Following a historic railroad corridor through southern Volusia County, the 36.2-mile East Central Regional Rail Trail (ECRRT) links together communities built along the railroad.
These include Enterprise, Osteen, Maytown, and Edgewater. The region was stripped of its old growth forests more than a century ago, which this railroad helped facilitate.
Now, where the surroundings are not rural residential (Deltona, Osteen, Edgewater) they are very wild and swampy, a perfect place for wildlife sightings in wild landscapes.
We’ve watched this trail evolve in pieces since 2013, and each new segment has been a joy to ride. While it was confusing how it expanded, it now makes sense. New signage helps.
Several major bicycle routes overlay on the ECRRT. First, the 250 mile Coast to Coast Trail across Florida, between Titusville and St. Peterburg, follows the ECRRT via the Maytown Spur to the main route and west to Enterprise.
The East Coast Greenway follows the Maytown Spur from the end of the Brevard Coast to Coast Trail and then continues north along the ECRRT from the Maytown junction to Edgewater.
Both of these routes are also incorporated into two large unfinished regional loops, the 260 mile St. Johns River to Sea Loop and the 250 mile Heart of Florida Loop.
While an impressive 32.6 miles of paved bike path now makes up the ECRRT, a 3.6-mile gap in the trail remains between Gobbler’s Lodge and Guise Rd. It’s been surveyed, so we hope to see progress on paving.
Our resources for exploring the region along the ECRRT
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Location: Edgewater to Enterprise
Length: 34.3 miles linear plus a 1.9 mile spur south
Land manager: Volusia County Parks
Open daylight hours. Leashed dogs welcome. Please pick up after your pet.
Volusia County provides regular rest stops along the route, with benches and garbage cans, spaced about two miles apart.
Portable toilets are provided at Cow Creek, Maytown, and Gobbler’s Lodge trailheads. Flush toilets and running water can be found at Rotary Park and Green Spring Park.
Because this trail has a spur off of it, we present it in the three segments you can follow, east to west.
Our ride begins in Edgewater at Rotary Park, but we understand that the trail has been extended farther north from Edgewater recently. Once we find out if the extension is part of this trail, we’ll add it if it is.
Edgewater to Maytown
Starting at Rotary Park in Edgewater, use the crosswalk across Park Avenue – use caution when busy, drivers do not always yield as they should – to reach the sidewalk on the north side.
Follow it west briefly to reach the beginning of the paved bike path at Dale Avenue. Signage leads the way.
This first piece of trail parallels Park Avenue. It’s in a shaded corridor in the woods, much nicer than being along a side path.
Fences edge the trail where there are dropoffs, and bridges sometimes have divided lanes.
When you reach the crosswalk at Old Mission Rd, be sure to stop. This is a busy intersection where drivers often pay no attention to the crosswalk, or you.
After this intersection, the the trail begins a gentle curve southwest. This part of Edgewater is pretty swampy, so you’ll see swamps on both sides of the trail.
Paralleling an open space with a pond at a retreat center, the trail approaches the large bridge over SR 442.
It’s a long gradual climb up to the peak, from which you can see a conveience store to the west near Interstate 95.
The character of the trail changes after it passes the Cow Creek Rd trailhead at 4.2 miles, the largest of the trailheads along the bike path.
It enters a forested corridor and crosses a long bridge over swampy Little Cow Creek.
Soon after, it climbs a little and the surrounding habitats become drier and more densely wooded.
Although there are residences to the east and Interstate 95 to the west, the forest blocks out much of the noise. Benches provide rest stops.
After making a sharp left in the woods, the trail pops out to Cow Creek Rd and makes a sharp right.
It parallels this rural road in front of a series of homes on large properties, most plastered with warnings about trespassing.
Where the road ends, the trail makes another sharp right, trapped between tall fences in a limited width corridor.
It turns left to round a large pond in a quarry, passing another quarry on the right, and crosses an entrance road to a shooting range.
Once past the shooting range, the trail is obviously on the old railroad right-of-way once again.
It runs straight as an arrow through scrub habitats down to the crosswalk across Maytown Rd.
After a tight corridor between a fly-in community and Maytown Rd, the trail reaches a bench in the middle of the woods, a good place to stop and take a break.
Soon after, it turns west and passes under Interstate 95, heading due west. The landscape becomes very swampy again.
Although it continues to parallel Maytown Rd, a screen of trees provides a long tunnel of green.
Just after crossing Maytown Spur, a side road off Maytown Rd, the trail comes to a T intersection at a bench, 16.1 miles into the ride.
The Maytown Junction marks the junction of the East Coast Greenway with the Coast-to-Coast Trail. A bench sits just off to the right.
This is a junction in the East Central Regional Rail Trail as well, which goes in both directions. To the left, heading southeast, is the 1.9-mile Maytown Spur.
