We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A peaceful place to spend time in Old Florida”

Hontoon Island State Park
Ranked #4 of 78 things to do in DeLand
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 19 May 2012

Hontoon Island State Park is lovely. Accessible only by boat, the Hontoon Island Ferry leaves regularly from the mainland and travels a short distance across the St. John’s River to deliver you to the State Park. The fee is nominal for all that is offered. There are great bike and walking trails, picnic and playground areas under shade trees on the river and fishing right from the banks. They have 40 boat slips with water and electric hookup available for day trippers or those that want to stay overnight in their boat. Accommodations include primitive tent sites and rustic cabins. Canoe rentals are available and there’s a visitor’s center that tells the Native American history of the area. We often take our boat there and park, eat a picnic lunch and have hiked the trails and enjoyed the playground area. Bird and wildlife watching is a wonderful pastime on the island and it’s easy to see Osprey, Bald Eagle, Little Blue Heron, Great Blue Heron, egrets, alligators, and a variety of snakes, fish and turtles all in a short period of time. For day trippers or those wanting to stay for a few days, Hontoon Island is a peaceful and enjoyable place to be.

2  Thank Amy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (209)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
All reviews
"ferry ride"
in 19 reviews
"free ferry"
in 9 reviews
"ranger station"
in 7 reviews
"small ferry"
in 4 reviews
"real florida"
in 11 reviews
"camping facilities"
in 6 reviews
"miles round trip"
in 4 reviews
"john's river"
in 9 reviews
"overnight camping"
in 3 reviews
"main trail"
in 3 reviews
"black bear"
in 4 reviews
"plenty of picnic tables"
in 4 reviews
"picnic area"
in 8 reviews
"camp store"
in 5 reviews
"walking trails"
in 6 reviews
"nice playground"
in 3 reviews
"nature trail"
in 6 reviews

198 - 202 of 209 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2012

This is a wonderful state park and great for kids. We enjoy the outdoors and this park was no exception.

1  Thank PurpleLady2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2012

This is the perfect location for a quiet family get-together. Picnic tables under large oak trees, right on the river. Nice playground equipment and beautiful hiking trails. My kids were born in DeLand, and we spent many enjoyable Sundays picnicking at Hontoon Island when they were children.

1  Thank RFS198
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2012

We love to spend the night tied up at the dock. You get hot showers and indoor plumbing (:-))). Very few places are big boat friendly in this section of the River. We like to drop the tender and explore the area behind Hontoon, wildlife watching. There are plenty of trails too. And a little store for ice cream and coffee and stuff. Great for picnics too. If your group isn't into boating, you can drive up and reserve a campsite or cabin. Florida's only State Park accessible only by water!

2  Thank meandmyNoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 13 April 2012

We traveled Easter weekend as a family of four (two boys 3 and 5) and stayed two nights. The weather was perfect and we encountered not a single mosquito. After parking the car at the marina, the ferry took us across the river to the park where we dragged our camping gear to the back of the park building to meet the transport van. Luckily, we had a beach cart to load up, because it is a little cumbersome to get all of that stuff to the site. The rangers had called to warn us of a fire ban, so we purchased charcoal right at the on site store. We opted to hike into the site on the nature trail rather than take the van - it's a quarter mile walk and manageable. We saw a deer, a black bear, and three armadillos!

The site itself is set up nicely in that the bathrooms are not far from the tent. The only downside here is that there is little privacy on the site itself. The campers behind us snored like grizzlies and on the second night, a big group stayed in a cabin a few sites away and the Reggaeton music till 11:00 spoiled the quiet natural experience to a certain extent. So bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper.

The upside is the hiking - there is an amazing trail to the Indian shell mound that goes through a beautiful forest. A shortcut back to camp on the old fireroads was completely different from an ecological perspective, but just as beautiful. Access to the river itself is limited to where the ferry docks, but that area is nice for fishing and letting the kids run. There are barbeques and a small playground with swings. We couldn't kayak because the winds were too strong, so that was disappointing, and there is no swimming due to aligators, but really, the available hiking was sufficient for outdoor activities. Lastly, watch out for the ticks - there was no warning sign and I didn't check before getting into the tent for the night - nasty surprise in the morning. But they are harmless - just gross. The best part about this camp is NO RV's and no cars - very quiet and natural with the freedom to let the kids run freely.

2  Thank Jmarshall95678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Hontoon Island State Park also viewed


Been to Hontoon Island State Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing