On the St. Johns River an “American Heritage River”
Astor is a quaint sportsman’s paradise located in central Florida and close to Orlando, Jacksonville, St Augustine, Daytona Beach, Ocala, and The Villages. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Astor area is close to everything you might need yet far enough away to make it a unique experience. As you travel the "Florida Black Bear Scenic Byway", along SR 40, the Beautiful St. Johns River is the centerpiece of the Astor community. The area is surrounded by two forests, the Ocala National Forest on the West bank of the St Johns and the Lake George State Forest on the East bank. This prime location allows one to participate in many outdoor activities. The St. Johns River is 310 miles of natural, unspoiled Florida with thousands of tributaries and many lakes. Astor is renowned for its boating and sightseeing and provides some of the best freshwater fishing in the state, including bass, speckled perch, catfish and brim. A few miles north of Astor traveling down the St. Johns is Lake George, the second largest lake in Florida (46,000 acres), which is also quite popular for water skiers, more fishing and easy water access to many of the local natural springs. In the summer there are several natural fresh water springs that are accessible by boat or car. Alexander, De Leon, Juniper, Silver Glen and Salt Springs all offer excellent exploring opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking and canoeing or just cooling off and having fun without traveling too far. Blue Creek Run and Stagger Lake Run are two of the finest Lake County Blue Way Kayaking Trails, and they begin and end in Astor. The forests offer hundreds of miles of hiking trails, bird watching areas and designated off highway vehicle trails. The area is home to the Yearling trail where Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was inspired to write "The Yearling," while visiting Pat's Island, and is where the movie was later filmed. During the various hunting seasons, hunters come to the Astor area from all over the country to hunt deer, turkey, duck, alligator and many other animals. With over 350,000 acres of hunting land in the Ocala Wildlife Management Area and almost 40,000 acres in the Lake George WMA, it is easy to see why hunting in this region is so popular. If you enjoy wonderful food, the Astor area has many fine dining establishments, with a wide variety of local dishes and fresh seafood. If you seek comfortable and unique local lodging, both on and off the river, there are a wide variety of motels, RV parks, fish camps, marinas, cabins, and cottages and even a bed and breakfast, available for your short or long term vacation rental needs on both sides of the river. Bring along your own boat or there are boat rentals available, as well as fishing guides, Eco-Tour guides and Airboat tours guides that are more than glad to help you experience real Florida the way it should be, in the heart of its natural beauty. For more information about the area, contact the Astor Area Chamber of Commerce, serving the Six Black Bear, river and forest communities of Astor, Astor Park, Barberville, Emporia, Pierson, and Volusia. Come and visit the Astor area “The Jewel of the St. Johns River”. We are waiting to show you the best kept secrets of Old Florida. We are the gateway to your Florida outdoor adventure.