Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Park Perusal: Riverside Pavilion Park

By: Dawn B. Jeffers
Riverside Pavilion Park, Port Orange, Florida
One of a number of classic cars, customs and hot rods on display
  A short, and pleasant walk just south of my new home, is a wonderful little multi-use park located directly on the Halifax River, and it's brand new. Called Riverside Pavilion Park, it's located in the city of Port Orange, Florida. When you first enter the park, either by car or on foot, you'll notice the mature oak trees and native vegetation. I was told by a park employee that there was quite a bit of work involved clearing out the overgrowth in preparation, but you would never guess that by looking at it now. I think it looks just great, with the oak trees providing lots of shade for those hot Florida days. Under the canopy of the trees, there is a small playground for the kids to enjoy, as well as several picnic tables that are placed to give an opportunity for an outdoor meal or snack. A new building on site houses two bathrooms, water fountains, and two concession areas that plan to open in the future for sales of water, snacks, and soft drinks. There's a nice concrete walkway for walkers and bikers, with three or four seating benches placed alongside. The walkway semicircles the area which features a great kayak launch and a large, newly constructed fishing pier. During my same conversation with the park employee, I was told that plans are in the works for renting kayaks and canoes that will launch directly into the Halifax River. Already in place is an outdoor shower and faucet for personal use, as well as rinsing off the salt and dirt from kayaks and canoes. The launch has already seen a good bit of use in the short time the park has been open, as has the fishing pier. On my first visit to the pier, I was greeted by a large blue heron, waiting patiently to steal a fishy treat from an unsuspecting angler's basket! If you like local nature, there's a plentiful variety of shore birds, fiddler crabs, and on one visit, a 3 foot long black snake came slithering out from underneath the fishing pier! I was unable to determine the variety of snake, but it had no use for me, and certainly was not shy of my presence there! I left it to it's own devices. 
A lovely, shaded playground
  A former mobile home park, roughly about 10 acres in size, was bought by the city and is adjacent to the park. This area has plans for different events to take place in the near future. As I write, there is an antique car show scheduled for Sunday, May 8th, which I'll be checking out. The city also has plans to further develop a 36 acre district that will tie in to Riverwalk. This district will include shops, restaurants,stores, and plans for a multi storied condo.
Concession stand with restrooms
One of several picnic tables overlooking a canal
The brand new kayak launch
A great blue heron enjoying the view of Daytona Beach Shores from the pier
  I'm happy this new park has opened up on the beautiful Halifax River. It's perfect if you have plans to do some kayaking or fishing. It's also a great place to stroll, bike ride, or just sit and relax. And, there should never be any excuses about it being too hot to go outside.  It's on the Halifax River, where there is always a lovely, salty breeze! Go check it out!

For more on this and other parks in Volusia County, Florida, visit Volusia.org.

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