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Going to Green Springs

Looking out from the base of an oak tree at the beautiful springs
Looking out from the base of an oak tree at the beautiful springs
Cynthia Scarborough

About 35 miles southwest of Daytona Beach is Green Springs Park in the unincorporated town of Enterprise. A trip to this park will give visitors a glimpse of a secluded, natural setting which is becoming more difficult to find in the state.

The area was popular back when the Seminole and Myakka Native Americans inhabited the land. They thought that Green Springs was a sacred place with healing waters. In fact, it was the idea of healing waters that led Mr. Cornelius Taylor, a veteran of the Seminole Wars to build a hotel on top of a former shell midden at the end of a run where the springs empty into Lake Monroe. The hotel was touted as a health spa, and the springs were popular with visitors from the north. Later, the springs became part of an estate owned by a wine importer. He would bring guests into the area from the steamboats that traveled along the nearby St. Johns River to their final destination at Enterprise.

Today, visitors to the springs can get a whiff of the sulfuric waters as they wander along the pathways to the spring overlook. There is no swimming, bathing or fishing allowed in the springs anymore. Perhaps that's the reason that it seems to be less frequented and less busy than other springs in the area.

The milky green hued water at Green Springs has subtle variations in color depending on the weather and the season. At any time though it's lovely and soothing to look at. Activities at the park are low key. Hiking some of the winding trails, biking along a portion of the Spring to Spring Trail, picnicking, bird watching and just plain relaxing.

Green Springs is the trail head for the East Central Regional Rail Trail. The trail currently covers nearly 6 miles between Green Springs and SR 415. It's a 12' wide paved trail that is accessible to physically challenged persons, bicyclists, in-line skaters and hikers. The trail will one day stretch nearly 52 miles and run from Enterprise to Edgewater with a segment running to Titusville.

Green Springs has a nice covered picnic area, a shady playground and clean restroom facilities. Bring all your own food and drink because there are no vending machines. It's also a good idea to bring bug spray because the mosquitoes, sandflies, gnats and ticks can get to you.

For the budget minded family or individual, this park is a true find. It has no entrance fee! It's free. Located at 994 Enterprise/Osteen Road, Enterprise, FL it's open daily from sunrise to sunset. For more information contact 1-386-257-6000 ext. 15953.

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