If you are near Volusia County and you want a great place during the summer to take the kids swimming you will want to check out De Leon Springs. Located at 601 Ponce De Leon Blvd. in the town of De Leon Springs, the park is a real gem!
De Leon Springs offers a wonderful closed off spring that you can swim in. The water is beautiful and is a chilly 72 degrees all year long. Some people find the chilly water to be a challenge, but I love it. Once you get in and go under you get used to it, and it's wonderful for cooling you off on a hot day. The spring area is closed in, so there are no alligators to worry about. During the summer months they also have a lifeguard on duty. You can set up your blanket and/or chairs on the nearby grass, even finding some shady spots. Take your own tube or rent one from the park. The springs were considered at one time to be the fountain of youth, so dive in and soak it up just in case!
There is also some great hiking at De Leon Springs. There is a short hike for those that don't want to do much or can't take a longer one. It leads back to a 500 year old tree, as well as goes into a circle, looping back to the starting point. This trail is all paved and suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. There are also trails that lead off the paved path, one that is 1/4 of a mile, and one that is several miles long. Those trails would not be suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.
It's a great place to take a hike, swim, picnic, kayak, and even take an eco-boat tour. If you are so inclined, they also have an old mill restaurant right there where you can prepare your own pancakes on a griddle at your table. They also have a beautiful butterfly garden, filled with flowers and many types of butterflies. This park is loaded with gorgeous live oak trees, a cypress swamp, and so much to see!
Here are some pictures from the great time we had yesterday at De Leon Springs, certainly a family friendly park: