Central Florida may be known as a haven for theme parks and world-famous attractions. But you’ll also find places where nature has not been disturbed, and the land remains just as it was when the Timucuan Indians hunted and fished in the wilderness. If you like exploring natural settings filled with animals, cool springs, hiking, swimming and much more, plan a visit to Wekiwa Springs State Park.
Activities at Wekiwa Springs State Park
No matter your skill level, you and your family can enjoy a biking adventure around Wekiwa Springs State Park. Explore 9 miles of off-road trails designed for bicyclists, or pedal along 8 miles of horse trails. These multi-use trails are for sharing, so be prepared to encounter hikers, riders on horseback and even park vehicles. Please also be aware that Florida law requires children under 16 to wear a helmet while they’re riding a bike.
Anglers will want bring their rods and reels for a relaxing afternoon on Sand Lake and Wekiva River. If you’re looking to land the prize catch, make sure you know all the rules and regulations. You can get information relating to size, number, method of capture and season from the Florida Wildlife’s Commission’s Fishing in Florida standards.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Experience scenic beauty during a canoeing or kayaking excursion along the Wekiva River or Rock Springs Run. These waterways can be accessed inside Wekiwa Springs State Park or from any launch area located on the Wekiva River or Rock Springs Run outside of the park. Beginners should consider paddling from King’s Landing to Big Buck Campsite. Travel time is about 2 hours. If you have more experience and some extra time, canoe or kayak from Katie’s Landing to High Banks Boat Ramp. This adventure lasts approximately 5 hours.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game played with handheld GPS devices. Participants take part in a high-tech version of hide and seek. The rules are simple: navigate to predetermined GPS coordinates in an attempt to locate a hidden cache (container). Some caches will be easy to find. Others will be tucked away and require a keen sense of navigation to find them. Cool objects are likely to be found inside the cache. Feel free to take something—as long as you leave an item of equal value for the next hunter. You’ll also be rewarded with the discovery of new and interesting places inside Wekiwa Springs State Park.
Take a hike along several park trails ranging in length from just under 1 mile to 13.5 miles. A boardwalk runs through the shortest trail, which provides an opportunity to view a spectacular river hammock. Those with a sense of adventure can embark on a hike that weaves through the plant communities of river swamps and dry sandhills. Keep your eyes open for roaming critters like the Florida Black Bear, white-tailed deer, bobcat, gopher, turkey, tortoise and a wide variety of birds. Some of the hiking trails are designated as multi-use so be mindful of those on bikes and horses. Always respect the trails and follow all rules posted by Wekiwa Springs State Park. Trail maps are available at the Ranger station.
Swimming and Snorkeling
If you love aquatic wonders, go swimming or snorkeling adventure in the crystal-clear waters of Wekiwa Springs. The water is 72 degrees year-round, so you’ll always be in for a refreshing underwater experience. There is no lifeguard on duty and all swimmers and snorkelers must enter the water at their own risk. Diving and jumping are not permitted. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
A myriad of wildlife can be seen throughout the day along Main Drive Park. If you’re looking to see white-tail deer, get up early before the sun rises. Wild turkeys can be spotted all day long in all areas of the park. The small and feisty Sherman’s fox squirrels prefer the trails that run past the Youth Camp. Be sure to bring binoculars and a camera to capture wildlife in its natural and undisturbed splendor.
Wekiwa Springs State Park closes at sundown, and all visitors must exit the park at that time.