HONTOON ISLAND STATE PARK
This island, located in the St. Johns River in Volusia County, welcomes visitors to enjoy nature and history in quiet solitude. The island is accessible only by private boat or park ferry. Evidence of Native American habitation over thousands of years can be witnessed as visitors hike through the park. Stop in and walk through the impressive visitor center to learn more about the many inhabitants and uses of Hontoon Island over the years. Boating, canoeing, and fishing are popular activities and canoe rentals are available. Picnic areas include tables, grills, and a playground. For overnight stays, the park has rustic cabinsan enclosed sleeping space with electricityno heat, air conditioning, bathrooms, or kitchens. Overnight boat slip rentals and a tentsonly campground are also available. The park?s ferry operates daily from 8:00 a.m. to one hour before sunset. Located six miles west of Deland off State Road 44.
HISTORY OF THE AREA
The first inhabitants of the island were the Timucuan Indians. Snails gathered from the shallows of the St. Johns River were a staple food of these people. Through the years, the discarded shells accumulated to form large mounds on the island, one of which may be viewed on the park?s nature trail. Three remarkable artifacts have been found in the vicinity of Hontoon Island. A large owl totem, carved from a log and two smaller carvings of wood, one of an otter holding a fish and the other of a bird which is apparently a pelican. Replicas of two of the totems stand in the picnic area as a tribute to the artistry and craftsmanship of the extinct culture.
In later years, the 1,650-acre island was a pioneer homestead, a boat yard, a center for commercial fishing and a cattle ranch before being purchased by the state in 1967.
Learn something about the history of Hontoon Island. See examples of the bugs, birds and other wildlife found within the park. Look at artifacts found on the island. Watch the video. Listen to the animal sounds. Enjoy the air conditioning!
Hontoon Island State Park offers 6 rustic cabins. Each one-room cabin has bunk beds with vinyl-covered mattresses, a ceiling fan, overhead lighting and one electrical outlet. In addition to a picnic table and ground grill, each cabin has a screened in porch with table and chairs. Visitors should provide their own linens and be aware that there are NO restroom facilities, cooking facilities, heating or air conditioning inside the cabins. Cooking is only permissible outside the cabin(s) in the ground grill, or on a personal camp stove. Restroom facilities are offered at a community bathhouse located in the center of the campground where they will find hot showers and flushable toilets.
Hontoon Island has 12 tent sites in a very primitive environment. Each site has a picnic table, a ground grill, and access to a water spigot. The campground is in a hammock area so it is shady. Restroom facilities are located in the center of the campground, which include ADA accessible facilities and hot showers.
Hontoon Island State Park also offers the Bedtime Story Camper Lending Library of picture books for campers aged four to nine. From Alligators to insects, the Lending Library is a fun way to enhance your child's experience in the Real Florida. For a quiet afternoon or bedtime, share a story with your child to help explain the sights and sounds of Hontoon Island. Ask the Ranger Station about how to check out a book.
Our fabulous, spacious youth camp area is offered for scouts and other organized groups of up to a total of 35 persons. Bring the "smores" and your best singing voice!
Hontoon Island State Park offers overnight boatslips, which are available on a "first come, first served basis" . Reservations are not required?advance reservations are not accepted. Boatslips run per night/plus tax (30 amp service).
Fishing is permitted from the banks of the island. Largemouth bass may be caught on artificial bait or live shiners. Most bluegills and shellcrackers are caught with earthworms and crickets, but may also be taken on small artificial topwater bugs. Small live minnows are the best bait for speckled perch. Channel cats are often caught on earthworms sunk to the bottom along the main river channel. A Florida freshwater fishing license is required for persons 16 years of age or older.
DAY USE AREA
Bathhouses, with hot showers, are located in the campground and marina for registered campers only. For daytime visitors, restrooms are located in day use picnic area and marina area. All restrooms are wheelchair accessible and improvements are being made to make them even friendlier.
The picnic area includes playground equipment, swings, picnic tables, cooking grills, and a restroom which overlooks the St. Johns River. There is one first come - first serve pavilion with a large upright cooking grill.
A 3-mile round trip self guided trail begins at the Ranger Station and follows Huntoon Dead River to the large Indian mound at the southwest corner of the island. Allow 2 1/2 hours for a leisurely walk.
Pets are allowed in the park. They must be kept on a six-foot, hand held leash and well behaved at all times. Pets may not be left unattended at any time. Pets are permitted on the trail and park service roads. Pet owners must pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings in trash receptacles. Any pet that is noisy, dangerous, intimidating or destructive will not be allowed to remain in the park. Non-furbearing pets, such as reptiles, birds, or fish must be confined or under the physical control of the owner. Some animals may be prohibited on park property. Failure to abide by these rules may result in the visitor being asked to leave.
Pets are allowed overnight at the tent sites only. No pets are allowed in or around the cabins. Pets must be confined, leashed (not to exceed six feet in length) or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times. Tethered pets must not be left unattended for more than 30 minutes. Quiet hours must be observed from 11:00 p.m. - 8:00 a.m. Pet owners must pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all pet droppings in trash receptacles. Florida law requires that pets be vaccinated against rabies. Any pet that is noisy, dangerous, intimidating or destructive will not be allowed to remain in the park. Non-furbearing pets, such as reptiles, birds, or fish must be confined or under the physical control of the owner. Some animals may be prohibited on park property. Failure to abide by these rules may result in the camper being asked to board the pet outside the park or to leave the campground.
Hontoon Island State Park is located six miles west of Deland, off S.R. 44.