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Waterways & Springs

River of Lakes Heritage Corridor is an amazing place to get in the water, whether you are boating, paddling, diving, fishing, swimming, or just floating and drifting the day away. This section includes paddling trails, lakes, and springs with an incredible diversity of opportunities.

Visit the Cycling, Hiking, and Equestrian sections for more trail options.

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

De Leon 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.

Visitors on the restaurant waiting list are encouraged to enjoy a boat tour and you won’t lose your place on the waiting list!

Call Captain Frank at (386) 837-5537 for more information. The tour boat is wheelchair accessible with parking nearby.  The Fountain of Youth Eco/History narrated riverboat tour departs four times daily from the park.

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. 

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

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

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

Lake Dias

Candice R. Strawn/Lake Dias Park is a 20-acre park located in the DeLeon Springs area that includes a free boat launch, RV/primitive tent camping, playground, pavilions, grills, picnic tables and restroom facilities.  Located west of CR 11, Lake Diaz is a recreational lake with great fishing (bass, bream, crappie and catfish) and boating opportunities.

Lake Dias Park
5320 S.R. 11, DeLeon Springs , FL 32130
(386) 736-5953

St. Johns River Blueway Trails

St. Johns River Blueway Trails have been developed by Volusia County and the State. Maps of the Blueway Trails can be downloaded from the County website and include: Hontoon Dead River Paddling Trail, Tick Island Paddling Trail, Alexander Springs State Canoe Trail and Gemini Springs Paddling Trail.

Volusia Paddling Trails

Lake Monroe

Forming the border of Volusia County and Seminole County, Lake Monroe is one of the lakes that make up the St. Johns River system.  Lake Monroe, on the south end and Lake George at the north end are the two largest lakes on the River of Lakes Corridor.  The City of Sanford is situated along the southern shore, other River of Lakes Corridor towns on the river are Enterprise, DeBary and Deltona.  Lake many of the cities along this part of the St. Johns River, Lake Monroe provided a water route for the Steamboat tourism industry in the 1800s.  Today the lake is a popular boating and fishing lake with marinas and boat ramps.

Monroe Harbour Marina
531 N Palmetto Ave., Sanford, FL 32771
(407) 322-2910

Lake Monroe – St. Johns River Water Management District

The Spring-to-Spring Trail

Currently the trail links Gemini Springs with Lake Monroe (in DeBary), Lake Beresford with Blue Spring (in Orange City), and another nearby portion links Gemini Springs with Green Springs (in DeBary and Enterprise).  When complete, the Spring-to-Spring Trail will stretch 26 miles from Gemini Springs Park to DeLeon Springs State Park. It is being designed to accommodate walkers, joggers, inline skaters, bicyclists and people with disabilities. To date, Volusia County has completed several segments of the trail totaling nearly 15 miles. In addition, five trailheads have been built for your convenience at DeBary Hall Historic Site, Gemini Springs Park, Lake Monroe Park, Lake Beresford Park, Blue Spring State Park and along Grand Avenue in Glenwood.

Spring to Spring Trail – Map and Trailheads

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

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 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

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