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“Great camping experience!”

Hontoon Island State Park
Ranked #3 of 78 things to do in DeLand
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed December 13, 2013

My husband and I went camping on Hontoon Island Nov 2013 for our 1 year wedding anniversary. As new campers, we were worried about having to carry all our camping gear from the ferry to the camp site. Not a problem at all! Once we arrived on the island, we purchased firewood and ice, loaded all our camping gear into the park ranger's car, and he dropped us off with all our stuff at the camp site.

Tent camp sites are pretty close together and don't offer much privacy. However, it is a great place to go to meet new friends.Park ranger Ron was incredibly helpful and friendly. Really great staff!

Bathrooms were well-maintained and even included toilet paper!

The park store sells all kinds of "opps! I forgot X" items from tent tarps and fire starters to hot coffee in the morning. We had a wonderful time walking the trails, meeting new friends, and enjoying the quiet beauty of nature. Can't wait to go back again!

1  Thank Missy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 - 162 of 204 reviews

Reviewed September 3, 2013

Back for a longer visit at Hontoon Island State Park, we decided to camp in one of the 12 cabins over the labor day weekend.
The campground is about 4 tenths of a mile from the main landing area, nice for quiet and privacy from the day users but not too far. Each has a screened porch, lights, place to plugin your phones chargers, simple overhead fans, mattress on bunk beds, fire ring/grill on the ground outside, water tap, rustic but decent. The screened porch is great for sitting in the cool evening. The bathhouses were OK, warm not hot water showers. The paperwork said check in at 4:00 but we had no trouble checking in when we arrived before 2:00, shutting across on the free electric ferry.

Note: if you have a large party and arrive at a busy time it can take a while to get to the island, they can only take 6 people per trip. The biggest cabins accommodate up to 6 people. Also be aware that the last ferry back leaves at 7:00 PM, you're on the island for the night after that unless you came in by your own boat. There is resident staff on the island in case of any issues. They do have wheelbarrows to lend to the campers to help you carry your gear, firewood etc and they offer van rides for you and your stuff if you don't mind waiting a few minutes to get up to the campground.
The walking trail to the cabins was pretty damp and some mud after heavy rains and we saw a pygmy rattler there. The ranger came and relocated it with a loop stick after we reported it as we didn't want kids to come across it.

We had no issues with noise or rowdiness at the camping area despite the holiday weekend and the large group from nearby Stetson University, nice, polite, peace and quiet all around. There was plenty of staff, almost everyone went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, you felt very well cared for, a small park, almost family feel.

We didn't do the Indian mound trail this trip or fish, both popular activities, but you won't run out of things to do. The kids playground down at the main landing area is small but nice, a huge grassy lawn and many tables and the very small but nice museum all bear a visit.

Too bad we missed seeing the black bear that visited the cabin area during the night.

We rented a kayak, deciding to just go a little ways rather than the 3 1/2 hour trip around the island the ranger suggested. We say numerous birds, turtles, a good sized gator sunning itself from a distance, Would have appreciated a better seat on the kayak but great otherwise. They had a special half price, $10 for 2 hours canoe or kayak, $20 for all day, very reasonable.

Highly recommended for both day trip (completely free) and camping (very reasonable fee).

5  Thank WallyFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Only way to get to the state park is by a short pontoon ride across the river. Then, explore the trails to the Indian mound and be quiet. There is quiet here, no noisy groups. Hike near the river, rest under the big tree. Appreciate the camping facilities and then back to the information center and camp store. It's free, situated on the St. John's river. The trails are well marked. Take time to relax into a non-stressful hike and feel like you can get away into nature.

2  Thank Teresa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2013 via mobile

Don't see what all the fuss is about. The only cool part was the very short ferry across the river. Everything else not very interesting. Rent a boat and explore this beautiful river yourself!

Thank Swalters1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We took a short ferry ride to the actual island...the ranger saw us and came right over to pick us up so the wait was not long. Lots of trees and shade so it was nice on a hot day. They had plenty of picnic tables and a jungle gym for the younger kids. We took the hike to the burial grounds which luckily was under a lot of tree cover becasue it started raining about a mile into the hike. We stopped in the small but interesting museum and the small store. Definitely worth of visit if you are in the area.

3  Thank Jennifer K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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