Posted by: Waheeda Harris | October 15, 2014

Looking for the fountain of youth

Have you heard about the fountain of youth? Juan Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer and conquistador was the first European to explore what is now Florida and looked for the reputed fountain of youth.

Florida - Deleon springs

De Leon Springs is named for the Spanish explorer and located less than an hour from Daytona Beach. Now part of a state park, the springs is one of the numerous ones found in central Florida, a unique natural feature that brings crystal clear fresh water to the surface, with a year round temperature of 72F.

A popular site since the 1800s, many come to swim in the water – believing it is like a fountain of youth – and also to take a boat tour, kayak or canoe in the adjacent lake. Many set up in the park to enjoy the shade beneath the numerous trees, or take a walk along hiking trails that circle around the springs for several miles.

On this sunny morning, as people waited for breakfast at the Old Sugar Mill, a classic breakfast place that makes you cook your own pancakes and eggs on griddles in the center of tables, I was busy looking at the stillness of the water and the beauty of autumn in this part of the world:

Florida - DeLeon Springs reflection

Being in a peaceful and beautiful spot – that makes me feel younger!

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