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.
Resources for exploring the area
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Location: Winter Springs
Length: 0.9 mile loop and round-trip
Trailhead: 28.677795, -81.245833
Land Manager: City of Winter Springs
Day use only. Several picnic tables are provided. 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.
Pass the parking lot for another few glimpses of the creek before you reach the park boundary.
See our photos of the Bear Creek Nature Trail
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
Cross Seminole Trail
A 27.6 mile paved bike path connecting to the Orange and Volusia county lines, the Cross Seminole Trail provides access to a massive network of Central Florida bike trails
Spring Hammock Preserve
Protecting more than 1,500 acres along Lake Jesup, Spring Hammock Preserve is home to some of Florida’s oldest and largest cypress trees
Big Tree Park
While the iconic Senator is no more, Big Tree Park continues to fascinate visitors with its enormous cypress trees, including Lady Liberty. The park provides access to the Cross Seminole Trail.
Cross Seminole Trail North
Connected to a vast network of bike paths across Central Florida, this 21 mile corridor between Oviedo and Sanford hosts portions of the Florida National Scenic Trail and the Florida Coast to Coast Trail