Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon was in search of the “Fountain of Youth” – and gold – when he came to the shores of Florida. He didn’t find either, but this town in Holmes County bears his name because of the shimmering waters of several major springs. With several beautiful springs surrounding this tiny community off Interstate 10, it’s a gem that most travelers miss unless they ramble the back roads.
Nearby: DeFuniak Springs, Ebro, Panama City Beach
Trails and Parks in Ponce De Leon
- Morrison Springs Park- Surrounded by a rim of old growth cypress, Morrison Springs is a beautiful swimming hole. It can also be enjoyed with a walk around the park or a paddle up the spring run.
- Paddling Holmes Creek- With a dozen launch points and more than 15 springs along its 16 mile length, Holmes Creek, a tributary of the Choctawhatchee River, is a must-do paddling trip along a remote waterway.
- Ponce De Leon Springs Nature Trails- Two short nature trails, the Sandy Creek Trail and the Spring Creek Trail, follow the confluence of waters at Ponce De Leon Springs State Park.
- Ponce de Leon Springs State Park- In the quiet town of Ponce de Leon, the spring’s the thing. Chalky blue 68-degree water tempts swimmers in for a chilly dip in this first-magnitude spring, which gushes forth 14 million gallons of clean, clear water daily.
- Vortex Spring- Pouring out 28 million gallons of water a day, the crystalline depths of Vortex Spring in Ponce De Leon have intrigued divers for more than forty years. But it's not just about diving: the privately-owned spring is a summer destination for family fun in the water.