Florida state parks reopened May 21 amid the coronavirus pandemic with restrictions including closed facilities and limited capacity
Just in time for enjoyable springtime weather, Florida’s state parks are reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Parks that have been closed since March reopened May 21 for daytime use as part of Phase 1 to reopen Florida.
[Daytona moves to reopen city parks, pools]
[Coronavirus Volusia beaches reopening: Here’s what you need to know]
Safety precautions including limited capacity, the closure of certain facilities and other measures are in place to prevent spread of COVID-19.Cabins and some other facilities at parks remain closed over safety concerns. Visitors should practice social distancing and limit group size to 10 people or less. Visit the park’s website or call for details on what’s open, capacity limits and more information.
Here are the reopened parks in Volusia and Flagler counties:
2100 W. French Ave., Orange City | 386-775-3663
The Orange City spring is prized for many reasons: Its manatee season in winter months; a long, winding spring run; opportunities to see wildlife; and accessibility by boat from the St. Johns River. The park also includes trails, picnic areas and a historic house. Swimmers can travel upstream in the Blue Spring run to the headwaters, a deep spring popular among scuba divers with sunken trees at the mouth of the spring.
The park is open for day use, with swimming capacity restricted. Bathroom facilities may be limited. Admission is $6 per vehicle.
2309 River Ridge Road, DeLand | 386-736-5309
Hontoon Island rests between the St. Johns River and backwaters, and is only accessible by boat. A free ferry service normally brings guests over to the island, but that service is not provided at this time. Native American history is plentiful on the island, and a museum holds historic exhibits. Hiking, boating, canoeing and fishing are popular activities there.
The park is open for day use Admission is free.
601 Ponce de Leon Blvd., DeLeon Springs | 386-985-4212
The historic springs were once called acuera, or "healing waters," by Timucuan Indians who inhabited the area. The circular spring is bordered by a lush forest with a trail system, and boating and fishing are popular on the nearby run that connects to the St. Johns River.
The park is nearly as popular for its Sugar Mill Restaurant as it is for the springs, although the restaurant is closed. The park is open for day use. Swimming capacity is restricted. Admission is $6 per vehicle.
2099 N. Beach St., Ormond Beach | 386-676-4050
The 2,000-acre park situated along the Tomoka River is "a bird-watcher's paradise," the park’s website says, with more than 160 species sighted. It’s also great for boaters, with the calm waters of the Tomoka winding through scenic Florida coastline. The trail system brings hikers through what was once an indigo field for an 18th-century British landowner.
The park is open for day use, with the boat ramp available, bathroom availability possibly limited and all other park facilities closed. Admission is $5 per vehicle.
40 Highbridge Road, Ormond Beach | 386-517-2086
Undeveloped beaches are a rarity in Florida, and this park provides nearly 3 miles of them. Take the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail to get there — the journey is almost as enjoyable as the destination.
The park is open for day use, with limited restroom facilities and all other park facilities closed. Admission is free.
3501 Old Kings Road, Flagler Beach | 386-517-2084
The park, once a sugar cane, cotton, rice and indigo plantation in the 1800s, is home to a spring house, a plantation house and slave cabins. The historic ruins tower among the trees, not far from the scenic Halifax River.
The park is open for day use, and access to facilities including bathrooms may be limited. Admission is $4.
6400 N. Oceanshore Blvd., Palm Coast | 386-446-6780
Show-stopping gardens bloom with many types of roses, azaleas, birds of paradise and more. Neat walkways wrap around reflection ponds and fountains, all beneath the canopy of an expansive oak hammock — there’s beauty here from top to bottom. And on the beach side portion of the park, coquina formations make for beautiful scenery not seen many places elsewhere in Florida.
The park is open for day use based on limited capacity, and bathroom facilities may be limited on the beach portion of the park. Admission ranges from $5-$2, and exact change must be provided.
3100 S. Oceanshore Blvd., Flagler Beach | 386-517-2086
This park was named in honor of Florida singer-songwriter, storyteller and icon Gamble Rogers. Rogers attempted to save a man from drowning on this beach, but both men died in the surf on Oct. 10, 1991. The park is a destination for beachfront camping, with spots for RV hookups or tents.
The beachfront portion of the park is open, and facilities including bathrooms may be limited. Admission ranges from $2-$5.