In addition to the lighthouse, our town of Ponce Inlet offers a wealth of fun-filled activities for everyone. With plenty of amenities ranging from natural beauty and history, exquisite local restaurants, and relaxing beachside atmosphere, there are plenty of ways to load up a day full of excitement. Now more than ever, it may be especially appealing to spend some intimate outdoors time in any of the inlet’s many beautiful parks while still staying safe, which is why we’ve put together this quick guide on our area’s parks so that you can get out and reinvigorate!
Lighthouse Point Park
This beachside sanctuary encompasses over 52 acres of unspoiled coastal territory that has been left in its natural state for visitors to enjoy. Offering a stark contrast to the many hotels, condominiums, and privately owned homes that litter most stretches of the World’s Most Famous Beach, this recreational area provides a glimpse of what the coastline looked like before modern construction. There is an abundance of Florida wildlife, ranging from raccoons, armadillos, and tortoises to even dolphins that can be seen swimming through the inlet’s waters. Lighthouse Point Park boasts a wealth of outdoor activities, including fishing from the jetty, cooking on public barbecue grills, and both beachside and riverside swimming.
Kay & Ayres Davies Lighthouse Park
The Kay & Ayres Davies Lighthouse Park is conveniently located next door to the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. This three-acre park was originally part of the historic ten-acre light station and once served as the staging area for the equipment and supplies used to construct the station's 175-foot tower, three keeper dwellings, and other service buildings. The narrow concrete walkway that extends south from the base of the tower and through the park marks the path of the original mule-powered tramway that was used to transport these building materials up from the river. The park features many amenities including a public playground, picnic tables, Veteran's Memorial, a covered gazebo (available for group events through the Town of Ponce Inlet), and a public restroom facility.
Timothy Pollard Memorial Park
Dedicated in memory of former Ponce Inlet police officer Timothy Pollard – who passed away in the line of duty in 1987 – this park sits adjacent to the Ponce Inlet Fire Department and boasts plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun including basketball, tennis, and pickleball courts as well as a playground for the kids. Guests of all ages can find something to do here to stay active. When done, feel free to sit back and relax at any of the public picnic tables located within the park as you take in the sights and sounds of Ponce Inlet.
Timucuan Oaks Park
Step back in time and experience a slice of “Old Florida” at Timucuan Oaks Park. Explore the park's natural hardwood marine hammock, salt marsh, and mangrove swamp as you stroll along the site's many well-maintained nature trails. Examine a prehistoric shell midden dating back to 800 AD that extends across the property and marvel at the time and effort it must have taken the area's original Native American inhabitants to build what is essentially a prehistoric trash dump composed of discarded materials including shells, bones, pottery, and other prehistoric artifacts. The park also hosts a tranquil English-themed garden designed in memory of the late Constance D. Hunter, a prominent local resident who immigrated to the United States after WWII and called Ponce Inlet home for many decades before her passing. Timucuan Oaks is chock full of opportunities for bird watching, canoeing, fishing, hiking, and picnicking.
Ponce Preserve Park
Just south of Daytona Beach, this park protects a cross-section of pristine barrier island habitat between the banks of the Halifax River and the Atlantic Ocean. Within, you can find the Green Mound State Archaeological Site, another midden dating back to the Timucuan Indians of 800 AD. This mound rises 30 feet and guests are welcome to climb to its top via a wood boardwalk. Additionally, Ponce Preserve Park offers a varied topography with numerous hiking trails that are balanced for hikers of all skill levels. Venture out across a one-third mile boardwalk that extends out to the Halifax River, walk through the natural hardwood hammock, or explore the coastal dune system. Whatever you do is up to you but wonder and natural beauty are guaranteed!
Visiting any of our local parks is the perfect way to unwind either before or after a trip to the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum. All guests are welcome to come and explore our parks at your own discretion, but please observe safe practices and follow the mantra "Take nothing by photos, leave nothing but footprints" as many of these parks (including both shell middens) are protected archaeological and cultural sites.