De Leon Springs State Park is well known for the Sugar Mill Restaurant and swimming in the springs but just around the corner from those is a memorable experience waiting to be found.
The park’s trails are located on the north side of the spring and start with a ½ mile paved loop. Along the paved loop, there are intermittent streams that can be heard when flowing and the stream beds serve as a window into the swamp. From the paved loop, Old Methuselah is waiting for you at the end of a short boardwalk. Old Methuselah is an old growth Cypress tree that somehow survived the days of logging and is considerably larger than any other trees around it!
At the far end of the paved loop, is the start of the Wild Persimmon Hiking Trail. This trail offers an immediate immersion into soothing deep green foliage at any time of year. Along the first ½ mile, the endemic Yellow Anise shrub (Illicium parviflorum) dominates the lush forest understory. The trail ultimately makes a 4.2-mile loop with more wildlife viewing opportunities where the landscape opens.