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DeLeon Springs State Park - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Other Florida

A trip to Deleon Springs State Park is well worth the drive from the Davenport / Kissimmee area. Situated north of Orlando and close to Blue Spring Park -the home of the manatee -Deleon Springs is easily reached by taking I-4 to exit 114 then following Highway 17 North to the town of Deleon Springs . Here you will see the brown State Parks signs . Turn left on Ponce Deleon Boulevard , go straight over the railroad tracks and enter the park. The park itself charges an entrance fee but it is only $5 for a car and up to 8 people - so really good value .

Once inside the parks you can swim in the natural spring where the water is 72 degrees -great if the day is really hot , or simply relax on the grass around the spring hole and watch the bubbles rise from the depths. If you are feeling energetic then there are walking trails of various lengths and terrains -if you think you may tackle one of the longer ones then you will need water , good shoes and a cell phone is recommended -but -if like our group a gentle stroll is all you need then you can simply stroll through the woodlands and try to spot the wild life there.

You can take a boat trip along the creek to the beautiful Lake Woodruff spotting the alligators, bald eagles -(which by the way aren’ t bald but have a white head . The word bald comes from the old English for white head)-and various wading birds and turtles. There are 2 trips to choose from -a 45 minute one or 1 ½ hours -they both run twice a day . There is a minimum number of 6 to take the trip so ask around to see if anyone else wants to go -you can also call ahead to book Call 386. 837. 5537. If you would rather do the work yourself then hire a canoe , kayak or paddle boat and explore the water ways.

If you have a party member who may be unable to walk over the woodland walk ways wheelchairs are available for visitors who need assistance getting around the park, including the nature trail. Along the trail you will come across “Old Methuselah” a huge bald Cypress tree that is over 500 years old -a truly magnificent sight. Other ancient items that have been found during diving in the spring are 2 dug put wooden canoes that have been carbon dated as being 5000 and 600 years old and these are on display in the visitors centre.

After all the walking you may have done you probably need something to eat . You can take your own picnic and enjoy a meal around the spring -but far more fun is a visit to the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant on site. Everyone goes here for one thing -Pancakes - but pancakes with a twist-you cook them yourself at the table. For $4. 50 a head plus $1. 75 for any extras such as fruit , bacon eggs, you are brought 2 jugs of batter and away you go -make pancakes until your heart is content . We couldn’ t finish all of our batter as there was so much . The table has a centre griddle that is heated when you order so that you can cook your pancakes the way you like them. You also cook the eggs but bacon and ham are cooked for you.

DeLeon State Park is a great day out and is certainly a change from the hectic pace of the other parks you will visit during your trip to Florida.

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