De Leon Springs State Park in Florida is a Local’s Paradise

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Producing 19 million gallons of water a day at 72 degrees year round, De Leon Springs State Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise, with some of Florida’s most beautiful natural landscapes and a spring that overlooks the Spring Garden Run. It is said that Native Americans visited and used these springs as far back as 6,000 years ago, then became a winter resort promising a “Fountain of Youth” in the 1880s before becoming one of Florida’s top outdoor recreation spots today.

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De Leon Springs State Park

An expansive park that stretches 625 acres, De Leon Springs State Park is not just filled with visitors; it has been a local favorite for many years. Located just 40 minutes west of Daytona Beach and an hour north of Orlando, this park offers an array of family-friendly outdoor adventures throughout the year.

De Leon Springs State Park

Perfect for one of Florida’s sunny days, come here to relax in the cool waters, take a scuba diving course, or don your flippers and mask and go on a snorkeling adventure. An excellent spot to take the entire family, De Leon Springs State Park features picnic tables, grills and a playground nestled underneath the canopy of grand live oak trees that make the perfect setting for a day trip excursion.

Spring Garden Lake, De Leon Springs State Park

Those who prefer to stay above water will also find that they are spoiled for choice in recreation, as canoes, paddleboats, and kayaks can be rented from the park’s concession. Once you hop in, you can paddle through the park’s trail where you’ll be able to explore the lakes, creeks, and marshes of the 22,000-acre Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge and spot a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. Fishing is a popular activity in the area, where you’ll find peace and tranquility with the various places to cast a line, from the spring run on the shore or the fishing dock.

De Leon Springs State Park

Active visitors who want to explore the area on foot can hike the 4.2 mile Wild Persimmon Hiking Trail, while kids and those who prefer to go on a more leisurely stroll will enjoy the half mile paved Nature Trail to photograph the park’s famous 600-year-old cypress tree. If you want to admire some of Florida’s beautiful winged creatures, head to the Butterfly Garden to see over 500 plants that benefit the migrating butterflies and hummingbirds in the area.

Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill

Considered the park’s crown jewel, the most famous landmark in De Leon Springs State Park is the popular Sugar Mill Restaurant where they aim to put the fun back in breakfast. Located in a 100-year-old replica of the original 1830s sugar mill, each table has its own griddle and spatula with a pitcher of homemade pancake batter. You can then flip your own flapjacks and create the perfect combination of ingredients with delicious mix-ins like chocolate chips, pecans, blueberries, bananas, and peanut butter.

 

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