The town of Pierson Florid is located in Volusia County, Florida.  The town is heavily dependent on agriculture, mostly fern growing. So much so that Pierson bills itself as the “Fern Capital of the World”. Near and dear to my heart, I am lucky enough to have several friends that live in Pierson. As such, I’ve had the opportunity to explore this untouched countryside many times.

Hidden among the fern trees is a residential oasis of farms and sprawling ranches that people call home. And, what’s rarely known about Pierson Florida is how much there is to see and do.  If you are looking to escape the fast-paced city life, and want to explore Florida’s countryside then Pierson has a lot to offer. If you like nature, wildlife, boating, and fishing – Pierson Florida is a place you will appreciate.

Pierson Florida

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The History Of Pierson Florida

Established in the 1800s, Piersonville was the first rural community in what is now Pierson. Pierson was established in 1876 and incorporated in 1926.

Primarily, the economy is driven by agriculture with a heavy focus on ornamental fern production. Over the past century, the town has been sustained by the fern industry and by the production of other ornamental foliage crops, which are used in flower arrangements shipped domestically and internationally. 

The fern industry is currently threatened due to anthracnose a fungal disease which has caused the town to consider economic development opportunities. For example, some are experimenting with growing grapes. And, there’s now a commercial marijuana farm in the area.

If you have ever driven through the area or along US 17, you’ve probably seen the long black tents that shade the fern trees.

Fern Tree Farm Pierson Florida

Pierson Florida Today

Approximately 1,923 people are living in a place people have called home for more than 125 years. Pierson Florida has a total area of 8.7 square miles.

There are approximately 1,923 people living in Pierson.  According to The United States, 2020 Census Pierson Florida has a total of 435 households. The median household income is approximately $52,917. The population is split into five age groups: 5.5% are under 5 years old, 30.3% are under 18, 69.7% are 18 years of age and over, and 16.4% are65 years and over. Among the total population, 860 are white, 38 are black, 16 are American Indians and Alaskan Natives, 3 are Asian, and 437 are of some other race. 

The town is a great place to raise families or to retire. It also appeals to people that want to raise their own livestock or farm. Most lots in Pierson are ten acres and over. Many of the locals own a lot more land. It’s a rural community with low crime rates, acres and acres of forest to explore and it’s centrally located close enough to the cities, yet hidden out of sight.

Things To Do Pierson Florida

There’s so much to do in Perrson Florida, especially for those of us who enjoy the great outdoors. There is Lake George State Forrest, Lake Disston, Heart Island, Lake Pierson Conservation Area, and much more. Let’s explore the charms on offer in Pierson or right around the corner!

De León Springs State Park

Not technically in Pierson Florida but really close. Known by the Mayaca Indians as Acuera, or “Healing Waters,” De Leon Springs features crystal-clear waters, lush subtropical forest trails, and a massive old-growth bald cypress tree. 

This is a popular spring that people love to swim in here. The spring is refreshing 72-degree water where depths range from 18 inches to 30 feet at the spring boil. Swim in the shallow spots or dive into the turquoise waters where the sunlight shines through the crystal-clear water, beaming down to the spring boil.

Or, take the Fountain of Youth Eco Heritage Boat Tour. A 50-minute trip through De Leon Springs State Park and Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. 

De León Springs

Lake George State Forest

Lake George State Forest is a designated protected area. It is a 21,176-acre  forest located in northwestern Volusia County. Lake George State Forest is managed as a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Open year-round to the public,  Lake George State Forest offers several recreational activities, including fishing (on the river, in the lake, and at Jenkins Pond), picnicking, and an interpretive nature trail measuring one and one-quarter miles. You can also camp primitively,, cycle,  hike, or hunt. 

There is an entrance for hunters and day-use visitors is located on State Road 40, 3.25 miles east of Astor.

Note, if you are interested in hunting you have to obtain a permit from the State Forest Service.

Lake George

Lake George, with its circumference of approximately 11 miles and a diameter of roughly 6 miles is the second largest lake in Florida.  Not to be confused with Lake Georgia, Lake George is second in size behind only Lake Okeechobee. 

Lake George’s salt content is very unusual from area feeder springs along the St. Johns River. This mix of fresh and saltwater provides a sustainable habitat for marine life ranging from Atlantic stingray to various mullet species, striped bass, and blue crabs. The blue crab population in Lake George is so vast that it supports one of the only freshwater blue crab fisheries in Florida. 

There are 383,000 acres of the Ocala National Forest on the western shore of Lake George, covering the entire west side of the lake, which provides another dimension of beauty to the lake. By far, the best way to explore Lake George is by boat.

And, if you do boat make sure you check out Silver Glen Springs.

Lake George in Florida

Boating In Pierson Florida – Lake George

A public forest owned jointly by Volusia County and St. Johns Water Management District hosts the Lake George Pier, making it an excellent location for fishing and observing wildlife. It also features nature trails, a horse trail, and a picnic pavilion with tables and grills. This is the east shore of Florida’s second-biggest freshwater lake, created by widening the St. Johns River, where you can enjoy boating and fishing. 