If you are following the East Coast Greenway south (or the Coast to Coast east), or are in need of bathrooms or water and a snack, make a left.
It’s a quick ride to the Maytown trailhead, and just past that, Vergie’s Feed Station at a half mile.
Vergie Clark set this little oasis up many years ago to provide snacks and drinks for hunters.
Donations are by the honor system. She delights in seeing cyclists stop by to enjoy the shaded picnic table and treats.
Leaving Vergie’s, the trail now counts down to the Brevard County border, with a marker every half mile.
The corridor through the pines seamlessly connects with the Brevard Coast to Coast Trail at the county line, where Mile 0 of Volusia County marks the end of the Maytown Spur.
Maytown to Enterprise
On the 6.5 mile stretch between the Maytown Spur junction and Gobbler’s Lodge Rd, the trail shows off the wild beauty of this rural corner of Volusia County.
While the trail parallels Maytown Road the entire way, forests and swamps fill the gap between bike path and highway. North of a power line, the trail crosses a bridge.
The trail curves through a dense young cypress forest, where wildflowers bloom profusely in the swamp understory. Uplands with pines begin next.
North of the Lake Harney Rd crossing, the trail pulls southwest, away from Maytown Rd, and the surroundings get wilder. Cross two bridges in quick succession. A bench sits a little ways north of them.
Despite the high ground that punctuates it, most of this section is surrounded by wet pine flatwoods and cypress swamps.
We’ve seen alligators sunning on the trail, resting on culverts, and poking their snouts out of the ditches. Be alert to your surroundings. Bears have been spotted here too.
Tall scraggly pines and scattered cypress line both sides of the trail. Some spots look like they are recuperating from logging, others have mature growth.
Numerous culverts direct drainages and small creeks beneath the trail. North of a driveway crossing, the trail makes a mild curve as it comes up to Gobbler’s Lodge Rd trailhead at 22.6 miles.
Now complete and nicely paved, the Farmton segment stretches from the Gobbler’s Lodge trailhead to Guise Rd. The first section is nicely wooded and passes a side trail to a paddling launch before it jogs out towards Maytown Rd.
The portion paralleling the road is open and crosses bridges in front of residences and farms before making a left jog back to the original rail line.
Behind one property, watch for a giant robot sculpture on the edge of a garden. The wooded segment after that provides a nice stretch of shade.
A turn left onto Guise Rd leads to Hickory Bluff Preserve a mile at the end of the road. The trail corridor itself continues straight through a tunnel of trees before it jogs out to Maytown Road and parallels it closely to get around some residences.
When it jogs back away from the highway, it becomes a long, straight corridor once again, headed into a rural residential area outside of Osteen.
As it reaches Osteen, it is along pastures and fields and behind people’s back yards. You quickly reach a road crossing over Dickson Ave within sight of the post office. Just beyond it is a decision point.
Stay straight ahead to cross SR 415 on the bridge, or take the ramp to the right. The ramp leads to the Osteen trailhead beneath the bridge and connects to the SR 415 side path.
The SR 415 side path links north into Deltona and south to Sanford. It’s a quarter mile south on that bike path to the Osteen Diner, a favorite lunch stop of ours.
Tucked under the bridge on the east side of SR 415, the Osteen trailhead is 28.9 miles into the ride from Edgewater.
A bridge similar in grade and architecture to the one over SR 442 guides the trail over busy SR 415 in Osteen. Once you are west of that crossing, the trail settles back into a forested corridor.
There are a few road crossings and driveways over it in a rural portion of the county between Deltona and Enterprise. Courtland Rd is the one major road crossing.
An interpretive sign points out the former location of the community of Garfield, and you ride by well-hidden Audubon Park, a large natural area and stormwater park with trails.
Just as the transition from Brevard to Volusia was seamless at the county line, so is the transition from the ECRRT to the Spring-to-Spring Trail at Green Springs.
The paved path stretches ahead to the west. Only the surrounding signage lends a clue that its name has changed.
You can continue on west along the Coast to Coast Trail route by following the Spring-to-Spring Trail, or exit here on the paved path leading into Green Spring Park to finish the ECRRT.
Beneath a canopy of ancient live oaks and Southern magnolias, the paved path winds through the park to the restrooms and parking area.
The namesake spring is not along the paved trail but is worth getting off your bike and walking the short distance to see it before you wrap this 34.3 mile ride.
A round-trip between Edgewater and Green Springs Park is 68.6 miles. Add another mile if you plan to make a pit stop down the Maytown Spur at the trailhead or Vergie’s.
For those looking for a shorter ride on the ECRRT, the most scenic piece is between the Maytown Spur and and Gobbler’s Lodge trailheads, slightly shy of 14 miles for a round trip.
A ride north from the Maytown Spur trailhead to Cow Creek trailhead (or vice-versa, since Cow Creek is easy to get to, just off Interstate 95) is a nice 23.8 mile round-trip.
