Friday, July 8

Friday Finds: De Leon Springs State Park

De Leon Springs Sugar Mill overlooking the natural
spring water!
In looking for another interesting Florida State Park, De Leon Springs State Park caught my eye because this park features features a replica of an 1830's Sugar Mill that originally occupied the location where you can cook your own pancakes right at your table! 
Now, how great is that?

Like many so Florida State Parks, the area was originally a privately owned tourist franchise. This one got it's start as tourist travel destination in the late 1800's. It was called, "Ponce De Leon Springs" and the name of the spring itself was changed from "Garden Springs," to "The Fountain of Youth." The property continued operating as a private recreational park until 1982, when the State of Florida & Volusia County purchased the land.
De Leon Springs State It's located on Highway 17, north of Orlando and west of Daytona.

De Leon Spring State Park is a day park (no camping) with hiking, swimming & picnicking--plus that unique Sugar Mill Restaurant!
(The Sugar Mill sounds pretty busy in summer, on weekends & holidays, so reservations are recommended!)

Sugar Mill Restaurant Interior

Here's a pretty shot of the swimming area from the Park website:
The water is 72 degrees year round! The swimming area has stairs, a ramp & a lift. Life guards are on duty during summer months.

Swimming in Garden Spring

Special Park Highlights:
*There's a 50-minute Eco/History Boat tour 4 times a day to learn more about the area and take pictures of local wildlife & birds--you might see a Bald Eagle!
* A large Butterfly Garden with 500 plants for Butterflies and Hummingbirds!
* A 4.2 mile hiking trail and a special 1/2 mile paved trail that leads to a 600 year old Cypress Tree!
* The Park is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail.
* They have an all-terrain wheelchair and regular wheelchairs available for visitors who need special assistance.
* They have 4 Pavilions that seat 40 to 50 people available for rent and 2 that are free on a first come, first serve basis.
* A Visitors Center.
It sounds to me like a fun place to visit!  
That's it for today! Stop back for Good Eating Monday!

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