St. Francis Dead River Run
The St. Francis Dead River Run traverses the river of the same name, which is a major tributary of the St. Johns River. The trail passes the ghost town of St. Francis, also formerly known as "Old Town". St. Francis was located about 20 miles south of Astor. Paddlers can see where the town used to be as pilings in the water indicate where a grand motel stood on the shores of the river.
St. Francis is one of Lake County’s 30-plus ghost towns, but quite possibly the most prolific during its heyday. A thriving port on the St. Johns River, St. Francis had its own newspaper (The Florida Facts), post office, general store, warehouse, wharves and several hundred acres of citrus. After the Big Freeze of 1894-1895, many residents abandoned the town.
Places to Stay and Things to Do Near the St. Francis / Dead River Run
St. Francis Dead River Run is about 20 miles south of Astor. The cities near that area are Altoona and Astor. Astor is known for its guided boat tours, both for fishing and just taking in the surroundings. Sparky’s Place in Astor offers unique dining at an affordable price. Fish Tales RV Resort located in Astor is a secluded canal front resort and boasts some of the most beautiful views that the St. Johns River has to offer.
Fun Things to Do
This list is not all inclusive. For a complete list of accommodations, shopping, dining, attractions and events,
visit the Lake County Tourism website at: www.visitlakefl.com
American Bald Eagle
prefers fish but will eat large birds, mammals and carrion
Removed from the endangerd species list in 2007