While the main reason to stop here is a glowing spring in an ancient forest, Green Springs Park isn’t just about the springs.
It’s also the meeting point of two major bike trails in Volusia County, where the East Central Regional Rail Trail and the Spring to Spring Trail connect.
It’s a historic site as well. In 1842, a hotel was built here to attract steamboat passengers to stop and soak in this and other nearby springs.
But this land around the springs was also important to ancient peoples well before modern-day settlers.
You’ll see sprays of fossilized snail shells common to the St. Johns River, which flows just across the street as Lake Monroe and is where all these waters trickle towards.
Those shells are what little still remains of the Green Springs Midden, an archaeological site that was mostly hauled away for roadfill over a century ago.
Resources for exploring the area
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Length: 1 mile in a loop and round-trip
Trailhead: 28.8632, -81.2485
Address: 994 Enterprise/Osteen Road, Enterprise
Restroom: At the picnic area near the trailhead
Land manager: Volusia County
Open sunrise to sunset. Leashed pets permitted. No swimming in the spring.
Since the park is densely canopied, bug spray is a must for both mosquitoes and ticks.
From Interstate 4 exit 108, drive east on DeBary Ave for a half mile. Continue as it turns into Jacob Brock Ave for the next 0.7 mile. Turn right onto Main St and continue through the historic town of Enterprise. Main St jogs south to become Lakeshore Dr, which parallels the shoreline of Lake Monroe. Continue 1.1 miles along Lakeshore Dr to the park entrance on the left, Green Spring Rd. Drive in the main gate and park along the circle.
Follow the sidewalk into the woods from the far left side of the parking area, beyond the restrooms and picnic pavilion.
Passing interpretive signs about local history, it splits around a playground in the woods. Keep right.
A sign points towards the spring. The sidewalk intersects with the asphalt bike path. Cross the bike path and turn right.
The trail emerges at the spring overlook. This is the main spring, a gorgeous pool under the live oaks glowing a surreal green.
Turn and walk along it and watch the hues of green change. Fish swim through the green but clear water.
A set of stairs from the hotel days leads down to the outflow. A picnic table adjoins the spring on a deck, a nice destination for a lunch stop.
Trails lead in many directions from here. We’ve tried them all on various visits. Some dead end near interesting water features.
Others lead to loops. To stay along the outer edge of the park, retrace your steps to the playground and turn right.
This accessible path leads through an old growth palm hammock, meeting a short natural surface footpath next to a spring-fed streamlet. Take that path.
Walk beneath massive Southern magnolia and sweetgum trees in this mix of bluff forest and floodplain.
At the sidewalk, make a left and then a quick right. A spur trail leads right just before the bridge to a place where many spring-fed channels merge.
Return to the bridge and cross it, noticing the citrus growing overhead. This area was once known for its citrus groves and exports.
Along a fern-lined corridor, the trail comes to a four-way junction. To the right, the path leads back to the spring overlook.
Take a left to walk down another spur trail where a bench overlooks the burbling waterway.
Return to the junction and make a left. The trail climbs into a hardwood hammock with large hickory and elm trees and scattered cedars.
It’s in this area you’ll see the fossil snail shells from the ancient midden, especially where armadillos have dug into the forest floor.
Meeting a T intersection, turn left to stay with the outer loop around the park, walking beneath ancient live oaks furry with resurrection fern.
At a half mile, the footpath meets the bike path. If you cross it you can take the sidewalk back out past the restrooms and picnic area to the parking lot.
Otherwise, to up your mileage while you’re here, walk the paved path back into the woods.
Since it is just as shaded as the natural surface trails, it’s a pleasant stroll under the dense forest canopy.
It passes an overlook on the opposite side of the big spring, providing a different perspective.
Continue along the bike path past the spring overlook you visited earlier and take a side trail just after the bench on a platform.
This leads to a series of cascades along a very narrow waterway that flows towards the others.
Back on the main trail, take it to the back gate to meet the main bike path passing the edge of the park on the old railroad line.
This is the meeting point of the Spring to Spring and East Central Regional Rail Trail.
Together these bike paths form part of both the Florida Coast to Coast Trail and the St. Johns River to Sea Loop.
Signage nearby gives the history of the railroad line that once ran through this region, connecting its communities.
It’s a quarter mile walk back along the bike path to the parking area, making for a full mile hike.
Learn more about the two bike paths that meet at Green Springs Park
Spanning 36.2 linear miles across southern Volusia County, the East Central Regional Rail Trail offers a long ride that also makes up a portion of several major Florida bike trails
Our virtual walk in the woods at Green Springs Park
See our photos of Green Springs Park
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
With nearly 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
For a quick dip into the beauty of the St. Johns River floodplain, the 1.6 mile Kratzert Trail offers a walk beneath ancient oaks and cabbage palms of enormous size
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