Walk Up to DeLand’s Wildlife
When you think “wildlife,” your mind might jump to the savannahs of Africa or the teeming Amazon rainforest—but before taking a cross-continent safari, why not start close to home? You can find an array of animals right here in DeLand and our local surroundings!
Read on to see our favorite spots for wildlife viewing right around the corner!
Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge
For a one-of-a-kind tour of the wild animals that call Central Florida “home,” Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place to start. Here, you can hike, hone your outdoor photography skills, or even ride horseback throughout the park’s passageways. What makes Lake Woodruff stand out? As you explore these spots, you won’t just be enjoying nature—you’ll be getting a close-up look at the animals (fluffy, slimy at all) who live there. Bird watchers will be delighted to find more than 230 species at the refuge, in addition to protected species like the gopher tortoise. We can’t forget about the alligators who can be found around refuge, too!
Hontoon Island State Park
Hontoon Island State Park is removed—in a big way—from the hustle and bustle of life on the mainland. At the center of St. Johns River sits the island, a prized getaway for those who want to see nature at its most untouched. Stroll around the island and keep your eyes open for its curious residents—white ibis, black vultures, Sandhill cranes and other species that would make any devoted bird watcher swoon.
Blue Spring State Park
Blue Spring State Park is the place to be to see manatees, who can be seen swimming under the spring’s surface during Florida’s cooler months. Like snowbirds who flock to Florida during the winter, manatees are known for their penchant for warm water. Since they tend to travel north when waters there get warmer, now is the perfect time to observe the aptly-nicknamed “sea cows” in their natural habitat.
With a variety of animal opportunities to enjoy, there are plenty of chances to walk on the wild side in DeLand. You just have to know where to look!