Set along the St. Johns River, Deland is surrounded by natural lands that protect the vast floodplain forests surrounding Florida’s longest river. Along this western edge of Volusia County are a nice variety of hikes, bike rides, and paddling trips to keep you busy for days. Just across the river is the southeastern corner of the Ocala National Forest.

Nearby: Daytona Beach, Deltona, New Smyrna Beach, Orlando, Sanford

Find hotels in Deland on TripAdvisor

Trails and Parks in Deland

  • Black Bear Wilderness Black Bear Wilderness Area - North of Orlando, the Black Bear Wilderness Area offers some of the best wildlife watching in the region on its newly expanded 7.1-mile loop along the St. Johns River.
  • Manatees in Blue Spring Run Blue Spring State Park - Blue Spring State Park is well acclaimed for being the best place in Florida to see manatees in the wild, and we don't mean a dozen or two. Upwards of 200 crowd spring run each winter.
  • Blue Spring State Park Blue Spring State Park Boardwalk - If you’ve never seen manatees by the dozens, let alone over a hundred, there’s no better place to watch them than along the boardwalk at Blue Spring State Park in wintertime
  • Bluffton Nature Trail Bluffton Nature Trail - South of Astor along the St. Johns River, the Bluffton Recreation Area in Lake George State Forest paints a picture of Florida's prehistoric past, leading you through uplands habitats above the river basin.
  • Clearwater Lake Loop Clearwater Lake Loop - The Clearwater Lake Loop, which starts and ends at the day use area inside the Clearwater Lake Recreation Area, offers a gentle walk through pine forests and scrub around the lake
  • DeLeon Springs State Park De Leon Springs State Park - Grab a spatula and start flipping pancakes! Once a Florida roadside attraction, De Leon Springs State Park still draws big crowds for its unique make-your-own-pancake restaurant with griddle top tables, set inside a historic sugar mill.
  • FT Alexander to Farles Florida Trail, Alexander Springs to Farles Lake - Get acquainted with Big Scrub on this 8.4-mile stretch of the Florida Trail in the Ocala National Forest as it rises through longleaf pine forests to meet the world’s largest sand pine scrub, punctuated by a variety of ponds and prairies. Connecting a first-magnitude spring with one of the more beautiful lakes in the Ocala National Forest, it’s a delightful immersion into the woods.
  • FT Clearwater Florida Trail, Clearwater Lake to Alexander Springs - The oldest section of the Florida Trail runs 11 miles between between Clearwater Lake and Alexander Springs in the Ocala National Forest, showcasing longleaf pine forests and scrub
  • Seminole State Forest Florida Trail, Seminole State Forest - A hike on the Florida Trail in Seminole State Forest leads you through the kind of vast, open spaces that you'd never imagine existed so close to Orlando.
  • Spring run at Gemini Springs Gemini Springs Park - With up to 5 miles of gentle woodland paths and paved trails, playgrounds, picnic area, paddling trail and a dog park, Gemini Springs Park is a popular, well-connected getaway.
  • Green Springs Green Springs Park - At Green Springs Park, the shady trails are short but well-groomed, with options for all abilities. It's an excellent destination for families to enjoy, with connectivity to two major bike trails.
  • Hontoon Island Hontoon Island State Park - An island in the St. Johns River, Hontoon Island State Park is accessible to boaters thanks to a marina big enough to accommodate a houseboat and to everyday visitors by a free ferryboat. It's worth the short trip to see the bounteous wildlife of the St. Johns River, from wading birds to manatees to turtles lying in the sun.
  • Indian Mound Trail Indian Mound Nature Trail - On Hontoon Island, the Indian Mound Nature Trail leads you through a ancient forest to an ancient midden on the edge of a vast swamp floodplain.
  • Lake Ashby Park Lake Ashby Park - Explore the cypress-lined shore of Lake Ashby on a gentle trail system consisting of a boardwalk and easy pathways beneath deep shade along the lakeshore.
  • Lake Woodruff NWR Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge - Six miles of trails meander through wide open spaces preserved for wintering waterfowl at 21,500-acre Lake Woodruff NWR along the St. Johns River.
  • Lyonia Preserve Lyonia Preserve - Florida's best place to see a Florida scrub-jay up close is Lyonia Preserve, with 2.2 miles of loops through the highest ground in Volusia County.
  • Pine Island Trail Pine Island Trail - A 7.3-mile round-trip trail to the St. Johns River, the Pine Island Trail at Blue Spring State Park traverses both upland and river edge habitat.
  • Rock Springs Run State Park Rock Springs Run Hiking Trail - With more than 12 miles of hiking through the heart of Florida black bear territory, Rock Springs Run State Reserve gets you into the wild outside Orlando.
  • Rock Springs Run State Reserve Rock Springs Run State Reserve - You have a better-than-average chance of spotting a Florida black bear at Rock Springs Run State Reserve, a vast wilderness area in the Wekiva River basin. This is the one park where we've seen the most evidence of our native Florida black bear.
  • St Francis Trail St. Francis Trail - One of Central Florida's most scenic and easy-to-follow day hikes, the St. Francis Trail traverses the southeasternmost corner of the Ocala National Forest to lead you through what was once farms, fields, and a bustling commercial center on the St. Johns River.
  • Timucuan Trail Timucuan Trail - While less than a mile long, the Timucuan Trail at Alexander Springs Recreation Area is the best place to sample the Big Scrub habitats of the Ocala National Forest.
  • Wild Persimmon Trail Wild Persimmon Trail - At DeLeon Springs State Park, the Wild Persimmon Trail is a 4.5 mile wild walk along the edge of habitats in the floodplain forest created by the springs.

Related Articles

  • The deep outflow of the spring pool Three Days of Central Florida Springs (10/9/2014) - Have a three-day weekend coming up and an urge to spend it with Florida's springs? Here's an itinerary for the Orlando area that'll have you splashing in beautiful locations.
  • Putting some miles on in Volusia County Cyclists take on first Florida Rail to Trail Tour (8/3/2014) - One week, 260 miles, human (and train) powered. That's the goal of the four riders touring the East Coast Greenway and St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop on a ride that started with a trip from downtown Orlando to DeBary via SunRail on August 1.