Hikers, backpackers, and campers are attracted to Wekiwa Springs State Park in Florida because there are so many outdoor activities to enjoy. Some of the most popular ones are cycling, swimming, snorkelling, fishing, and horseback riding.
The 7,000 acre park sits about 20 miles to the north of Orlando and is one of the best wilderness sites in the area. The region was originally settled by the Timucuan Indians who used to feed themselves by spearing fish and hunting the area’s wildlife.
(photo credit: systemslibrarian)
There’s a spring in the park which pumps approximately 42 million gallons of water daily which is used as the snorkelling and swimming area. This is actually where the name of the park originates as the work Wekiwa means bubbling water or spring of water in Creek Indian.
The park is ideal for camping as the campground is made up of two loops. There are 60 campsites which are suitable for tents, RV’s and pop-ups. All of the sites come with water and electrical hook-ups as well as a grill, picnic table, lantern pole, and fire ring. The campground loops lie near the hiking trails.
There’s also a nearby pavilion where park rangers supply information about the park. They’ll let you know about the local wildlife and tell you which types of plants you should try to stay away from. You’ll also find restrooms and hot showers close to the campsites.
There’s a 13-mile long hiking trail which features two campsites for backpackers and hikers. Each of these sites can accommodate up to 10 campers on a first-come first-served basis. These sites are ideal for those people who’d like to get away from the activities of the family camping areas. Just remember that all firewood, food, and water need to be packed while trash has to be packed out. You’ll be allowed to light a fire in the ground grills that are provided.
You’ll also find there are five campsites designated for kayak and canoe camping down by the 17-mile long Wekiwa River and the nine-mile long Rock Springs Run. These sites can also accommodate up to 10 people. Again, fires are allowed in the ground grills and tents can only be pitched at the designated campsites. Reservations are needed at these sites and you can rent kayaks and canoes.
The hiking trails enable you to get a good look at the local animal and plant life. You’ll find things such as foxes, deer, bears, bobcats, gopher tortoises, herons, eagles, and egrets. The eco systems vary as the conditions range from sandy and dry to swampy and wet. You’ll find that cyclists and horseback riders share some of the park’s trails.
The longest trail takes you to Sand Lake and Lake Prevatt, but you need to keep your eye out for possible alligators in them. There’s a shorter trail loop available, which is just over five miles in length. The end of this trail also takes you alongside Lake Prevatt. The trails are all marked out, but you should still take a compass and map with you.
Central Florida’s Wekiwa Springs State Park is a wonderful location for people to enjoy the great outdoors. It’s ideal for solo travelers and as a spot to visit with friends and/or family.