REI

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Gemini Springs Park - Debary, FL - 3/4/2017

Spring to Spring Trail Head

Gemini Springs Park - Debary, FL


I grew up near this park and came here many times as a child and teenager. Many years ago you were able to swim in the spring, but that has long been closed down. Today this park is mostly used for special events, such as weddings, and small family day excursions. There are lots of hiking trails with great views. You can also cross over to the "Spring to Sring" trail and hike all the way to the St. John's River (which is what we did). 

Map and articles about history of trail system

Parking lot on Dirksen Rd.


We started at the trail head for the "Springs to Springs" trail located next to Gemini Springs. You can take this paved trail into the woods and then you will come across nature trails that lead into the Park. 


All the trails on the trail system








The views along the paved trail are breathe taking. You can see the natural beauty of central Florida here. 



The nature trail to Gemini Springs Park is immediately past the Silos. 



This pavilion is HUGE! It can fit probably close to 100 people. The construction was beautiful, and it had a great view of nature and the silos. 








Of course, I turn around and what do I see? My husband standing on top of a picnic table acting like he's "The King of the World" with our daughter strapped to his back. 







Walking into the park you will come across a massive field. As a child, we would come here to play football and have lunch every summer. To my delight, there are lots of young people and their families doing the same thing to this very day!




While walking you can see lots of these little history signs. They tell you how the spring was discovered and all the upgrades over the years it's had to the property. 




Walking over the boardwalk you will see lots of run off streams form the spring. 





Most of the trail inside the park is sidewalk. However, there are some boardwalks and nature trails. 


This is the main spring area where you used to be able to swim many years ago. 


Lots of pretty wild flowers.


This is one of the main spring heads. It may look small but it pumps out a TON of water!










There was a huge festival happening that day at the park. Lots of tents and yummy smelling food!




Beautiful trees.


And lots of birds.


This is beginning of the more primitive nature trail. Most people turn around here, but not us!



This trail takes you back behind the spring and closer to the run-offs for the St John's River. Just a prewarn though, about halfway down there was a lot of bees and wasps. So if you allergic you may want to skip this route. 





More wildflowers.



We had enough of fighting the wasps and bees so we found a trail thru the woods. It was really pretty with lots of natural trees. 





This trail lead us back out of the park and onto the paved trail leading to the St John's River. 





Along the way there were more nature trails that shoot out from the paved path. We took one to see where it lead and were pleasantly surprised. It lead thru a field, thru some trees, and out to a stream that looked like a little lake. There were lots of birds to see, and wild foliage to look at. 









Back out of the wooded area, we followed the nature trail back onto the paved trail. Along the way we crossed under the power lines. If you look up at the lines you will see many bird's nests. 




All the flowers were starting to bloom.



Back onto the trail headed to the St John's River, and our daguhter decided it was a good time to take a nap. 





3/4 of the way down the paved path it starts to go back under the tree line. Which was a great break in the growing heat of the day.


The Iris were blooming all over the place. 





If you looked hard enough in the trees, you may find some grape fruit growing. 







After her 30 minute nap our daughter woke up and was super happy to see and hear all the birds in the trees.









Towards the end of traila paved boardwalk appears as you walk over the wet lands.




We made it to the St John's River park. This was our halfway point. It has nice bathrooms, and was a great plce to take a break.


Bathrooms



Our daughter loved being able to get out of her carrier and stretch her legs for a bit. 





And of course daddy made her a bottle. 


They had a board with lots of information about upcoming events in the area, and maps of the trail system. 






After a short break, we put our daughter back in the carrier, let mommy carry the carrier this time, and got back on the trail to do the 2+ mile hike back to the truck. 





I love hiking and getting our daughter out and about to enjoy nature. And we gave daddy the camera at this time. As you can see he got a little "camera happy", and took tons of pictures of mommy and baby. 















As we made it about halfway back we ran into a group of people we knew! And guess what?! They had their children and nephews with them! So great to catch up. 






Back to the beginning where we started. It was a long but wonderful hike. We completed close to 6 miles total. It was a great to walk thru a park that held so many memories for me as a child. And to be able to bring my family here was a wonderful experience. 



For more information in regards to Gemini Springs Park and the Spring to Spring Trail system go to:



And follow us on Youtube! We posted a video from our Gemini Springs Park & Spring to Spring hike below:

https://youtu.be/u0RifAe0GdE