An early getaway for well-to-do northerners, Daytona Beach was founded in 1870. Soon after the first automobiles arrived, drivers discovered the hard-packed coquina sand made it easy to go fast. Once the idea of speed trials and racing began, car and motorcycle enthusiasts made their way down primitive roads tunneling through lush hammocks to get to the “World’s Most Famous Beach.”
Racing shifted off the beach and onto the famous racetrack along International Speedway Boulevard in 1959. But follow that same highway west and you’ll enter Tiger Bay State Forest, a vast conservation area protecting both high ridges and the marshes that feed the Tomoka River basin.
Daytona Beach and its neighboring communities of Ponce Inlet and Port Orange have extensive public lands protecting archaeological sites, ancient oak hammocks, and the edges of the estuaries between coast and barrier island. To its north, Ormond Beach and Holly Hill offer paddling and camping opportunities.
Trails and Parks Around Daytona Beach
Best Hikes near Daytona Beach
Stretching 5.2 miles through an primordial forest of sluggish, fern-lined waterways, ancient live oaks, magnolias, and cabbage palms, the Bulow Woods Loop is one of North Florida’s most scenic hikes
Surrounding more than 42 square miles of the Tomoka River watershed, Tiger Bay State Forest provides nearly 20 miles of interpretive and multiuse trails between Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, and DeLand
Just south of Daytona Beach, Ponce Preserve protects a cross-section of barrier island habitats, with nearly 2 miles of trails connecting the beach and the Halifax River