Hontoon Island State Park

Hontoon Island State Park, DeLand: Hours, Address, Hontoon Island State Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Hontoon Island State Park
4.5
8:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Monday
8:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Friday
8:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 1:00 AM
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About
ACCESSIBLE ONLY BY PRIVATE BOAT OR PARK FERRY The island has pine Flatwoods, palm and oak hammocks, bald cypress swamps, and marshes. Hontoon Island is surrounded by the St. Johns River, the Hontoon Dead River, and Snake Creek. Activities include horseshoes, cycling, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, as well as hiking, camping, picnicking, and nature viewing and photography. The island can be circumnavigated with a nine and a half-mile (14 km) day trip; Blue Spring State Park is a short paddle up the St. Johns (3.5 miles) one way. Amenities include canoe rentals, bike paths, eleven tent sites, and six rustic cabins. The park also has overnight boat slip rentals, playground equipment, picnic tables, and a 3.4-mile (5.5 km) nature trail. The park has a lending library with picture books for children aged four to nine. The park is open from 8:00 am till one hour before sunset year-round.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
272 reviews
Excellent
181
Very good
72
Average
17
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Tim J
1 contribution
Family
Peace, quiet and nature. This is Florida the way it should be experienced! I took my son for an early birthday present. We had a wonderful time. The staff was courteous and very friendly. Sadly, I can't remember the names of all of the staff but Ranger Acuna and his fellow park employees deserve the highest praise. He initially was concerned about my snake hook but after a brief conversation he understood why I brought it.
Read the rules and regulations BEFORE you go and there will be no surprises. We enjoyed the resident Red-shouldered hawk each morning! The resident Great-horned Owl serenaded us each night! My special moment was when a large male American Alligator bellowed his challenge to a jet flying overhead one evening! This nature nut was hooked!
Bypass the mouse and the super heroes! Hontoon Island is the happiest place on earth!
Written May 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dboal
Gainesville, FL72 contributions
We rented a cabin over Christmas Break and had a good time. Brought the grandkids and some games and fishing equipment and had some fun. The cabins are pretty "rustic", but comfortable, the park is beautiful, and the staff are all so helpful and friendly! It was cool that the park store has games you can borrow too.
During our visit (last week of December) it was rainy, but we were lucky in that the rain was mostly overnight. The weather had been warm this fall, so the mosquitos were still pretty bad. (we were hoping for a December freeze to help with that!) We used our Thermacell repellent devices, and they were pretty effective. We didn't do a lot of hiking because everything was pretty wet, but the area by the office was nice, we walked up to the docks and went fishing and the kids played around on the playground. We were trying for a low-key trip to rest and rejuvenate, so we didn't go in search of any other activities, across the river. This park is so unique, it is definitely worth checking out even for a day trip. If you camp, the process is different than you might expect - you load your stuff onto wheelbarrows, come over on the ferry (free of charge), and then wheel your things to the loading area for the van. Then a ranger drives you and your stuff to the campground. When you are ready to head home you pack up, call for the van and reverse the process.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Cyndi B
Arvada, CO30 contributions
Couples
Love, love, loved this quaint little island. We stayed a couple of nights at Hontoon Resort which is very close by, so we went over the the island on the free ferry several times. The rangers who operate the ferry and maintain this island state park are very friendly and informative. We took a hike one day and saw almost no one along the path. The next day, I rented a bike and took a different path along the other side of the island. Again, I saw almost no one. At the end of the bike path is a lovely glen with a HUGE live oak tree that the ranger told me is over 600 years old. We were there during the week. On Friday afternoon, I did see a large group of teens headed over to camp for the weekend, so I image it is busier on the weekends.
I would definitely return to this island and spend more time exploring next time I’m in central Florida.
Written June 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JimS628
Jacksonville, FL126 contributions
Well due to the Covid issue, the free fairy only takes 3 people at a time to the park. Lots of good hiking and I assume fishing and boating here. There is a small gift shop and kayak rentals here. There is also a small marina to dock you boat.
Written August 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Garcialinette
Davie, FL161 contributions
Couples
We love camping in the rustic cabins on Hontoon Islands. So peaceful and great campsite. Cabins are rustic with minimal amenities but we love the screened in porch and fire pits with grills over top. Tips for campers: 1) buy firewood on the island rather than having to haul across on the ferry 2) try to make it their early and leave early or rent an extra day and stay late. Peak times make traveling across on the ferry, which only sits 6 people, take quite a while 3) Rent or bring your kayak and explore around the island. Great bird watching and might gets some alligators too!
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Darlene F
Orange City, Florida, Usa63 contributions
A great boat ride over to island. Lots of parking. They have a small store for some refreshments and picnic tables to use when you bring a packed lunch. Play ground the kids, but children need to be watched closely. Snakes, gators and lots of birds can be seen.Its a good idea to have a ranger take you on a guided trip around the island. This island was home to moonshiner stills at one time. This island has a lot of history during the civil war, also the first people of Florida native Americans
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dan H
Prescott, WI95 contributions
Couples
Nice park to visit. You need to ferry across but only 6 people at a time. Camping overnight is an option but we didn’t. Walked the trails but the maps and trails are not marked so it’s confusing. There is a little store and they have bathrooms with showers that you can pay to use.
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Deborah Lucas A
Corinth, Kentucky, USA51 contributions
Couples
We did one of the guided walks with Ranger Jim. His knowledge is awesome! And, his patience with his audience is appreciated.
This Island is a haven and a wonderful way to spend an hour, a day, or; if you want to camp there, a week. Nature in all her glory!!
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

