There are many hidden treasures in the heart of The Sunshine State. While some are easy to find, others require you to seek them out. One such hidden gem is the easy Florida hiking trails of Hontoon Island State Park, perfect for an autumn adventure.

The park sits beside the more well-known Blue Springs State Park, but Hontoon Island is a place that's not to be missed.

It is one of the few state parks that are free to visit, and getting there is half of the adventure.

Because it's on an island, the only way to reach this unique state park is by boat, either by a park ferry or a private craft.

Once you reach the dock, you can take a short road to the trailhead of the island's nearly four-mile Hammock Hiking Nature Trail.

The trail will take you through lush, tropical forests on the western side of the island. The trail follows the Hontoon Dead River, a nearly current-less river that you can also kayak and canoe on.

The trail is an easy journey for hikers and bikers and ends at an Indian shell mound near Snake Creek Landing.

There are other paved trails around the park for walking and peddling, such as the River-To-River Road, which connects in between the St. Johns and Hontoon Dead rivers.

If you want to make a weekend trip of the island, the state park has cabins and tent sites available to rent for overnight camping

One of the more unique highlights of the state park is the Owl of Hontoon Island, a totem pole that dates back hundreds of years ago.

Hontoon Island State Park is a secret gem of the state's park system and totally worth the trek to, so add it to your fall bucket list and explore this season!

Hontoon Island State Park

Price: FREE

Address: 2309 River Ridge Rd., DeLand, FL 

Why You Need To Go: And island state park that has miles of verdant tropical trails that are free to explore.


Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.

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