In 1894, the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp was founded by George Colby along a lake and spring to the east of DeLand.
A community took shape, with careful thought to honoring the elements of nature surrounding them.
As a result, this postage-stamp community has many parks, some nestled between Victorian homes, others providing a place to rest along wooded glades and lakes.
At Horseshoe Park, just up the hill from Seneca Park and the Colby Memorial Temple, the Cassadaga Fairy Trail offers a unique take on a walk in the woods.
Adjoining the Slater House, home of the Reverend B. Anne Gehman Library, the Fairy Trail dates back to 2012. It was adjoined by a labyrinth seven years later.
Those attuned to art will appreciate the blend of whimsy and beauty along this trail through a hardwood hammock.
Those attuned to nature and the spiritual realm may find healing, a sense of calm, rejuvenation, or, as we did, insight and inspiration along this walk.
Resources for exploring the area
Disclosure: As authors and affiliates, we receive earnings when you buy these through our links. This helps us provide public information on this website.
Length: 0.2 mile loop
Trailhead: 28.9648, -81.2382
Address: Corner Seneca & Chauncey St, Cassadaga
Restroom: At nearby Colby-Alderman Park
Land manager: Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
Open dawn to dusk. Please do not disturb or remove artwork.
Well-behaved leashed pets welcome. Dog owners, be aware that cats are always present.
From Interstate 4 exit 114, Howland Blvd in Deltona, follow SR 472 west towards DeLand. After a mile, turn right onto Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Beltway northbound. In 1.7 miles turn right on Cassadaga Rd. It leads due east, crossing over Interstate 4. As you enter Cassadaga, look for Chauncey St on the right. Follow it a block south to Seneca St. Parking is on the right just after the trail entrance and within sight of the labyrinth. If the parking area is full, there is a larger parking lot adjoining the Colby Memorial Temple at the other end of Seneca St., by Seneca Park.
While the Cassadaga Fairy Trail is a short walk, it is one you won’t want to rush through. It calls upon all of the senses.
Layer upon layer of rich detail awaits from the moment you step between the entrance gates and under the archway of vines.
A trail map sits beneath the trees on the right, where you’ll also find an interpretive panel on the elemental spirits connected to this place.
The start of the trail feels like a room, with a prominent sculpture at its center. Along the edges, examine the forest floor and the branches above.
Follow the trail downhill from this high spot. Expect to see cats, as a cathouse / feeding station sits in a clearing on the slope under the sea.
Side paths lead to vignettes where gnomes occupy homes. You pass by a troll village with houses in a row, a Cassadaga in miniature, as the trail continues downhill.
At the next junction, turn right at the flower bed. Follow the path uphill through the forest, where we spotted bits of whimsy threaded through the trees.
Beyond a spot laden with spirits, a Christmas tree twirled in the breeze.
The trail reached a crest in a virtual toy land, a playful spill of childhood through the forest.
Another loop extends upward, but the main path slips down the long slope, with pauses for reflection along the way.
At its base, another room, with a pair of fairy wings perfect for posing. The climb upward leads through a butterfly portal.
Passing the flower bed again, walk past the statuary under the trees. Stay right at the picnic tables to continue up to the gazebo and labyrinth.
A meditative walk in and out of this circle in the woods adds another tenth of a mile to the trail, should you care to take it on. A glider sits under the trees.
Climb upward from the labyrinth towards the parking area to slip around the upper corner of the upper room, where more visual delights await. Exit the way you came in.
To extend your walk and get more of a sense of the historic district, park at either Colby Memorial Temple or Colby-Alderman Park and follow the route shown on our trail map.
In addition to having picnic tables, a boat ramp, and a pirate-themed playground, Colby-Alderman Park offers an extensive interpretive trail of its own.
Starting at Colby-Alderman Park will net you a 0.6 mile round trip with some nice scenic views and elevation changes.
Starting at the Colby Memorial Temple provides a 0.4 mile round-trip.
See our photos of the Cassadaga Fairy Trail
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
In 60 acres of green space that gently reclaims stormwater through a series of marshes, Audubon Park lets birders and hikers enjoy a quiet walk adjoining a beauty spot along the East Central Regional Rail Trail.