A round-trip from Rotary Park to Cow Creek is a respectable 8.4 miles in Edgewater. A round-trip from Rotary Park to the Maytown Spur trailhead is 33.2 miles, with Vergie’s a good rest stop and turnaround point.
Or take the trail in the opposite direction and continue up to the Gobbler’s Lodge trailhead for a 45.4 mile round-trip.
Closer to the Orlando metro, the round-trip between the easy-to-access Osteen trailhead and Green Springs Park trailhead is 11.2 miles.
A fun walk or short ride would be from Hickory Bluff Preserve at the end of Guise Rd, a mile up to the trail, into Osteen for lunch at the diner, and back. That’s only 5.9 miles.
Right now we are not aware of any bike rentals available along this trail. If there are, please let us know.
At the east end of the trail, use Rotary Park in Edgewater, a community park with a shaded picnic area, dog park, and trail around a pond.
At the trailhead, there are restrooms and water fountains, a bike repair station including an air pump, and a kiosk with a map of the eastern portion of the trail.
The closest trailhead to Interstate 95, at the Edgewater exit for SR 442, is the Cow Creek trailhead about a half mile south along Cow Creek Rd.
This is the largest of the parking areas, with a picnic bench and portable toilet.
While not an easy drive to get to, the Maytown trailhead off Maytown Rd is centrally located to ride both the ECRRT and the Brevard Coast to Coast Trail.
It’s a medium-sized facility with new mileage signage as well as a portable toilet.
The Gobbler’s Lodge trailhead, 7 miles farther west on Maytown Rd, currently marks the spot where the paved trail ends and riders continuing west to Osteen must join the road for 3.6 miles.
At the south end of Guise Rd, Hickory Bluff Preserve provides parking. There are no facilities at this preserve. It’s a mile ride up Guise Rd, a dead end road in a rural community, to get to the ECRRT.
The trailhead under the ECRRT bridge at SR 415 in Osteen is easily reached off SR 415 from Sanford or Deltona. There are no facilities except parking, but it also provides access to the SR 415 Bike Path.
We’ve also used Beck Ranch Park along SR 415 as a trailhead for a ride along the ECRRT. The park has restrooms and water fountains towards the back of the park.
We’ve checked out Audubon Park but unless you have a mountain bike, it’s not a good spot for trail access. More than a half mile of natural surface trail and boardwalk spans between the parking area and the ECRRT.
Green Springs Park is the anchor for the west end of the ECRRT. The trail ends right outside the park gate at a kiosk and sign indicating the start of the Spring-to-Spring Trail.
Use the paved path through the park as the connector to the trailhead, which is adjoined by restrooms and a shaded picnic area.
|0.0||Rotary Park (restrooms)|
|1.4||Old Mission Rd|
|3.6||SR 442 bridge|
|4.2||Cow Creek Rd trailhead (portalet)|
|8.0||Cow Creek Rd ends|
|12.5||Interstate 95 overpass|
|16.0||Maytown Spur Rd|
|16.1||Maytown Junction (portalet 0.4S)|
|17.3||Spruce Creek Swamp bridge|
|18.7||Lake Harney Rd|
|20.3||Cow Creek bridges|
|22.6||Gobbler's Lodge trailhead|
|28.9||Osteen trailhead / SR 415 bridge|
|31.5||Audubon Park back gate|
|34.1||Spring to Spring Trail starts|
|34.3||Green Springs Park trailhead (restrooms)|
Spring to Spring Trail
Extending west from the end of the ECRRT at Green Springs Park to connect to Gemini Springs, the Spring to Spring Trail then branches north and south.
The southern leg through Gemini Addition carries the Coast to Coast Trail route to Lake Monroe Park, where riders can cross over the St. Johns River to start the Seminole County portion of that state-spanning route.
The northern leg connects Gemini Springs with Blue Springs, Lake Beresford, and DeLeon Springs. Not all segments of this part of the trail are complete. It is broken into several pieces.
Brevard Coast to Coast Trail
Heading southeast from the T intersection where the ECRRT meets the Maytown Spur, follow the spur past the Maytown Spur trailhead and Vergie’s Feed Station for 1.9 miles to reach the Brevard County line.
From there, the Brevard Coast to Coast Trail continues south for 17.1 miles through Scottsmoor and Mims to Titusville.
It currently ends just east of the Indian River Lagoon at the entrance to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Along the Route
Visit these stops along the East Central Regional Rail Trail
Just east of Osteen, Hickory Bluff Preserve provides a 1.5-mile loop to a bluff of notable size along a scenic stretch of the St. Johns River
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.
One week, three venomous snakes, and many harmless ones: all encountered on our early morning bike rides along paved trails on cool mornings.
John explores the C2C between Osteen and the St. Johns River by starting at Lake Monroe Park and ending at Osteen, using the Spring-to-Spring and ECRRT trails through southern Volusia County