Zenfolio | April L. Gustetter | PONCE DE LEON INLET -Ponce Inlet, Fla.

35 photos
Between 4940 & 4950 S. Peninsula Dr.
Ponce Inlet (Port Orange), Florida 32127
Volusia County
OPEN: Sunrise to Sunset
PARKING: around the corner from the launch

The Ponce de Leon Inlet is a natural opening in the barrier islands of northern Florida that connects the north end of the Mosquito Lagoon and the south end of the Halifax River to the Atlantic Ocean. It is maintained by the Ponce de Leon Inlet and Port District, a division of the Volusia County government. The inlet was originally named Mosquito Inlet, but the Florida Legislature changed the name in 1927, as Mosquito County had long since become Orange County, and the Mosquito River had become the Halifax River. Only the Mosquito Lagoon has kept its old name.

The Town of Ponce Inlet is located on the southern tip of the peninsula, south of Daytona Beach and Daytona Beach Shores. The Ponce de Leon Lighthouse, situated on the north bank of Ponce Inlet, was constructed more than 100 years ago and remained in service until 1970. Since restoration as an historic monument and museum, the lighthouse still marks the entrance to the inland waterways through Ponce Inlet.

Completed in 1887, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station was built when the area was known as Mosquito Inlet. After decades of restoration by the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association, it stands today as one of the best preserved, most complete Light Stations in the nation. Visited by over 125,000 people each year, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998. The tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second tallest masonry lighthouse in the nation, visitors can climb 203 steps to the top of the 175-foot tower and enjoy magnificent views of the World's Most Famous Beach (Daytona Beach), Ponce Inlet, and surrounding inland waterways from the lighthouse gallery deck.
Having access to so many different bodies of water is one of the many features of this venue. Next trip: mangroves west of the launch!My older brother, Mark, joined me on this little outing...and was the first to get stuck on a sandbar :PPortaging was our alternate means of transportation, as the inlet had many shallow spots......but the variety of the landscape made for a wonderful canvas. Parasailing is on my bucket list!It was a glorious day – as you can see. At this point, the water was pretty paddle-friendly...The famed lighthouse from a kayak's vantage. Initially, I thought it was situated in the inlet, but it is landlocked.There were four manatees in the cove east of the launch...too quick coming up for air to snap with my camera, but hopefully Mark captured them with his...This stretch of beach was a very popular party spot for boaters...we didn't join them, as we chose exploration over parking.On the way to the jetty, we came across Scooby and his dad. It was a great day to be a dog :DThe paddle-friendly waters soon became very choppy......turning Mark into The Man Of Action!I love that the layout of this venue makes for so many wonderful and various portraits.This side of the inlet on the way to the jetty begins as seaside wilderness......but then becomes oh so populated, by dogs and their people!A very traveled channel, the Ponce de Leon Inlet is a lovely place for all types of water traversing vessels, though ours seemed to be the only yaks in sight.Heading back to the take-out, I beached on this sandbar to capture my little friend......and before calling it a day, took in a little scenic snapping of residential bliss.I've always thought houseboats would be a great way to reside......and have long since loved snapping the geometry under piers.This is the life ~ but since it isn't mine, it's a joy to visit. I am enhanced by the experience.