If you’re a new Daytona Beach-area resident, you might not realize how easy it is to explore conservation lands here.

Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? Especially when the “World’s Most Famous Beach” is home to some of the state’s highest-powered tourist attractions? Daytona Beach’s home county of Outdoors in Daytona BeachVolusia also contains some of the most remarkable natural resources on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The county’s Explore Volusia program opens in a new window helps visitors access and enjoy these conservation lands.

Spanning approximately 38,000 acres, eight nature preserves are located all over Volusia County. They’re open from sunrise to sunset and offer different types of terrain. Discover new adventures on hikes, bicycles, horseback and kayaks, to name a few options. There’s so much to do and see that you’ll find yourself planning your next wilderness excursion as soon as your current one ends.

Volusia County’s conservation areas are part of the Florida Wildlife Corridor. This is designated conservation acreage protected, or flagged for future protection, all over the state. Since this area is home base for us at ICI Homes, we’re happy to share some tips on how to enjoy it.

Here’s our guide to exploring the outdoors in Daytona Beach.

Explore Volusia

The Explore Volusia program is your entree to these local riches, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Prepared to be wowed by nature’s beauty major, native vegetation and animals, and guided rides and hikes.

The Explore Volusia program gives you the opportunity to learn about outdoor recreational and educational opportunities in group settings, led by knowledgeable staffers or volunteers.

Group activities are scheduled each month at the different preserves and county parks. The calendar is available online at the Parks, Recreation and Culture tab at volusia.org opens in a new window, along with all the details you need. Most activities are free; just bring your equipment and willingness to learn.

What you can do

We gave you a preview above; hiking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking are popular activities on conservation lands.

Add mountain biking and birding to the list. Lyonia Preserve in Deltona, and Lake George Forest and Wildlife Management Area in Seville are on the Great Florida Birding Trail. You can also enjoy camping, canoeing, fishing and hunting (the latter in designated preserves).

Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve in New Smyrna Beach has an observation tower with views of undisturbed tributaries, marshes, estuaries and sunsets. In fact, all Volusia County preserves offer never-ending subjects for photographers.

How about wildlife viewing? Among the possibilities are turtles, alligators, black bears, bald eagles, deer, fish, Florida bobcats, manatees, gophers, wild hogs and many more. Just remember to keep a respectful distance.

Stay safe

One perk of the Explore Volusia program is that you’ll be with other folks when you check out remote conservation lands. That’s wise while you’re learning new territory, especially if you, your companions or family members aren’t experienced outdoors people. Being with a group and a guide gives you a comfort zone while you learn.

Other practical recommendations are sunscreen (it’s Florida, even in the woods), insect repellent, a comfy hat and appropriate clothing and shoes.

Ready for your Daytona Beach lifestyle? Talk to ICI Homes here. opens in a new window