pizzaguy34172
Daytona Beach, FL1 contribution
Couples
Recently visited the park for a one night camping trip. Upon arrival we were taken over to the island by ferry by a park ranger (could have been staff or volunteer). This ranger was nice and helpful. The day went fairly well, until night set and more campers arrived. Quiet time is meant to be 11 pm, and when we arrived the ranger gave us a paper telling us that if there were any issues to call either number on the paper for help. So heres the issues, our neighbors decided to invite 2 other campsite's members to their site to "hang out". Little did we know this would be a disaster. They were talking extremely loud and drinking within 4 feet of our tent and urinating outside on the trees surrounding our tent. The neighbors also had two dogs, who should've been kept on a leash but were not and kept running off and stepping all over our tent and the owner didn't even bother to call them back to their site. This loud obnoxious behavior went on for 5 hours, three of those hours being after the so called "quiet time". We called the park manager and ranger station several times and left a message, although no one answered. Eventually we went to the "campground host" site and woke him up to come over and talk to the neighbors. He did so 2x's, the noise quieted for about 15 minutes each time, during which our neighbors made rude comments about the campground host and us and made plans to make the next night a big "party night". We were trapped, as there is no way off the island till 8 am and we were certainly not going to put ourselves in danger by confronting these people.
We slept for about 4 hours, got up packed up and left, probably never to return again. Its too bad too, as this park has a neat concept and a clean campground, although not much to do.
Here's some issues with this park, all of the 3 phone numbers we called had no response, that is what they told us to call if there was an emergency or problem! What if there had been an emergency? What if these neighbors decided to seek revenge on us for "telling" on them. When we got to the rangers office in the morning, it was before 8 (before the first ferry runs) so we waited, the ranger was extremely rude to us, we wanted to tell him about all the issues of the night before but he was not approachable. He took us back to the car, not even bothering to hook the ferry to the dock, parking crooked and told us to "go ahead". WOW. glad I didn't fall in.
It's very scary to be in a situation like this, where everyone around you has no common courtesy and are just rude, and you can't just pack up and walk away, because you're stuck till someone gets there to take you home. Beware of this. They need to get this park in order.
Written March 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chip W
DeLand, FL6 contributions
Friends
During the summer the trails can be quite muddy, and the bugs can carry you off. During late fall and winter visibility is better because foliage isn't quite as thick and the bugs aren't as ferocious. Very nice family day for hiking and exploring cabins camp sites and boat slips available.
Written May 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Hontoon Island State Park

Hontoon Island State Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 1:00 AM