If you are planning to visit Daytona Beach or Ormond Beach and are looking for a place to camp, you may want to consider Tomoka State Park. Located just a few miles north of the beaches, the park contains a 98-site campground with 3 ADA-accessible restrooms. It is situated in a shady oak hammock. Water and electric hookups are provided at the campsites, but total camper length must be 34 feet or less. One caveat: I did not like the taste of the water at my campsite, so if you have a holding tank in your camper, you may want to fill it before entering the park. Or you can purchase bottled water for drinking.
The park gets its name from the Timucua tribe of Native Americans who once occupied the area and sustained themselves by fishing. It is located on a peninsula formed by the Tomoka River on its west side and the Halifax River, the Intracoastal Waterway, to the east. The Tomoka River comprises part of a 13-mile-long state canoe trail that also loops around through Strickland and Thompson Creeks. The lower river is tidal and brackish, but the water becomes fresher farther upstream. Wildlife that can be observed along the canoe trail include manatees, bottlenose dolphins, alligators, wood storks, great blue herons, reddish egrets, pelicans, ospreys, hawks, and bald eagles. The park is a hot spot for birders, especially during spring and fall migrations, with documented sightings of over 160 avian species.
Ecological communities found within the park include maritime hammock and estuarine salt marshes. It encompasses the largest stand of old-growth live oak in eastern Florida. The salt marshes provide habitat and breeding grounds for oysters, snails, crabs, and fish. Ninety species of fish have been identified in the Tomoka River. Some of these are game fish such as redfish, black drum, sheepshead, spotted seatrout, snook, and tarpon.
Some other recreational activities offered are picnicking, geocaching, and nature study. A half-mile-long nature trail runs through a live oak hammock. On the second Saturday of each month, living history interpreters present programs on historical times and crafts.
A concessionaire located within the park, Tomoka Outpost, rents canoes and kayaks, sells camping and fishing supplies, basic groceries, health and beauty aids, souvenirs and gifts, snacks and beverages. The Outpost is open every day of the week except Wednesday.
Campground reservations can be made through Reserve America online at ReserveAmerica.com or by phoning (800)326-3521.
Tomoka State park is open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. until sunset. It is located at:
2099 North Beach Street
Ormond Beach, FL 32174
Park phone number is (386)676-4050.