Grand opening set for Saturday.
PONCE DE LEON - Just in time for the summer rush to the springs, Ponce de Leon State Park is soon to open a parking lot, doubling its visitors' parking capacity.
"It seems to be growing as far as visitation," said Park Specialist Fred Provost, noting the summer means people "parking on grass, on the driveway and out of the gate and spilling out and going down the road."
"So, we needed a way to contain that and keep the people at the park safe. We're up to more than double our parking spaces," he added.
A grand opening ceremony for the new parking lot will be held Saturday at 8 a.m. The park is located at 2860 State Park Road in Ponce de Leon Springs.
The new parking will also mean new limits on how many people can enter the park.
"To prevent people from parking outside the park ... when we reach the parking capacity, we will be closing the gate and will not be admitting anymore people until we get the spaces freed up inside," Provost said. "This will help relief the overcrowding that we've had previously."
The project to expand the lot to 115 spaces began earlier this year and was funded through the state.
Provost emphasized that visitors should plan ahead in order to make sure parking is available.
"If you want to get in, you want to get in early," he said.
For more information about Ponce de Leon State Park, go to www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/ponce-de-leon-springs-state-park.