Hontoon Island Shell Mound Trail is a 3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Deland, Florida that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
There is a nature trail which is the recommended trail for hikers. It is mostly shaded. A wider, utility vehicle trail can be used for biking, but it is not shady. The nature trail leads to an ancient Indian shell mound.
The overall place isn't really exciting. The one and only hiking trail wasn't worth it and is really short. However, they have these roads that end up at different camping turnouts, so we created a route to visit them to make it worth our hiking trip. Those roads were nice and pleasant to walk in 55F weather, late January.
The ferry is free and just a minute ride to the otherside. Last ride is at 4.30pm to the island and 5pm from the island.
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.
Great trail hike! So much to see of old Florida. A true hiking gem!
Easy and beautiful. The ferry ride was awesome, and the Rangers were great!
Such a pretty park. Great hike. Not hard at all, some wet spots. Ferry took you from the trailhead to the island. Great restrooms.
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!
Great place to get away. Very quiet and peaceful. Good birding. Easy biking and walking trails. Lots of alligators.
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.
Grew up hiking in these woods. You are guaranteed to see some wildlife.
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