Welcome to De Leon Springs State Park
Native people known as the Mayaca lived in the park for at least 6,000 years. Pedro Menendez, the founder of St. Augustine, first described the Mayaca after an encounter with them north of the park in 1566, a year after he founded St. Augustine. In the late 1500s, Spanish missions were established in the area. 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 Visitor Center features exhibits on the park's rich history and artifacts on display from the Mayaca. 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.