Native Americans visited and used these springs as long as 6,000 years ago. In the early 1800s, settlers built sugar and cotton plantations that were sacked by Seminole Indians during the Second Seminole War. By the 1880s the springs had become a winter resort, and tourists were promised "a fountain of youth impregnated with a deliciously healthy combination of soda and sulphur." The swimming area is adjacent to a beautiful, shady picnic ground. Canoe, kayak and paddleboat rentals are available for a paddling tour of the spring and spring run. De Leon Springs flows into the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge where canoeists and kayakers can explore 18,000 acres of lakes, creeks and marshes. At The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant, guests can make their own pancakes at the table. This is a very popular park on weekends. To ensure entrance into the park, we recommend arriving early, otherwise, the parking area will be full and you may not be able to enter.
It was a great trail! We managed to see a pack of Sea Otters, an Alligator, and lots of birds! The trail was nice and open! One thing to mention is the site directions were totally off. The actual address to the site is 2045 Mud Lake Rd. De Leon Springs. We used the directions on the app and it took us about 10-15 mins off point to a residential part. Other than that one technical error the day was great and relaxing!! The observation tower was really nice and useful!
Nice wide trail, grassy surface. Tons of wildlife. We saw birds, alligators, armadillos, and snakes. Wear long pants and bugspray because the grass on the trail gets tall in some spots. Theres a nice observation platform and riverbank to take in views.