Breakfast and Paddle @ DeLeon Springs State Park
This is a state park, and there's a fee for entry. I thought it was already in the description and I apologize for that. $6 per vehicle (up to 6 people) or $4 single occupant vehicle
THE BREAKFAST PART IS NOT REQUIRED THE PADDLE STARTS @ 11:00 am
For those that want to come but not paddle, there are hiking trails though the park, or an Ecoboat ride.
Breakfast @ The Old Spanish Sugar Mill @ 9:30 am. they will not seat us till our whole party is there. Cost: - Pancakes are $4.50 per person. Side orders of meats, eggs, fruits, beverages range in price from $1.75 to $2.50 depending on what you order. Sandwiches and salads range from $4.00 to $9.00. This is the place with the Griddle in the middle of the table.
We will meet @ ramp across from the Old Sugar Mill @ 10:00 a, We will be on SPRING GARDEN LAKE for a short time the head toward Lake Woodruff depending on the group we can stop and rest then return.
ABOUT THE PARK Native Americans visited and used these springs as long as 6,000 years ago. 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 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.
Swimming is permitted from 8:00 a.m. until one half hour before sunset. The swimming area is spring fed and is a constant 72 degrees. Depths range from 18" to 30' at the spring boil. Children and non-swimmers should be accompanied by an adult swimmer at all times. The swimming area is approximately 500 feet in circumference. Ten laps around would be about a mile. Lifeguards are on duty only during the summer months. NO swimming is permitted in Spring Garden Creek.
Visitor Center Exhibits feature the park's 6,000 history, starting with the Native American mound builders, through the 1960s attractions era and the water skiing elephant. A touch table with bones and shells, DVDs on the spring and river, park photo albums, rocking chairs, and a children's area ensure there is something for everyone.
Wildlife is plentiful and can be easily observed from the walkway across the spring. Otters, alligators, manatees, osprey, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, and even a swimming black bear have been spotted. this is an hour to and hour and a half drive from JAX