Paddle Florida

PADDLE FLORIDA
Over 85 Florida Paddling Destinations

PaddleFlorida
Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek. Kayak, canoe, FloridaPaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek. Kayak, canoe, Florida

You are here > Home > North Florida > Paddle DeLeon Springs
Reported: Oct. 2013

DeLeon Springs... Historic Roadside Attraction with Paddling

DeLeon Spring, pouring out 19 million gallons of water per day, forms the headwaters for Spring Garden Lake and Spring Garden Creek which flows 10 miles to the St. John's River. Launch at Ponce DeLeon Springs State Park and paddle the four-mile trail along Spring Garden Creek to Lake Woodruff and Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge with its 18,000+ acres of lakes, creeks, and marshes. (Detailed map and photos below.)   



View Larger Map
Distance: 4 miles to Lake Woodruff, 10 miles to the St. John's River
Location: Volusia County (DeLeon Springs)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Tidal: No
Launch points: DeLeon Springs State Park (See map, left)
Kayak/Canoe Rentals: At DeLeon Springs State Park (link, above right)
Nearby points of interest: New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach

The water is clear coming from the spring but darkens due to vegetation, and the decaying vegetation on the lake produces methane gas that can be smelly. Some shade along the shoreline, but this is a sunny ride with very few places to pull off to stretch or snack. During low water, may be necessary to navigate around shallow sections in Spring Garden Creek. Wildlife include alligators, manatee (in season), otters, deer, eagles and over 125 species of birds.

Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek, kayak, canoe, FloridaPaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek, kayak, canoe, Florida

The 72 degree DeLeon Springs swimming area is next to the Visitor Center. The Park has restrooms, parking and facilities, a nature trail, picnicking, playground, fishing. At The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant, guests make their own pancakes at their table. Canoe, kayak and paddleboat rentals are available for paddling at the spring and spring run, and an Eco/History Boat Tour runs up Spring Garden Creek. Snorkeling is allowed in the swimming area, no diving except for instructional diving with a certified instructor. Watch for the "swamp ape" (photo on the right).

Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek, kayak, canoe, FloridaPaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek, kayak, canoe, Florida

The spring was known to Native Americans as long as 6,000 years ago, then in the early 1800s sugar and cotton plantations were built. Later, the springs became a winter resort -- the park was renamed from Spring Garden to Ponce DeLeon promoting the "Fountain of Youth." This was one of the major roadside attractions in 1930's Florida featuring waterskiing, trapeze artists and a jungle cruise among other oddities.

Paddling at DeLeon Springs
 Spring Garden Creek to Lake Woodruff

(tap or hover over photo for larger view)
We paddled around Spring Garden Lake and up the Creek toward Lake Woodruff, the total is around 4 miles. Not much wildlife on this trip, some birds but no gators. We saw a few pontoon boats and the tour boat.
Launch and Paddling at DeLeon Springs Basin
Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe
Launch at the park. Not difficult to push through the water lilies. The eco-tour boat leaves from here as well. The outflow from the spring into Spring Garden Lake is over a little waterfall. View of the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant from the water.
Paddling on Spring Garden Lake
Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe
This was an old pontoon dock Some homes along the shore That's the eco-tour boat
Paddling on Spring Garden Creek
Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe
The south shore borders Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge Back into the spring basin/launch
DeLeon Springs State Park
The spring depth ranges from 3 to 30 feet, there are no lifeguards. Admission fee.
Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe Paddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, CanoePaddle DeLeon Springs, Lake Woodruff, Spring Garden Creek - Kayak, Canoe
The spring is managed for swimming At the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant Spring from the restaurant This wall had a fountain where visitors could drink the "healthy" water 1850's-1870's sugar mill ruins

Also visit us here: Bicycling at Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

More information on paddling at DeLeon Springs (opens in a new window):

- Florida State Parks  - DeLeon Springs State Park
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

Top of Page

Paddling in Florida - Kayak, Canoe
DeLeon Springs to Lake Woodruff on Spring Garden Creek

Outfitters/Rentals

DeLeon Springs State Park


Support and Advocacy

Friends of DeLeon Springs State Park


Deland, Florida, weather forecast