Date Visited: 12/1/2019-12/3/2019 & Various other times
This was a hard post to write and I’ve put it off for several weeks.
This camping trip we took in December of 2019 would be the first and last time I was able to go camping with my dad as an adult. Originally, I had not planned to post about that trip because it was my parents wish to not have anything posted about them on the internet, but after my dad’s passing in September of this year, my mother has given me permission to write about the weekend trip we took together.
You see I developed my love for traveling and exploring from the influences of both of my parents. They traveled extensively across the United States, visiting all but three of the lower 48 states. Unfortunately, my dad began to rapidly decline not long after we took this trip in 2019 and because of that he was not able to complete those last three states. (I hope to accomplish that task for him one day.)
In honor of my parents’ influence (and that common bond we shared) I’m posting a short video made from the photos we took on that trip. After the video, I will tell you about the park, which has become one of our favorite weekend getaways both because the park brings back some good memories of time spent with my parents, and because it is a pretty quiet place to stay – outside of visiting around Bike week and Race week which is a whole other story ~ Let’s just say party central!
Now about the park.
1300-years ago the Timucuan Native American Village, known as Nocoroco, stood at Tomoka Point. You can still see remains of the shell midden to date. However, Archeological excavations within the park have revealed a 10-mound complex that suggest that this area was occupied as early as 5000 B.C, earning it a place on the National Register of Historic places in 1973.
In the 1770s the land (along with an additional 20,000 acres) was a plantation known as Mount Oswald. Here they grew indigo for its valuable blue dye. Descendants of these plants can still be found today along the 1/2-mile nature trail that runs through the remains of an oak hammock.
Other cash crops that were grown and/or harvested included rice, sugar, oranges, and timber.
In 1785 the property was abandoned when the British withdrew from Florida after the American Revolutionary War ended.
The Spanish regained control until 1821 when Florida became a territory of the United States. Then, in 1973 the Florida Board of Forestry began acquiring parcels of land that would later become the state park.
The park has several amenities to enjoy, such as camping, canoe rentals, a boat ramp, an outpost store, fishing, and of course bird watching. In fact, there are over 160 species of birds that have been spotted within the park. Three eagle nests have been located within 3 miles of the nature trail and eagles can often be seen in the skies searching the river below for fish.
The waters surrounding the peninsula are also a great place to spot manatees, which gives you a little something to do when the fish aren’t biting, as we have found that fishing this area is hit or miss depending on time of year, water temperature, and weather.
By far this is one of our favorite places to camp and not just for the fond memories of spending time with ones we love that are no longer with us, but also because this is just an overall great park.
Next week we visit one of the Largest Live Oak Trees in the south. Until then… Take care!
Tomoka State Park 2099 N Beach St. Ormond Beach, FL 32174 386-676-4050 Website
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