Ponce de Leon Springs State Park
The beautiful freshwater spring at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park is named for Juan Ponce de León, who led the first Spanish expedition to Florida in 1513, as legend has it - in search of the "fountain of youth."
Visitors might well regain their youth by taking a dip in the cool, clear waters of Ponce de Leon Springs where the water temperature remains a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. The main spring is a convergence of two underground water flows, and produces 14 million gallons of water daily.
Visitors can take a leisurely walk along two self-guided nature trails through a lush, hardwood forest and learn about the local ecology and wildlife. Rangers also conduct seasonal guided walks. Picnicking is a popular activity at the park; grills and pavilions are available. Anglers will enjoy fishing for catfish, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and panfish.
Fishing is permitted in areas not designated for swimming. Otherwise throw your pole in and watch your cork to see if your efforts are to be rewarded with catches of catfish, largemouth bass, chain pickerel and panfish. If watching closely you can actually see the fish come to the bait.
Take a stroll down the two trails of the park, Sandy Creek and Spring Run. Each trail will take you through a lush hardwood forest, which provides optimum vantage points for observing wildlife along the 350-foot spring run and Sandy Creek. As well as, a relaxing stroll among a variety of native plant and animal habitat, where you can listen to the relaxing sounds of the flowing stream or conversation of the birds. Rangers also conduct seasonal guided walks, but self-guided tours are also available.
After you have worked up an appetite splashing around in the cool spring water and walking the nature trails, it is time for lunch. Approximately 20 acres have been enhanced with amenities for visitors. Four picnic shelters with grills are available for reservation, and numerous picnic tables are available on the grounds for anyone who wishes to stop in for a short picnic lunch, or spend the day swimming and relaxing in the park. Your grill is also welcome for that special cookout.
On those sweltering days of summer, regain your youth by taking a dip in the cool crystal clear waters of Ponce De Leon Springs where the water temperature remains a constant 68 degrees year round. You may not get any younger but the water is sure to invigorate. The park has a large bathroom facility complete with changing rooms for your convenience.