Hontoon Island State Park is an island in the middle of the St. Johns River, Florida’s longest and most traveled river. The river starts in the marshes east of Melbourne to the south and flows north until it enters the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville. The river has been an important travel and recreational resource since William Bartram’s travels in the 1700s, as it was for Native Americans long before that. With clear springs, large black-water lakes, wildlife refuges, and state parks, the St. Johns River system has something for everyone. Hontoon Island State Park is west of the city of Deland, about a third of the way from the river’s source. It’s accessible only by park ferry or private boat.
The double-track trails at Hontoon are relatively short but make for a pleasant family ride. Mosquitoes will abound whenever the temperature is high and the breezes are low. Ticks should be plentiful in the warmer months. A one-night camp and ride would be fun for most folks.
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