Are you looking for a cool place to visit and explore in Florida? Check out Wekiva springs.
A 7,000-acre state park in Florida, Wekiva Springs Park has continued to be a favorite with local residents and tourists – thanks to the state’s temperate winters, favorable summers, and exciting things to do and see. The natural environment has also served to boost eco-tourism with people traveling from all over to enjoy the spring’s crystal clear waters and see the diverse wildlife.
Wekiwa Springs State Park is located in Florida State Park, just 20 minutes from Orlando, Florida. The park is close to Altamonte Springs as well as Longwood. In order to reach the park, you need to drive off Interstate 4 when you reach exit 94. The best way to get to the springs is by car.
Admission Fees and Opening Hours
Wekiva Springs’ hours are set as follows. The park opens at 8 am and is shut down at sunset. However, if you choose to arrive at sunset, you won’t be asked to pay an entrance fee. There is no Sunset Entrance Fee. The Nature Center opens each Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 3 pm EST.
Admission fees into the state park are as follows:
- Vehicles with two to eight people will be charged $8 per car.
- Single occupant vehicles will incur a $4 entrance fee.
- Pedestrians will be charged $2 per person.
- Bicyclists will also be charged $2 per person.
- Extra passengers in a car will each incur a $2 fee.
Things to Do
There’s plenty to do at Wekiwa State Park, from hiking, geo-seeking, camping, picnicking, bird-watching, to boating. To see a full list of park activities, go here.
Wekiwa Springs Park offers extensive camping options for those interested in the recreational activity. From primitive camping to RVs and tents, you can choose how you want to camp. If you don’t have accommodation, you can book yourself at Camp Cozy which is about 3.5 miles away from the spring itself. There are four main campsites in the state park for your convenience.
If you opt to pitch a tent, or drive to the camping grounds in recreational vehicles, you’ll find infrastructure that includes toilets and cooking amenities to help support your time there. You may bring your pets if you want, but you must keep them on a leash at all times. It is prohibited to bring firearms and intoxicants onto the camping grounds.
For those going camping in the park, it’s worth noting the following camping fees:
- Primitive camping is $5 per person per night.
- Family camping is $24 per site per night.
- Organized group camping is $1 per youth and $5 per adult per night
There are several water-based activities you can engage in. For example, you can go canoeing, fishing, snorkeling, or kayaking on the Wekiva River. Swimming is also allowed as the river ranges in depth from less than a foot to five feet. If you get lucky, you may even be able to swim to a Wekiva Island in the middle of the river. For the more adventurous type, there is a 20-foot deep cavern where the spring begins. You can take a look at it without entering to explore. The cavern develops into a cave, in which it is forbidden to go scuba diving and cave diving.
If you’re looking for something to do over the weekend, then why not plan a hiking escapade in the state park? Not only are the trails extensive and well-mapped out but they provide lots of great sights and things to see along the way.
Bicycling and Horseback Riding
If you prefer to go further than where you can reach on foot, then consider a bike ride or horseback ride instead. You’ll be able to follow the trail, see other areas beyond the 21.7 km (13.5 miles) fixed trail, and still make it back before the sun sets.
Things to See at the Springs
The park is home to hundreds of different bird, plant, and animal species. You’ll have the opportunity to see some of these plants and animals up close, and some a bit from a distance. Here are just some of the things you can expect to see during your visit at the park.
The best place to head to if you want to see an array of wildlife is Main Park Drive. The best times to go if you want to see white-tail deer is early in the morning or just before sunset. Wild turkey is common and can be seen everywhere in different areas of the park. To see Sherman’s fox squirrels, do check out the trails leading to the Youth Camp.
If you’re camping in the park, you are strategically located and guaranteed to have some of the best star gazing experiences. The night air is cool but not cold in winter, and the air crystal clear. It’s the perfect combination to be outdoors. You may even be lucky enough to see shooting stars!
Create Lasting Memories
This is certainly the place to be if you have a free weekend. Even if you’re just visiting Florida, make sure you set aside some time to visit this beautiful state park.