Spanning between DeLand and DeBary, the central segment of the Spring to Spring Trail remains a work in progress.
Fortunately, there has been plenty of progress since we first rode its initial three miles between Lake Beresford Park and the front gate of Blue Spring State Park.
That was in 2014. Six years later, the seamless path has more than doubled in length.
First, Volusia County worked with Florida State Parks to expand the route along the edge of Blue Spring State Park.
This involved building both a tunnel under West French Ave and a substantial bridge over an active railroad line in Orange City.
More recently, the county negotiated an agreement with Duke Energy that enabled the bike path to continue through property they own south of the state park.
With these two major additions, the seamless expanse of bike path now extends 6.5 miles between cities, with not a single road crossing in between.
An additional half mile continues north to a dead end where the trail will eventually continue on to meet the northern segment currently in place in Glenwood and DeLeon Springs.
Our 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.
Location: DeLand to DeBary
Length: 7 miles linear / up to 14 miles round trip
Land manager: Volusia County
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 at least a mile apart.
Lake Beresford Park has restrooms. So does Blue Spring State Park, where an entrance fee of $2 per cyclist applies.
Lock up your bike when leaving it unattended at restrooms or trailheads.
We started at the north end of this segment at Lake Beresford Park since it offers restrooms and a water fountain.
The park has its own 2-mile paved loop, but save that for after your Spring to Spring Trail experience. No matter which end you begin from, this is quite a hilly ride.
The tunnel to the trail is obvious from the main parking area. Walk your bike down through the low clearance tunnel to the T intersection.
Turn right for the short trip up to the north end of the trail. It’s only a half mile, but between the curves and dips and climbs, it feels like more.
The trail comes to a sharp U turn around a traffic island with a banana tree in the middle. Head back south through the lush hardwood forest.
As you pass the railroad tunnel, you’ll notice trails vanishing off into the woods on the right. Lake Beresford Park has a network of hiking trails. These lead out to the lake.
The lake is part of the St. Johns River. Although you can’t see the lake or river from the Spring to Spring Trail, it has an effect on these forests. That’s why they are dense and green.
Hikers, runners, and casual walkers frequent this part of the paved trail, so use caution around the curves.
Where there are dropoffs or swamps along the path, wooden fences are in place to prevent you from going off the trail.
An uphill is followed by a long, luxurious downhill. As the trail climbs again, Southern magnolias flank it near a bench.
After a steep climb up and through curves through an oak hammock, the trail drops through a long shaded stretch flanked by fences.
Soon after, the canopy lifts and the adjoining power lines that follow the railroad come into view.
Back in a corridor of shade, you continue under a cluster of sand live oaks before the fences return, here marking where a floodplain forest adjoins the path.
Up the next climb, the trail is in a drier upland forest with laurel oaks and a lot of grapevines in the understory.
Reaching a straightaway, the trail skims along the edge of the right-of-way of the active railroad line, within sight of power lines.
A curve and downhill bring you to a decision point where the trail splits. We found a lot of pedestrians and cyclists here.
The upper route goes to the front gate of Blue Spring State Park, where admission is required for entry.
Follow the lower route through the tunnel under French Avenue to continue. Its a steep drop followed by a climb past a kiosk on the other side.
The trail makes a slow but steady climb along a pine forest, passing a bench before it reaches the crest.
At the crest, the bike path begins to parallel the park road, which is on the opposite side of a wooden fence.
A pavilion with benches in the shade is on the right just before a back gate into the park, with a large sign and iron ranger for payment of $2 for entry.
Past the gate and the benches that adjoin it, the trail makes a sharp left and then a sharp right onto the ramp for the bridge over the railroad.
This is a very steep climb so be prepared for it with the proper gearing as you come around the curve. Otherwise you’ll walk your bike up.
At the top, a little observation deck provides a perfect perch for cyclists to take a breather. And for birders to look down into the restored scrub forest below.
The diminutive forest is the perfect height for the endangered Florida scrub-jay. You can hear their squawking calls from the bridge.
Cross the bridge and continue down the ramp on the other side. It’s also steep, and like the first ramp, has flat platforms along it that make for some bumps.
At the base of the bridge, a side path turns off to the left to the central trailhead along the bike path, a parking area in Orange City.
