Zenfolio | April L. Gustetter | MOSQUITO LAGOON - Oak Hill, Fla.

79 photos
Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunrise Park
275 River Drive
(a/k/a Canal Avenue)
Oak Hill, FL 32759
Phone: 386.345.3522
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Admission: Free

Tucked away from anything remotely metropolitan and located in a little city called Oak Hill, this small local park abuts the Intracoastal Waterway. Linked to Mosquito Lagoon, Sunrise Park's beautiful scenery and sandy sections on the water make it a fisherman's dream spot.

My friend, Cynthia, and I weren't there for the fishing, however. The park also includes a boat launch that made for easy kayak put-in and take-out and that's just what we did, spending some four hours on the water in between.

Also at our disposal was a pier (which came in handy for much needed shade), picnic tables (we ate in our yaks), and benches (occupied but not by us). When the day was done, we packed up our cars and drove the 50 feet or so to eat an early dinner at the Goodrich Seafood Restaurant before taking our leave of this sweet paddle spot.

It was a really good day.


The City of Oak Hill is the southernmost city in Southeast Volusia County. The location is rich in early Florida history. It was the site of an Indian village called Surruque el Viejo near el Baradero de Suroc, which was seen on French cartographer Jacque Lemoyne’s map of 1564.

Several English settlers were in the area during the later 1700’s. Seminole Wars chased away northern timber cutters who named their camp Oak Hill.

Following the Territorial Days of Florida, permanent settlers began moving into the area. Statehood seemed to provide stability for organized communities. By the Civil War years, Oak Hill was changing: a salt works was operating, part-time stores were open, and a man named Mitchell had planted the first orange grove.

Following the war, settlers began arriving in the area from many places. Hotels, stores, and a post office were established. Commercially, weather was a crucial factor in area economics, as most people were either citrus growers or commercial fisherman.

Clarence Goodrich was the city's mayor from 1963 to 1989. Mayor Goodrich's term as Mayor spanned 26 years, the longest term any mayor has held in the State of Florida.

Circumstances have had a tremendous impact on citrus and fishing commerce in recent years. Very few citizens are involved with these jobs now. Most commute between their Oak Hill home to New Smyrna or Edgewater, to the Canaveral Seashore Park, or to Kennedy Space Center.

Today, the City of Oak Hill is valiantly working towards improving its economic, environmental, and cultural standing, while preserving the richness of its history and heritage, so that residents can enjoy the changes that progress brings in these new times without losing the precious quality of days gone by.
Found this place the way I find many of my venues - scouring GOOGLE Earth.As soon as you get out of your car, this beached vessel snaps your attention. Naturally, we had to paddle up to it.Weather-wise, the lighting wasn't ideal at the start of our adventure, but the scenery truly was.I'm fascinated by nature-made art affixed to man-made materials.The patina created by salt and wind and rain drew my interest.No idea how long this boat had been disabled here, but the evidence of its exposed past was readily present.As the background attests, we were barely out of the gate at this point - a sure sign an adventure was ahead.Cynthia got a better shot of this - mine doesn't do the true slant of this structure justice.Beneath the leaning boathouse were these sea-worn (-wormed?) columns (couldn't tell if they had once been solid posts or trees).Cool, right?!?A more accurate perspective. No idea how it's staying up......but I'm glad it stood long enough for me to snap its mystique (note the top right - see next shot).We called this "Cynthia's Lone Palm" because she spied it in all its out-of-placeness.In contrast to the dilapidated boathouse, this home was a real beauty.The current had its way with me as I was snapping, so when where I came from came into view, I had to capture it (read it again, it does too make sense).Don't know if this is a bait and tackle joint or B&B, but whatever it was......it had a Resident Cat (focus on the yellow yaks to find her).This is why I think those first columns might have been tree trunks - most of these are.Cynthia relaxed while I plodded along taking pics...she was very patient.I love the variety of textures on these weathered barriers.