Boat Ramps In Pierson Florida

Shell Harbor is the most popular boat launch in Pierson, however, there are other options that are close:

Astor Boat Ramp

  • 55400 Butler Street, Astor, Florida 32102
  • Hours: Dawn To Dusk

Lake George Boat Ramp aka Volusia Wharf – Blue Creek Lodge Road Public Boat Ramp

  • 58300 Lake George Road, Astor, Florida 32102
  • Hours: Dawn To Dusk

Shell Harbor Park & Boat Launch

  • 1800 Shell Harbor Rd, Pierson, FL 32180
  • Hours: 24 Hours
Shell Harbor Park & Boat Launch

South Moon Fish Camp Boat Ramp – On St Johns River

  • End Of Camp South Moon Road, Astor, Florida 32102
  • Hours: Varies by day

Lake Pierson

Lake Pierson is a lake located near DeLand, Florida. Largemouth bass, bluegill, and spotted bass are the most popular species caught here. 

Lake Pierson has a Municipal Park. Sometimes referred to as North Road Park, was completed in 2004. It was created through the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program and offers basketball, tennis, and play areas.

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge is six miles of trails meander through wide-open spaces preserved for wintering waterfowl at 21,500-acre Lake Woodruff NWR along the St. Johns River.

During daylight hours, visitors can access the forest. There are roads, trails, and permanent fire lines for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding.

Silver Glen Springs

Silver Glen Springs is one of the most popular and well-known springs in Florida.  Perhaps one of the most popular springs in Florida,  Silver Glen is a massive spring of crystal clear water and is frequented by many fans of snorkeling and boating.  Located in the Ocala National Forest. Accessible from the Silver Glen Run off of Lake George, this spring is a local favorite.

Silver Glen

Sunny Sands Nudist Resort & Mobile Home Park

Don’t judge – each to their own. I’m not a nudist in public but I sure do like running around my own home naked. Now, some people enjoy the liberation of being naked amongst others and there’s nothing wrong with this. If you are a nudist looking for a place to let it all hang out then Sunny Sands Nudist Resort in Pierson is for you. Or, if you are curious clothing is optional so this is a good way to experience a nudist resort without having to be in the buff.

Sunny Sands is a Family Friendly Nudist Resort located on 42 acres of natural Florida beauty surrounded by fern farms. There is a permanent mobile home community, rental units, full RV hook-ups, tent camping sites, and daily visits available.

Tours In Or Around Pierson Florida

You Are Not A Real Piersoniete Unless You Have At Least Two Of These!

Shopping In Pierson Florida

For those of us who enjoy shopping while exploring there are some great places to check out in Pierson. As with many small towns, you’ll find locals selling their hand-crafted goods, local produce, and charming little stores that ouze country life essence

One place that you must visit is Barberville Yard Art Emporium. This is one of the largest yard art displays you’ll ever see. You can buy anything from a life-sized stallion or elephant to a simple garden gnome and back. They even sell hand-crafted wood furniture. It can you dream it, I guarantee you’ll find it here.

The selection of yard art here is so vast that if you are looking to add to your garden it’s worth the drive to Pierson to visit Barberville Yard Art Emporium alone.

Restaurants In Pierson Florida

Pierson provides you with the opportunity at local non-chain restaurants. You can enjoy different types of seafood and organic vegetables are the norm. In most places in Pierson sources are from locals and the community is still a thing in Pierson.

Here are some of the popular restaurants in Pierson, Florida.

  • Antojitos De Mi Tierra Hidalgense
  • Pierson Family restaurants
  • M&E BBQ
  • Jimena’s Taco Shop
  • Ultimate Grill Destination Spot
  • Fortino Mendez Tacos
  • Essex Seafood House

Where To Stay In Pierson Florida?

Pierson does not have a hotel or a motel. You can rent from Airbnb or use the search widget below to find private rental homes.

The closest stay is in Astor. And, the best stay in Astor is at Big River Marina & Lodge.

Booking.com

Attractions Close To Pierson Florida

There are so many places you can visit in Pierson within an hour. If you are looking for a weekend or day trip destination within driving distance, there’s even more to see and do. Here are some suggestions:

FAQs

Where is Pierson, Florida, on a map?

The town of Pierson is in Volusia County, Florida, United States.  

What county is Pierson, Florida?

Pierson Florida is in Volusia County. The County of Volusia is located between the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean in east-central Florida. Pierson is quite a small town but offers so many natural beauties to travelers. It is a good place to stay and visit the parks, lakes, and forests around the town.

What is the fern capital of the world?

Pierson is known as the fern capital of the world. This tiny town in Volusia county is packed with fern farms hence the title. Ferns play a major role in the town’s economy. Their ferns are exported worldwide for use in floral arrangements and other decorative items. This is why it is called the fern capital of the world.

What is the zip code for Pierson, Florida?

Pierson, Florida’s zip code is 32180. Postal code 32180 is primarily located in the county of Volusia in Florida. 

What is the elevation of Pierson, Florida?

Pierson is a city that covers an area of about 8.7 square miles and at an elevation of 75 feet.

Closing Thoughts

Pierson Florida is a town that offers the residents a small slice of old Florida. You’ll see chickens free-roaming, horses in many yards, and a mixture of almost full-blown farms. Naturally, you’ll see many fern farms as you explore and you’ll be tickled at the dusty roads that are full of people on four-wheelers and golf carts.

Most importantly, when you go to Pierson, Florida, you get to experience a lifestyle that many in the city don’t even know exists. 

When you spend the night in Pierson Florida you will have the unobstructed view of the blackest sky you’ll ever see. You’ll also sleep well as it’s deadly silent minus the wildlife that shares the area with residents.

Looking for more articles on small towns in Florida? Start here:

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