This island, located in the St. Johns River in Volusia County, welcomes visitors to enjoy nature and history in quiet solitude. The island is accessible only by private boat or park ferry. Evidence of Native American habitation over thousands of years can be witnessed as visitors hike through the park. Stop in and walk through the impressive visitor center to learn more about the many inhabitants and uses of Hontoon Island over the years. Boating, canoeing, and fishing are popular activities and canoe rentals are available. Picnic areas include tables, grills, and a playground. Overnight boat slip rentals are also available. The park's ferry operates daily from 8:00 a.m. to one hour before sunset. Located six miles west of Deland off State Road 44.
This terrific hike on Hontoon Island is part of a sanctioned trail sponsored by the Florida Volkssporting Association, of the AVA - America's Walking Club. Stop in the island store and ask for the "walk box" for maps/directions for a 3.1 mile (5 km) or 6.2 mile (10km) walk on the island.
My husband, 2 sons (age 6 & 10) took this trail! We had fun, it was a very nice trail that was pretty easy. It was raining but the trees provided so much cover that it was more like a drizzle. We got through it quickly(approx 1 hr 30mins) for us with kids thats awesome. When we reached where the mound began to form it got really scenic and interesting! We were really expecting a little more information on what to look for with the Indian shell mound, so we reached the end of the trail we didn't know where to look for the artifacts and stuff so we headed back through some other routes which were also nice and maintained. When we reached the information station we asked and found out that we were right on top of the mound and just didn't see it. But other than that, this island is really nice and the volunteers who help keep it running like the ferry boat operators are really nice and special! Would love to go camping here for the night and give it another try!
I enjoyed this trail today. Not too strenuous, but plenty of things to keep it from being boring. I saw a wild turkey, a hawk, an osprey at her nest, plenty of water birds and song birds, two small gators...but no deer or armadillo. Not to crowded. I only encountered maybe 6-7 people while I was on the trail. The Indian ruins are pretty cool...they rise up and you look down upon the marshy area below. The big oak at the end is impressive and inspiring. I sat on the bench next to her and ate a snack and listened to what sounded like hundreds of tree frogs (it had just rained). Would love to go back and camp at this park in the near future.
The hike to the Timucuan Indian mound is easy and well maintained--I was able to complete it in less than hour because I was rushed to get back to ferry after arriving late. I wish I could have stayed longer to hike more.
The wildlife viewing is incredible--saw several deer up close and armadillos were shameless! Ranger staff are very friendly. My dog loved this park.
nice walk in the trees....visited here after seeing the Manatees at Blue Spring....nice boat ride across the river to get to the island....great place to get away for the day....all kind of activities.....couldn't find the trail at the end of this that is suppose to connect to other trails...so had to double back
Hontoon is an excellent place for a day hike, biking, camping and great fishing if you like. You take a short ferry ride to the island where they have campsites, cabins and a general store. Plan ahead and bring supplies to avoid additional trips across the ferry.
Some of the hiking trails are wooded while many areas leave you in the open sun for long stretches. You can easily make a day of it with some nice places to picnic and several locations where the trail meets the water.
We often feel isolated not passing a lot of people. We had a butterfly follow us down the path quite some ways, it was fascinating. If more of the trails were shaded, perhaps better marked, we'd have rated this a full Five Stars.
My wife and I hiked this trail in an afternoon, we were only rushed because we started late and had to catch the ferry back to our car. It was an easy hike, very pretty and quiet. We saw lots of wildlife, including deer and several species of birds.
I f you go, be sure to get there early so you can spend some time on the island. You have to take a free ferry over there, and must be back before the last one leaves the island.
Great trail for a beginner! Not a lot of hills, saw a few birds, lizards, & snakes. Informative visitor center. Looking forward to going back & camping for a few days. Check out this link: http://www.floridastateparks.org/hontoonisland/activities.cfm#22