Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail
- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2009)
- Intrinsic QualitiesScenic
- Length36 miles
Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail (OSLT) is a 30+ mile double loop of roadways traversing some of the most beautiful and diverse natural scenery remaining in all of coastal central Florida. There is ready access to the Atlantic Ocean, State, County & City parks, vistas of rivers, creeks and marshes, barrier island dunes and beach, and historic dwellings as well as museums and historic public buildings.
Ormond Beach Chamber
West Volusia County Tourism
Ormond Beach Historical Society
Story of the Byway
There are few road trips more gorgeous than a drive along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The Scenic Ormond Loop & Trail is particularly pleasant, because it circles two rivers, barrier island dunes, state parks, historic dwellings and, of course, plenty of Florida beaches. The Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail includes four state and six local public parks, as well as ten miles of gorgeous Florida beachfront. The byway loops around the inland waterway on both the barrier island (on A1A and John Anderson Dr.) and on the mainland (on Old Dixie Highway and North Beach St.) providing spectacular views along old Florida trails. Take advantage of the unique opportunity to visit three “Old Florida” environments while driving, biking, or hiking along a connected figure-eight shaped corridor.
Recreational opportunities abound with numerous parks and trails offering boating, fishing, hiking, swimming, bicycling, beach walking and much more. Vast expanses of water and natural Florida scrub vegetation create beautiful scenic vistas waiting to be photographed. Northern right whales and humpback whales can be seen offshore during migration seasons. Dolphins are a common sight. Loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles use the sandy beaches along A1A for nesting.
The Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail is an easily navigated loop of roadways traversing some of the most beautiful and diverse natural scenery remaining in all of Florida. There is ready access to the Atlantic Ocean and North Peninsula and to several state and public parks. If you're seeking a cultural and/or historic experience, you can find museums and historic public buildings and homes along the corridor, in Tomoka State Park, and in locations just off the corridor. Recreational opportunities also abound, with numerous parks and trails offering boating, fishing, hiking, swimming, bicycling, beach-walking, and much more. Vast expanses of water and natural Florida scrub vegetation create beautiful scenic vistas waiting to be photographed. With all it has to offer, this byway is truly a national treasure.
A key stretch of the journey is Old Dixie Highway, a 9-mile stretch of road going through an oak canopy and into open marshes. A paddling trip through Tomoka State Park, once the site of the Timucuan Indian village of Nocoroco, is just one of many ways to slow down in this area just 8 miles north of speedy Daytona Beach.
Also make time to check out Ormond Beach, a family-friendly destination with plenty of shopping, cultural and dining options. Peach Valley Cafe is a great way to start the day, then unwind with a steak dinner at Stonewood Grill and Tavern. Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller had a winter home in Ormond Beach, where he died in 1937. To see how the other 1 percent lived back in the day, take a free tour of the home. Also in Ormond is the Historic Ormond Beach Fire Station. While it is now a private business, it is a great opportunity to see some unique architecture. Alongside the historic destinations that are plentiful along the byway, be sure to check out the unique shopping opportunities along the classic Main Streets.
Travel south on SR A1A to Granada Blvd. (SR 40). Turn right onto Granada Blvd. Follow SR 40 to North Beach St. Turn right on North Beach St. Turn left onto Pine Tree Dr. and drive west to Ormond Lakes Blvd. Return to the junction of Pine Tree Dr. and North Beach St. Continue on North Beach St., which turns into Old Dixie Highway. Follow Old Dixie Highway until Walter Boardman Lane. Turn right onto Walter Boardman Lane. Turn east onto Highbridge Road and go back to SR A1A. The byway corridor also includes John Anderson Dr. from SR 40, close to where SR A1A and SR 40 intersect, north to Highbridge Road.
Points of Interest
Tomoka State Park
Native Americans once dwelled here, living off fish-filled lagoons. Today, these waters are popular for canoeing, boating and fishing. Tomoka is a bird-watcher's paradise, with over 160 species sighted, especially during the spring and fall migrations. Visitors can stroll a half-mile nature trail through a hardwood hammock that was once an indigo field for an 18th-century British landowner. The park protects a variety of wildlife habitats and endangered species such as the West Indian manatee.
The Casements, also known as "The Jewel of Ormond Beach," is the former winter home of oil tycoon, billionaire, and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller. The Casements welcomes guests of all ages to experience a slice of history along the Halifax River in Ormond Beach.
Bulow Creek State Park
Bulow Creek protects nearly 5,600 acres, more than 1,500 of which are submerged lands. The highlight of Bulow Creek is one of the largest remaining stands of southern live oak forest along Florida's east coast. The reigning tree is the Fairchild Oak, one of the largest live oak trees in the South. For more than 400 years it has been a silent witness to human activities along Bulow Creek, including the destruction of the neighboring Bulow Plantation during the Second Seminole War in 1836.
Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens
The Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens was founded in 1946 by Ormond Beach residents as a living monument to creative freedom and equality of all persons, and to commemorate the service of World War I & II veterans who fought valiantly for that ideal.
An Outdoor Adventure on the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail
Begin at the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail’s Northern Gateway on A1A just south of Flagler Beach. As you drive along Ormond-by-the-Sea, take the opportunity to stop by the beach for some early morning fun in the sand. This portion of the drive is along the Atlantic Ocean for 10 miles, so there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a swim. While on the beach, try to spot a Northern right whale or humpback whale offshore during the migration season. Loggerhead, green, and leatherback turtles are also frequently seen along this stretch.
Take a right onto Florida Route 40 and another right onto John Anderson Drive to see the Halifax River from the island. This area is a great place to stop for lunch, and there are plenty of small, waterfront restaurants in the area. Drive along the Halifax River for 9 miles until you take a left onto High Bridge Road to continue the loop.
Continue to the Old Dixie Highway and the Bulow Creek State Park. Hikers will love the Bulow Woods Trail, a 6.8 mile hiking trail in the park. There are also opportunities for canoeing.
Here, bird watchers should stop at the Tomoka State Park for wildlife viewing. Once occupied by the native Americans, this state park is filled with endangered species and is a hotspot for bird species during migration seasons. Take the opportunity to go kayaking or canoeing on this intercoastal waterway.
After an afternoon exploring the state parks, drive along the byway for 10 miles to return to Ormond Beach to complete the Loop. If you have time, explore the Cassamets, the Jewel of Ormond Beach and former winter home of John D. Rockefeller. Stop for dinner at one of the many restaurants along the river.
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