Grab a spatula and start flipping pancakes! Once a Florida roadside attraction, De Leon Springs State Park still draws big crowds for its unique make-your-own-pancake restaurant with griddle top tables, set inside a historic sugar mill.
Location: De Leon Springs
Fees: $4-6 per vehicle
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant 9-5 weekdays, 8-5 weekends (serving until 4), closed Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Leashed pets welcome
The town of DeLeon Springs is just north of Deland on US 17. From US 17 in DeLeon Springs, turn west onto Ponce De Leon Boulevard. Follow it 0.8 mile. The entrance to De Leon Springs State Park is just after the railroad crossing.
The wait for the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant is long, especially on weekends, but there’s plenty to do in this expansive park, from swimming in the namesake spring to taking a guided boat tour along Spring Garden Run to a wander in the woods.
Both gentle wheelchair-friendly trails and serious tromps through the floodplain forest offer hikers a walk in the dense palm hammocks and cypress swamps found along this tributary of the St. Johns River. Open water SCUBA diving is permitted if you’re here as part of a diving class with a certified instructor.
On the short Monkey Island Trail, you see the remains of what once was a “jungle cruise” style boat ride through the floodplain forest.
Along the much longer Wild Persimmon Trail, go deep into the jungle-like wilds of the floodplain of Spring Garden Run.
Explore the park
- Wild Persimmon Trail - At DeLeon Springs State Park, the Wild Persimmon Trail is a 4.5 mile wild walk along the edge of habitats in the floodplain forest created by the springs.