The main trail continues straight ahead and uphill, paralleling the railroad as it climbs above it into a sand pine scrub.
The powerlines continue to adjoin the trail, but you don’t notice them as much as the trail is screened on both sides by scrub forest.
A swooping downhill curve carries the trail around a natural feature in the park, a large sinkhole pond.
A kiosk explains the science behind sinkholes, and it’s worth a stop to look out over the lily-dotted water for birds.
Climbing back uphill after the sinkhole, the trail remains edged by an oak scrub.
At a bench adjoining a paved circle in the trail, you reach the south end of Blue Spring State Park.
The trail makes a sharp left and parallels a chain-link fence. It is now on a right-of-way through the Duke Energy property.
Sand pines tower overhead. The trail makes a sharp left as it comes to a solar farm to go around the field of solar panels.
Pass by two side roads that go down to a sinkhole lake to the east, and the trail turns again along a landscaped strip adjoining the Duke Energy facility.
Cross the facility entrance – technically a road crossing but well marked and not busy – to continue down a long straightaway adjoining the power lines.
The straightaway comes to a sharp curve as it crosses a driveway into a corner of the Duke Energy facility.
It’s here, facing DeBary Plantation Blvd, that this continuous segment of the Spring to Spring Trail ends.
Although it’s not posted as a trailhead, plenty of people were parking here on a Saturday morning.
From this end point at 7 miles, turn around and return back to Lake Beresford Park for your 14 mile round trip.
North to south trailheads and access points along the bike route. Click on any icon above for directions.
Lake Beresford Park
With more than 200 acres in suburban DeLand, Lake Beresford Park is much more than the northern terminus for this piece of the Spring to Spring Trail.
In addition to picnic areas, a playground, and restrooms with water, it has miles of hiking trails and an unexpectedly hilly 2 mile paved loop for cyclists and walkers.
If the main parking area is full, as it was close to being on a Saturday morning, there is a secondary trailhead off Fatio Rd north of the park’s main entrance.
Using that trailhead means following the paved Lake Beresford Loop around to get to the tunnel under the railroad tracks.
Blue Spring State Park
There are two access points for visitors to Blue Spring State Park to reach the Spring to Spring Trail.
The main one is the walk-through / bike-through gate along the park road, not far from the campground.
Cyclists headed out the main gate to French Ave can also ride across the road to a short connector trail to the Spring to Spring Trail.
Blue Springs Avenue
This parking area is at the western terminus of Blue Springs Avenue in Orange City.
There are no facilities except parking and trail access. A side path leads from the parking area to the base of the bridge into the park.
DeBary Plantation Blvd
While not officially posted as a trailhead, cyclists and walkers are parking at the very western end of DeBary Plantation Blvd in the grassy area adjoining the trail.
|0.0||Lake Beresford Park tunnel|
|2.8||French Avenue junction and tunnel|
|3.3||Blue Springs State Park side entrance|
|3.8||Blue Springs Blvd trailhead|
|6.5||DeBary Plantation Blvd|
Add 1 mile to ride up from the Lake Beresford tunnel to the dead end at the north end of the trail and back.
Future plans are for the trail to parallel Donald E Smith Blvd south along the west side of the road, and connectivity to continue to Gemini Springs Park.
For now, it’s sidewalks and roads that make that connection for riders comfortable with sharing the road with vehicles.
We discovered the sidewalk along Donald E Smith Blvd narrows greatly for more than a half mile, and sprinklers were on full blast across it in one section.
A side path leads west along Highbanks Rd to Rob Sullivan Park, which is often packed with families at the ballfields. The side path east ends at a school.
The county is actively working on the connections through DeBary, aiming for 2024 for merging the Central and South Spring to Spring Trail segments together.
This connectivity is all part of a much larger trail network spanning to the coast and up to Palatka and St. Augustine, called the St. Johns River to Sea Loop.
Learn more about the Spring to Spring Trail
A paved bike path to link Volusia County’s major springs, the Spring to Spring Trail provides a growing network of trail and park connectivity
Along the Route
Visit these parks and trails along the ride
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. Think hundreds.
See our photos from biking the Spring to Spring Trail Central segment