A patch of wild in a sea of Winter Springs suburbia, Bear Creek provides nearly a mile’s worth of exploration atop sandy bluffs in a deeply shaded creekside hammock. Walking among the ancient cypress, oaks, and palms is a delightful escape from the backyard blues.
9/2016: Access to the parking lot is currently blocked.
Location: Winter Springs
Length: 0.9 mile
Lat-Long: 28.677795, -81.245833
Fees / Permits: none
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Bug factor: moderate
Day use only. The parking lot is very small. Low areas may flood or may be muddy.
From SR 426 in Oviedo, drive 1.5 miles south on Winter Springs Blvd. The park is on the right, at a small parking corral with a brown sign. Winter Springs Blvd can also be accessed from Tuskawilla Rd.
The loop is not well marked, but the small size of the wilderness area will keep you from getting lost. From the parking area, walk into the woods and follow the creek as far as you can; the trail stays atop bluffs along the creek for the most part. At the retention pond area beneath the powerlines, look for the trail to continue farther into the woods, where it finally shrinks down and ends among the dense saw palmetto. On the return trip, there is a side trail through the uplands to a boardwalk that leads to Winter Springs Boulevard, but if you pass that and retrace your route, you can continue downstream past the parking lot for another few glimpses of the creek before you reach the park boundary.