- Lake Woodruff is located in west Volusia County, Florida, near De Leon Springs. Presently, the refuge contains more than 21,500 acres and is comprised of 12,100 acres of freshwater marsh, 5,800 acres of hardwood swamp, 2,400 acres of upland, and more than 1,000 acres of lakes, streams, and canals. The St. Johns River forms the western boundary. Reaching south of the river is Ocala National Forest.
A unique feature of the refuge is that it surrounds the 2,200-acre Lake Woodruff, which lies almost in the center of the refuge. In the northwestern portion of the refuge lies another lake, Lake Dexter that is also in excess of 2,000 acres and ties directly into the St. Johns River. Numerous waterways allow you to travel within all of these water bodies.
Prior to Spanish exploration, Timucuan Indians inhabited this area. Major Joseph Woodruff acquired property around De Leon Springs in 1823, hence the name Lake Woodruff. John James Audubon visited this area in 1832. The refuge is included in a corridor of ecologically sensitive lands along the St. John's River, which is being preserved.
Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful combination of protective wildlife nesting and feeding ground while offering an array of outdoor recreations to its visitors. Tourists enjoy boating and fishing in two separate lakes, Lake Woodruff and Lake Dexter. Usual rewards include crappie, bream and catfish. Anglers find Lake Dexter supplies a good catch of crappie during the fall and winter seasons and in summer, a respectable stringer of bream. Lake Woodruff can also be fished for bass.
Other recreations include hunting, hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. A visitor center offers exhibits and environmental education programs. Note: On the eastern side of the Lake Woodruff at De Leon Spring State Recreation Area, the park offers a unique restaurant best known for their pancakes, but also serve sandwiches and salads.
Lake Woodruff is located 25 miles west of Daytona Beach; 1 block west of U.S. Highway 17 in DeLeon Springs, FL. in west Volusia County, Florida, near DeLeon Springs and the medium-sized metropolis of Deland. St. Johns River lies along the western boundary.
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