mile leg to Titusville.  Residents and visitors can access the trailhead at Green Springs Park.

East Central Regional Rail Trail
994 Enterprise/Osteen Road, Enterprise, FL 32725
(386) 736-5953

Lake Monroe Conservation Area

Experience Florida’s scenic beauty at this 7,000-acre conservation area, where Native Americans hunted and fished many years ago. Today, its marshes, wet prairies and swamps serve as a floodplain for Lake Monroe and offer trails for horseback riding and hiking. The western portion of the conservation area is dedicated to Minnie Beck Kratzert, whose family worked the property as a cattle ranch until it was sold to the St. Johns River Water Management District in 1987. The 250-acre Beck Ranch site, part of the original working cattle ranch, was purchased by Volusia County through the Volusia Forever program with hopes of preserving the historical structures and providing a multipurpose park for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Lake Monroe Conservation Area
751 South S.R. 415, Osteen, FL 32764
(386) 736-5953

Gemini Springs Park

Gemini Springs Park offers many outdoor recreational activities for residents, visitors and their four-legged furry friends. Gemini Springs has a fantastic dog park that includes fenced play areas, wash stations, water fountains for dogs, benches and a picnic area. Part of the county’s multi-use Spring-to-Spring Trail meanders under the shade of ancient live oak trees, providing ample opportunities to observe the many types of wildlife and vegetation while biking and hiking. Gemini Springs also has picnic pavilions, a children’s playground, a fishing dock, a horseback riding trail, a primitive tent camping area and canoe rentals.

Gemini Springs Park
37 Dirksen Dr, DeBary, FL 32713
(386) 668-3810

Beck Ranch Park

The 250-acre Beck Ranch site was originally a working cattle ranch in Osteen. It was purchased by Volusia County through the Volusia Forever program with hopes of preserving the historical structures and providing a multipurpose park for the residents of Volusia County to enjoy.

Beck Ranch Park
751 South S.R. 415, Osteen, FL 32764
(386) 736-5953

Lake Helen Equestrian & Environmental Park

Lake Helen Equestrian & Environmental Park, located in historic Lake Helen, provides full equestrian facilities including an arena, 18-stall barn, judging booth, warm-up arena, horse trailer parking and a multi-use recreation area. The park serves as the trailhead for the miles of multi-use trails developed in Lake Helen that link the West Volusia area with the Cross-Volusia Trail to New Smyrna Beach.

Lake Helen Equestrian & Environmental Park
321 Pleasant St., Lake Helen, FL 32744
(386) 228-2121

Green Springs County Park

Look out over brilliant emerald waters at Green Springs Park in Enterprise, one of Florida’s few remaining green sulfur springs. It was once the main attraction of the Brock House, one of Florida’s first health spas. Today part of the Spring-to-Spring Trail, the 36-acre park features paved and natural surface trails, scenic overlooks, historical information markers, a playground, picnic pavilions and restrooms. Swimming and fishing not permitted.  Green Springs Park offers nature trails and scenic overlooks. This park is also a trailhead to both the Spring-to-Spring Trail and the East Central Regional Rail Trail.  Native Americans, including the Mayaca and Seminoles, considered the land sacred because they thought the sulfur water in the springs was healing.

Green Springs Park at Visit West Volusia
994 Enterprise-Osteen Rd., Enterprise , FL 32725
(386) 736-5953

Green Springs Park at Volusia Parks and Recreation

DeBary Splash Pad

DeBary Community Park is located at the intersection of 17/92 and DeBary Drive, and features amenities including an open grass field, shaded gazebo, picnic tables, a restroom facility and the popular Splash Pad. Free to the public, the Splash Pad has a bathing load of 70 people and offers five different splash stations and several fountains throughout. So, come beat the Florida heat at this family-friendly destination and make sure to bring towels and water shoes.

DeBary Splash Pad
137 S. Highway 17-92, DeBary, FL 32713
(386) 668-2040

Gateway Park

Great to enjoy on a sunny day, Gateway Park has a playground equipped with climbers, slides and swings. Both kids and adults will enjoy the nature trail, which is ½ mile in length and winds through a wooded area. The family-size pavilion is perfect for birthday parties and picnics.

Gateway Park
860 North U.S. Highway 17-92, DeBary, FL 32713
386-668-5553

Lake Monroe Park and Campground

Overlooking the fabled St. Johns River, Lake Monroe Park and Campground offers a spectacular view of nature in its most pristine form. Accessible by two boat ramps, the scenic river offers a wealth of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. A variety of bass, speckled perch, bluegills and catfish can be caught off the fishing pier. Twenty-five campsites are nestled within a shady hammock of oaks and slash pines. Family picnic pavilions and a children’s playground provide an ideal place for social gatherings. The 42-acre park also features a nature trail and is a trailhead for Volusia County’s popular Spring-to-Spring Trail. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free, and there is a $2 boat launch fee.

