Wekiwa Springs is part of Wekiwa Springs State Park (you don’t say) about 30 miles north of Orlando, in Apopka. The park itself is over 7,000 acres and offers a bunch of outdoor activities: floating down the natural springs, fishing, bicycle trails, snorkeling, and even horse trails! The park is open between 8:00AM to sundown every day of the year – including holidays! The entrance fee is $6 for a regular car, and it costs $24 to camp at the family campgrounds.
Be sure to get there as early as possible, because the park fills up very fast. We woke up at 5AM to drive up (a three hour drive), and Wekiwa was at capacity. Be sure to get a voucher, because the rangers will let cars back in around 2PM. This ended up working out in our favor, because we drove half of a mile down the road and went kayaking at King’s Landing (which was cool for me, being a huge Game of Thrones fan).
King’s Landing is a part of Wekiwa State Park, but is focused primarily on kayaking and swimming. The river trail is over 8 miles long, so be sure to bring some water and be prepared for some strenuous activity. There’s a decent chance you’ll see turtles, alligators, or even a random monkey (seriously, apparently monkeys hang out around there). We didn’t see any monkeys, but we did see several gators!
As I said before, Wekiwa Springs is a gorgeous spot to beat the Florida heat. The water temperature stays a steady 72 degrees, so you’ll know exactly what to expect. I didn’t, even though I’ve been to other springs before, and the temperature caught me off guard a bit. Be sure to bring sunblock, there aren’t many shaded areas in the springs themselves.
There’s a small cave where the spring water flows out from, and there are natural rocks that offer a natural stepping stones (heh) into the water. Be careful though, the rocks are very slippery. With that in mind, there are several lifeguards stationed along the springs, so having there’ll be someone to help instantly if you have any trouble.
As a final note, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see river otters! We saw one hidden in the water-shrubs eating, and then he swam within four feet of me! Michele was quick enough to film him swimming by, and we have this awesome footage of him just cruisin’ along.
Thanks for reading!
Wekiwa Springs is a simple, cheap weekend trip (even a day trip, if you’re in South Florida) that offers a lot of family-friendly fun in the sun. Have you been to any natural springs? Comment below with your favorites!