Florida Guide > State Parks
Hontoon Island State Park is situated in Volusia County on the St Johns River. It is 6 miles west of Deland, just off SR44. Hontoon has been occupied for many thousands of years and has a rich history. It can only be accessed by electric ferry or boat and has a total of 1650 all natural acres to explore.
The first known dwellers of this island were Timucuan Indians. You can see some wonderful carvings that they have bequethed the island in memory of their time there: an otter, a bird and a totem pole. After their occupancy, the island has variously been used as a Pioneer home stead, a yard for boats, a fishing centre and a ranch. The State bought the land in 1967 and have developed into the wonderful island that we enjoy today.
If you fancy a side trip away from your luxurious villa, then you can stay in very basic accomodation on the island; no air con, no cooking facilities and no loo (though there are loos and hot showers elsewhere on the island)
Make the visitor Center your first port of call; here you will discover the history of the island and see displays of birds, bugs and wildlife indigenous to the area.
Next take the 3 mile trail which takes you to an Indian mound by way of the Hontoon Dead River. Look out for mounds of shells on your way; these were discarded by the Native Indians after they had eaten the snails they contained. Snails were the mainstay of their diet (and without garlic butter too! )
Swamp. marsh and oak hammock are a feature of the river side and on higher ground you will find pine flat woods. This makes for a safe haven for the abundant wild life.
If you enjoy fishing, then bring your tackle as you are likely to catch Big mouth bass, Shell Crackers, Channel Cats, Specled Perch and Blue gulls. All these fish require different bait; live minnows for perch, artificial bait for the Bass and earth worms and crickets for the Shell crackers.
Fancy a canoe or kayak? these can be hired for a very reasonable $7. 50 an hour or $30 a day. This is a great way to explore this State Park.
Check very carefully for the last ferry home (unless you want to spend the night there)
Hontoon Island State Park
2309 River Ridge Road
Deland, Florida 32720
Phone: 386-736-5309Citizen Support Organization
Hontoon Island Foundation CSO, Inc.
641 West New York Avenue
DeLand, FL 32720
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Page added on: 25 January 2008
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