Lake Monroe Park and Campground
975 U.S. Highway 17-92, DeBary
(386) 668-3825

Bill Dreggors Park and Freedom Playground

This historic site, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was dedicated and named for William J. “Bill” Dreggors, Jr.  Mr. Dreggors is known throughout Florida for his work in historic preservation and his knowledge of the area’s history.  Park area includes sensory butterfly garden, 7/16 mile paved walking path, Freedom Playground, DeLand Memorial Hospital Museum, Hospital and Pharmacy Display, Electrical Display & Veterans Museum.  The Burgess Building which houses the Hawtense Conrad Elephant Fantasyland, the West Volusia Black Heritage Gallery and Conrad’s Toyland.  Two picnic pavilions, each with two grills and electricity, and the Freedom Playground make this a popular birthday party.

Bill Dreggors Park – DeLand, FL   |   Bill Dreggors Park
230 N. Stone St. – DeLand , FL  32720
(386) 740-5800

Seminole Rest

Seminole Rest, a pre-historical and interpretive park that is part of the Canaveral National Seashore managed by the National Park Service, is located in the City of Oak Hill off River Road and adjacent to the Mosquito Lagoon. Seminole Rest is an opportunity to step back in time and walk among prehistoric shell mounds dating from 2,000 B.C. to 1565 A.D. – providing a look into the lives of the Timucuan and Ais Indians who once inhabited this part of Florida. These shell mounds were formed as the Indians seasonally settled along the Mosquito Lagoon, where they would gather and process clams, oysters and fish as part of their food supply. Within these communities, the women and children were responsible for collecting and processing the clams, while the men fished, hunted larger animals and protected their families. The largest mound, Snyder’s Mound, is unique because few of its size remain intact today. In the late 1800s, two homes were built on the mounds to help protect them.

Seminole Rest is located on the Mosquito Lagoon at the eastern tip of the River of Lakes Heritage Corridor. There are two historic buildings on site, including the Instone House, a plantation home built before the 1890s, and a caretaker’s cottage of a similar vintage. The interpretive trail follows the shoreline and then loops around the buildings to parallel a mangrove-lined slough on the return trip. It’s directly across from Eldora Hammock in the main portion of the National Seashore.

Seminole Rest
River Rd, Oak Hill, FL 32759
(386) 345-1997

Canaveral National Seashore Visitor Information Center
(386) 428-3384 ext. 10

Lake Beresford

Lake Beresford was originally the site of The settlement of Beresford, first established by Europeans during the British occupation of Florida (1763-83). The Honorable and Reverend William Beresford was given two land grants of 20,000 acres each where he built a plantation on the east side of Lake Beresford and grew sugar cane and indigo. Even though the Beresford Settlement never became particularly large, it was important as a landing for steam ships traveling up and down the St. Johns River, bringing supplies and passengers to DeLand and other towns along the St. Johns between Lake Monroe to the South and upstream to Jackson to the North.

Today Lake Beresford is a popular fishing and recreation lake. The Stetson University Crew Boathouse is located in along Lake Beresford.

Lake Beresford Park is within the Lake Beresford Greenway, a 210-acre parcel that was acquired with assistance from the Florida Communities Trust in 1991. The Park provides over 8 miles of paved hiking, biking trails and another 4 miles of hiking trails through pristine woods. It is highlighted by a 1.8-mile multi-use trail that follows the perimeter of the parcel. This trail connects to the Spring-to-Spring Trail, which allows patrons to walk, run, skate or bike three miles down to Blue Spring State Park. The two nature trails in the northern portion of the park are open for those who prefer a more natural hiking experience. Other amenities include a modern restroom, two pavilions, two playgrounds, and plenty of paved parking spaces for your convenience.

Lake Beresford Park
2100 Fatio Road, DeLand, Florida
(386) 736-5953

Rob Sullivan Park

Rob Sullivan Community Park is named for a former City Council Member who was instrumental in putting together the park’s system in DeBary. This park is gated and consists of 27 acres primarily devoted to sports.The park has three softball fields, one multipurpose field, two sun shelters, a restroom facility and concession stand. Ample parking is provided at this Park. Sports fields are available to rent.

Rob Sullivan Park
200 W. Highbanks Rd., DeBary, FL 32713
(386) 668-2040

Bill Keller Park

Bill Keller Park is named for William Keller who served on the Volusia County Council, District 5, and was active in the community prior to the City’s Incorporation. The 19-acre park is geared towards the sports enthusiast with two tennis courts, three baseball diamonds, two basketball courts and two pavilions. The park also has a playground with climbers, swings, and slides. Parking is available for 162 vehicles. Pavilions and baseball fields are available to rent.

Bill Keller Park
338 ½ Colomba Rd., DeBary, FL 32713
(386) 668-2040

For tour ideas  along the corridorClick Here