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De Leon Springs State Park

 Activities at De Leon Springs State Park

Birding

Birding

The park is on the Great Florida Birding Trail.  Birding can be by foot or boat, with wading birds almost always present in Spring Garden Run.

Boat Ramp

Boat Ramp

Boating is permitted in Spring Garden Creek. A boat launch is offered at no additional charge. Boats up to 22' may be launched depending on water levels of Spring Garden Creek. Call park for information on water levels.

Boat Tours

Boat Tours

Enjoy a 50-minute eco/history boat tour of the Spring Garden Run aboard the M/V Acuera. You will see a variety of wildlife and learn about the area's rich history.  Visitors on the restaurant waiting list are encouraged to enjoy a boat tour and you won’t lose your place on the waiting list!  Call Captain Frank at (386) 837-5537 for more information. The tour boat is wheelchair accessible with parking nearby.

Participation Requirements

Boating

Boating

Spring Garden Run starts at the park and connects with the St. Johns River, a distance of about 10 miles. Jet skis are not recommended.

Canoeing & Kayaking

Canoeing & Kayaking

De Leon Springs State Park provides access to Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, where canoeists can explore 21,574 acres of lakes, creeks and marshes. Canoe, kayak and paddleboat rentals are available in the park throughout the year. The De Leon Springs State Park is contiguous to the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge area is easily accessed by water and provides excellent birding and fishing opportunities. Paddleboats can be rented by the half hour and hour. Canoes and kayaks are available by the hour, half day (four hours) and full day. As there is limited road access into the refuge, all rentals return to their point of departure at the park. All rentals must return to the dock by 4:30 p.m. and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. General Release

Concession & Restaurant

Concession & Restaurant

Come join us for pancakes or lunch at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant, open 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays, serving until 4:00 p.m. Call 386.985.5644 for further information. Snacks and sandwiches can be purchased at the Take Out Window. 18% gratuity is added to all restaurant checks, regardless of the party’s size.  The restaurant is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

The restaurant is wheelchair accessible with parking and restrooms nearby.  Please contact staff if you have special needs.

Fishing

Fishing

Fishing is permitted in Spring Garden Creek, Snatch Hooks or Castnets are prohibited from shore line. A Freshwater Fishing license is required and all freshwater fishing laws apply. Fishing is permitted in Spring Garden Run. Bow fishing is not permitted in the Spring Run between 8:00 a.m. and sundown.

Hiking/Nature Trail

Hiking/Nature Trail

De Leon Springs offers a half-mile paved nature trail that is wheelchair accessible.  This trail passes through a flood plain hammock with many hardwoods, pines and other plants native to this area, including a cypress tree that is more than 500 years old.  A portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail runs through the park.  Various wildlife may be seen from the trail.  Also available is the Wild Persimmon Hiking Trail, a 4 mile loop trail that will lead you through several natural communities. Parts of the trail can flood during wet seasons and biting insects are common, so appropriate clothing and footwear are recommended, along with insect repellent and drinking water. Hikers must register at the Ranger Station.

Interpretive Exhibit

Interpretive Exhibit

Interpretive signs and kiosks are located throughout the park. Topics include the sugar mill plantation, the attractions era, animals, and plants. Visit the butterfly garden, near the Sugarmill Restaurant.

Picnic Pavilion

Picnic Pavilion

De Leon Springs State Park has four pavilions. We have two large pavilions (with electrical service) and two smaller pavilions (without electrical service). Fees for our pavilions DO NOT include park entry fees or any special use fees. Pavilions can be reserved year round. Please contact park's ranger station for further information.

Picnicking

Picnicking

Picnic tables with grills are available on a first come first basis near the spring and in the shade of large live oaks.  Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in any area of the park.

Playground

Playground

Playground equipment with slides and climbing features is centrally located near the picnic area, swimming area, restaurant and restrooms. Please make sure that children are supervised by an adult at all times.

Restroom Facilities

Restroom Facilities

De Leon Springs State Park has restroom facilities located throughout the park. All restrooms are ADA accessible. The restrooms, restaurant, pavilions, swimming area, fishing dock and nature trail are wheelchair accessible. Contact the park for additional information about accessibility.

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Only instructional diving is permitted, taught by a certified and insured instructor, holding a current Florida State Parks dive permit. Recreational diving is not allowed.

Metal Detectors The use of metal detectors, magnetometers, or other metal detecting devices is prohibited in the park.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling

Snorkeling is permitted in the Spring Swimming area only. Snorkeling and swimming are prohibited in the Spring Run at all times.

Swimming

Swimming

Swimming is permitted from 8:00 a.m. until one half hour before sunset. The swimming area is spring fed and is a constant 72 degrees. Depths range from 18" to 30' at the spring boil. Children and non-swimmers should be accompanied by an adult swimmer at all times. The swimming area is approximately 500 feet in circumference. Ten laps around would be about a mile. Lifeguards are on duty only during the summer months. NO swimming is permitted in Spring Garden Creek.

A swimmer lift and a ramp with hand rails are also available for access into the spring.  Please contact park staff if you need assistance.

 

Visitor Center

Visitor Center

Exhibits feature the park's 6,000 history starting with the Native American mound builders through the 1960s attractions era and the water skiing elephant. A touch table with bones and shells, park photo albums, printed information, and a children's area ensure there is something for everyone.  It is open daily.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife is plentiful and can be easily observed from the walkway across the spring. Otters, alligators, manatees, osprey, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, and even a swimming black bear have been spotted.