The Town of DeLand, and De Leon Springs State Park

    By Gary McKechnie

    I love the town of DeLand, home of the Museum of Florida Art. And if you visiting DeLand, head just a few miles north of downtown and you’ll find De Leon Springs State Park.

    In addition to a wonderful natural spring here, the really amazing thing is that – inside the ruins of an old sugar mill – you can make your own pancakes. Yes, pancakes. The server brings you a pitcher of pancake batter and you cook your own breakfast at a griddle in the center of your table.

    When you’re done eating you can take a dip 25 feet down to the mouth of De Leon springs, which releases about 16 million gallons of fresh water a day.

    Feeling adventurous? Rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the Spring Garden Run beside the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge for an eyeful of birds and wildlife.

    Florida’s state parks are wonderfully diverse. De Leon Springs State Park proves it.


    When you go...
    De Leon Springs State Park
    Off Highway 17 (roughly five miles north of DeLand)
    (386) 985-4212 (park)
    (386) 985-5644 (restaurant)



    The old mill stream. De Leon Springs State Park is at the site of an old sugar mill.

    - De Leon Springs State Park


    A tranquil scene at De Leon Springs State Park near DeLand.

    - De Leon Springs State Park


    Few (if any) state parks give you the option of making your own pancakes. De Leon does!

    - De Leon Springs State Park


    Wait at least an hour after eating your pancakes before you go swimming...

    - De Leon Springs State Park

    Places to Remember