The population was 2,358 at the 2000 census. One of Florida's state parks, DeLeon Springs State Park, is located in DeLeon Springs, as is the Strawn Historic Citrus Packing House District.
This idyllic spot, 603 acres in all, has been occupied periodically since 8,000 B.C.
John J. Audubon visited Colonel Orlando Rees here at Spring Garden Plantation in 1832. Audubon wrote that the sight of the spring afforded him pleasure sufficient to counterbalance the tediousness of his daylong journey in a carriage drawn by Indian horses from the Bulow plantation.
The best way to get into DeLeon Springs is by car. Take Route US-17 north from DeLand for about 6 miles and you will be in the general area of DeLeon Springs. Turn left onto Ponce DeLeon Blvd. and you will travel approximately one mile to the entrance to DeLeon Springs State Park.
VOTRAN  bus Route 24 passes by the DeLeon Springs area about every two hours. The bus only travels along Route US-17, connecting with DeLand to the south and Pierson to the north. However, you will be short of DeLeon Springs State Park by about 1 mile. You can bring a bicycle along on the VOTRAN bus to complete the journey if you wish to reach the Park.
DeLeon Springs State Park  is the main attraction in DeLeon Springs. DeLeon Springs State Park is comprised of 603 acres, and swimming is popular here as the water remains at 72°F year-round. The Park is built around a natural sulphur spring, flowing at a rate of about 20 million gallons a day, that remains 72 degrees Fahrenheit year-round and reaches a depth of 30 feet at the spring boil.
DeLeon Springs was first settled as early as 8000 BCE by local Native American tribes. In the 1500s, Spanish forces passed through. Land was granted near the springs to settlers to establish a plantation called "Spring Garden" where corn, cotton, and sugar cane were grown. Around this time, the Seminole Indians began to settle in the area.
The area came under American ownership after Florida became a territory in 1821; Colonel Orlando Rees built a mill to grind the corn and sugar. Many facilities were destroyed by Union troops during the American Civil War; however, the waterwheel and building remain on the site to this day, now housing a pancake restaurant called "The Old Spanish Sugar Mill", owned and operated by local residents.
The Seminole tribe regained the land during the Second Seminole War and sacked the plantation; General Zachary Taylor led the U.S. Army forces to gain control of it in 1838.
The area drew tourists in the 1880s, when it was touted as a fountain of youth and winter resort for the springs' alleged rejuvenating powers.
In 1982 the State of Florida acquired the land for use as a recreational area.
Flora and fauna
Ancient cypress and oak trees dominate the landscape in this part of Florida. Smaller plants in the area include the leatherleaf fern.
Park wildlife you might see includes alligators, white-tailed deer, turtles and otters. Among the birds that can be seen are anhingas, egrets, hawks, limpkins, ospreys, vultures, American Bald Eagles, American White Ibis, Belted Kingfishers and Great Blue Herons.
Seasonal sightings may include Florida black bears en route from the Ocala National Forest to the Tiger Bay Wildlife Management Area, manatee seeking relief from the cold during winter and migratory birds such as the swallow-tailed kite, the sandhill crane and teal.
There is a five-mile hiking trail popular for birdwatching (the park is part of the Great Florida Birding Trail). One dead end of the trail leads to Monkey Island, named after monkeys who had escaped from the circus and settled there.
Canoeing, kayaking, and fishing are permitted in the spring run; swimming is permitted only in designated areas.
Florida has a high occurrence of hurricanes. You might want to check the Hurricane safety page if you are visiting Florida. Beware of lightning in the central part of the state. Also, there is a high occurrence of tornadoes in Florida, so check the Tornado safety page.