Barberville, Florida Attractions

Barberville, Florida Attractions
The quiet town of Barberville, Florida provides a central location to explore some of the most popular wilderness areas in central Florida. While many visitors to Volusia County confine their stay to the popular Atlantic beaches, a trip inland allows exploration of a diversity of Florida habitats and history. Barberville offers springs, rivers, forests, historical sites, and a slice of Florida that has avoided succumbing to urban sprawl.

De Leon Springs State Park

The second magnitude spring is the focal point of De Leon Springs State Park. The clear, 72 degree water discharging from the spring is open for swimming. The spring flows through Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge after it leaves the park, on its way to completing the journey to the St. Johns River. Making your own pancakes at The Old Sugar Mill Restaurant provides the needed energy to explore the same lands visited by naturalist James Audubon.

De Leon Springs State Park
601 Ponce DeLeon Boulevard
DeLeon Springs, FL 32130
(386) 985-4212
floridastateparks.org/deleonsprings/

Lake George State Forest

Bordering Barberville to the south and west, and extending to the banks of the St. Johns River and Lake George, Lake George State Forest is one of the public lands protecting the watershed that feeds into Lake George, Florida's second largest lake. Offering opportunities for backpacking, canoeing, fishing, and primitive camping, Lake George State Forest allows visitors a chance to view 179 species of birds that frequent the forest, 72 of which are confirmed to nests within the forest.

Lake George State Forest
5458 North Highway 17
De Leon Springs, FL 32130
(386) 985-7822
fl-dof.com/state_forests/lake_george.html

Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts

This historical preservation effort began with the early 20th century structure that was the Central School of Barberville and has blossomed into a village with 10 historic structures from the surrounding area being relocated to the property. The addition of a number of trade buildings has allowed the site to re-create life in late 19th century Florida.

Pioneer Settlement for the Creative Arts
1776 Lightfoot Lane
Baberville, FL
(386) 749-2959
pioneersettlement.org/

Ocala National Forest

On the western bank of the St. Johns River begins the 383,000 acres of Ocala National Forest. While the forest offers a multitude of experiences, including 67 miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail, on the eastern side towards Barberville, one can find Juniper and Fern Hammock Springs. With adjacent campground facilities, these springs provide a comfortable base camp from which to further explore the forest.

Ocala National Forest
Pittman Visitor Center
45621 State Road 19
Altoona, FL 32702
fs.fed.us/r8/florida/ocala/

Heart Island Conservation Area

Extending east from Barberville, the St. John's Water Management District maintains the Heart Island Conservation Area. The 12,000 acre property forms a portion of the larger Lake George Wildlife Management Area, and features a variety of communities ranging from swamps to pine flatwoods. Outdoor recreational opportunities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, and primitive camping.

St. Johns River Water Management District
Division of Land Management
(386) 329-4404
sjrwmd.com/recreationguide/heartisland/

Article Written By David Chandler

David Chandler has been a freelance writer since 2006 whose work has appeared in various print and online publications. A former reconnaissance Marine, he is an active hiker, diver, kayaker, sailor and angler. He has traveled extensively and holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida where he was educated in international studies and microbiology.

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